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A step-by-step guide to obtaining a hunting license

Individuals as young as 10 can get their hunting license through the B.C. Wildlife Federation

Look no further for those wanting to get into the world of hunting. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide that will give you the training and credentials to get into the wild and begin hunting.

As Steve Hamilton said, the advocacy coordinator at B.C. Wildlife Federation, “It’s empowering for people to get out there.”

Courses

The Conservation Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) program is the first step in learning about safe and ethical hunting and giving you the confidence you need. The program’s subjects include Conservation, Ethics, Law and Regulations, First Aid and Survival, Firearm Safety, Animal Identification, Bird Identification and Indigenous Peoples and Hunting in B.C.

You can take the CORE program in person (with a certified examiner) or online through the B.C. Wildlife Federations website (BCWF) website. The course costs $98 and covers the cost of receiving the CORE graduation certificate required for your B.C. Fish and Wildlife ID (FWID).

Or, you can study with the CORE manual, which is available for $22.

Additionally, if you haven’t already, you must take the Canadian Firearm Safety Course (CFSC) to ensure you’re up to date with firearm safety.

You must also be aware of the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis.

Exam

Once you’ve studied the CORE courses, it’s time to take your two exams.

You can schedule your exams with a certified CORE examiner by visiting bcwf.bc.ca. You will then complete a registration form, which must be provided to the examiner before your exams.

The written and practical CORE exams must be taken in person, each costing $30.

The written exam includes 80 multiple-choice questions based on the CORE program and the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis. To pass the written portion of your exam, 60 of the 80 answers must be correct. Failed exams can be retaken as early as the following day, but remember, any exam taken (even a redo) costs $30.

The practical exam is in firearm safety, including loading and unloading with dummy ammunition. The examiner will provide the firearms, and a score of no less than 23 out of 30 is needed to pass.

If you have already completed the CFSC, you do not need to take the practical exam; however, you must show your examiner the completed CFSC report showing your successful test completion. This differs from a Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) card, which is not accepted.

Submit

After passing your exams, your examiner will provide a completion document. This can be mailed or delivered to the BCWF, which will provide you with an official CORE graduation certificate.

Upon receiving your official CORE graduation certificate, head to Service BC or FrontCounter BC. You can also submit your certificate online with the FWID.

License

The final step is purchasing your hunting license and any needed tags.

While necessary steps must be made, you can get your hunting license as early as age 10.

Hamilton spoke of his daughter, Kayleigh, who has joined him on hunting trips since she was young. Now 10, she was excited to obtain her own license.

The BCWF has also seen an increase in women obtaining their hunting licenses. In the last four years, the annual average for people receiving their license through BCWF has been 7,500 people, with around 29 per cent women.

When Hamilton was asked why he thinks there’s been an increase in women wanting to hunt, he said one of the reasons has to do with being able to source their own food.

“It’s becoming a lot more commonplace to get out and source their own food … It’s about people looking for that food security. It’s amazing to watch.”

On top of that, hunting allows one to enjoy nature and create new memories, Hamilton said.

“A lot of people are realizing the connection to the outdoors that comes with getting out to hunt. The best thing about hunting, to me, is getting out there and enjoying the outdoors. On the most successful hunting trips, I come back with memories and a smile.”

Visit bcwf.bc.ca to learn more about hunting.


@kimakimberlin
kim.kimberlin@blackpress.ca

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Kim Kimberlin, Local Journalism Initiative

About the Author: Kim Kimberlin, Local Journalism Initiative

I joined Black Press Media in 2022, and have a passion for covering topics on women’s rights, 2SLGBTQIA+ and racial issues, mental health and the arts.
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