British Columbia Hunting Information

Hunting Licences

There are different kinds of hunting licences available in British Columbia:

1. Resident Hunting Licence

Resident hunters, who are 10 years old at least, may obtain a hunting licence if they hold a valid FWID with resident and hunting credentials. 

Persons under 18 years of age who hold a hunting licence must be accompanied by an adult as a supervising hunter. For an adult to be a supervising hunter, he must carry the proper licences and meet the required qualifications.

If you hold a resident hunting licence and your age is under 18 years, you may obtain your own species licence and have your own bag limit. Bag limits are the same as those listed in the hunting and trapping synopsis. Also, you are permitted to participate in youth hunting seasons.

2. Youth licence

Individuals 10 years of age at least and under 18 years of age who have a FWID may obtain a youth hunting licence. Holders of this licence can hunt under supervising hunting without having to complete hunting safety training.

A Youth Hunting Licence can only be issued to a parent or guardian on behalf of their child. They must hold the licence on behalf of their child as well.

The guardian or the parent must sign a Written Undertaking to purchase this licence, in which they will confirm their full responsibility for the actions of their child or ward while the child or ward is carrying a firearm or hunting in British Columbia.

The form must be submitted with the application for a hunting licence. In order to obtain a hunting licence for youth, this form is a must.

The guardian or parent is required to have a FWID to hold the youth hunting licence. A youth hunter must be accompanied and under the close personal supervision of an adult who carries the proper licences and meets the prescribed qualifications to be a supervising hunter.

3. Initiation Hunting Licence

This Initiation licence is only issued to British Columbia residents. It is a once-in-a-lifetime annual licence that is issued to a person (18 years old at least) who has never previously held a British Columbia hunting licence (with the exception of a junior or youth licence).

Initiation Licence holders must be accompanied by a supervising hunter at all times. The supervising hunter must be 18 years at least, carries the proper licences, and meets the prescribed qualifications to be a supervising hunter.

4. Non-Resident Hunting Licence

There are different licences that are available to non-residents:

1. Unrestricted Non-resident/Non-resident Alien Licence

Persons who hold these licences can hunt small game unaccompanied. But when hunting a big game, the hunter must be accompanied by an assistant guide, guide outfitter, or a holder of a permit to accompany.

2. Restricted Non-resident/Non-resident Alien Licence

Holders of these licences are required to be accompanied by an assistant guide, guide outfitter, or a holder of a permit to accompany them when hunting both big and small game.

5. Species licences

These species licences are required for hunting specific species in British Columbia. Species licences are required in addition to basic hunting licences.

Those animals are Bison, Caribou, Black Bear, Bobcat, Cougar, Moose, Deer (mule/black-tailed and white-tailed), Elk, Mountain Sheep, Lynx, Mountain Goat, Wolf (non-residents only), Upland Game Birds (non-residents only), and Wolverine.

Hunting Species

1. Deer

2. Moose

3. Elk

4. Caribou

5. Black Bear

6. Mountain Goat & Mountain Sheep

7. Wolf & Coyote

8. Cougar

9. Bison

10. Lynx

11. Raccoon

12. Snowshoe Hare

13. Skunk

14. Grouse, Ptarmigan, Raven, Partridge, Quail, and Pheasant

15. Wolverine

16. Turkey

17. Bobcat

18. Migratory Birds

Note: There are trapping seasons for different animal species, which include Beaver, Black bear, Bobcat, coyote, Fisher, Fox, Lynx, Marten, Mink, Muskrat, Raccoon, Otter, Skunk, Squirrel, Weasel, Wolverine, and Wolf

Hunting Seasons

The hunting season dates differ for each hunting species. For instance, the general open seasons (GOS) for a black bear are usually during the months of April through June and August through December, while the general open seasons for Caribou hunting are usually from August to October.

The general open seasons for Elk are usually from August through November, and for coyotes are usually from September to June.

When it comes to bobcat hunting, their general open seasons are usually during the months of November through February, and the turkey general open seasons are usually during the months of April through May and September through December.

The general open seasons for bison are usually from September through January, and for the wolverine, they are usually from September through February.

The open seasons for snipe are usually during the months of September through January, while the open seasons for band-tailed pigeons are during September.

Hunting Zones

Here are some of the best places to hunt in British Columbia:

1. The Kootenay region

This region, which is located near the Rocky Mountains, is a great place to hunt in British Columbia. The Kootenay region is home to a lot of big game animals, which include bears, moose, elk and deer. However, if you are hunting small game, you can find birds and rabbits in this region as well.

For instance, elk hunters should check out the area around Cranbrook. This town, which is located in the southeastern part of the Kootenay region, is considered a hotspot for elk hunting.

2. Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is situated off the coast of British Columbia and is only accessible by plane or ferry. This area is the perfect spot for you if you want to hunt in a place that is a little bit more remote.

This region is home to some big game animals, such as bears and deer, as well as small game, such as snowshoe hares, waterfowl and upland birds. For instance, if you are searching for a black bear, you can try hunting near the Port Hardy area of Vancouver Island.

3. The Cariboo Region

The Cariboo Region can be found in the central interior of British Columbia and is another great place for your hunting adventure. This region is home to different species of animals which include black bears, deer, upland birds and more.

For instance, one popular place to go hunting is near the town of Williams Lake. This area is known for its large deer population. If you go during the right time of year, you are sure to have a successful hunt.

Transporting Wildlife

Any person who possess, ship, or transport wildlife meat or parts of wildlife within the Province must carry with him the species licence under which this animal was taken by that individual or a Record of Receipt of the wildlife if the animal was taken by another person.

Exporting Wildlife

An Export Permit is required to export live or dead wildlife, wildlife parts or an egg of a wildlife species out of the British Columbia Province or out of Canada( unless you are exempted from holding an export permit).

A CITES Permit is required to export a Grizzly Bear, Black Bear, Bobcat, Canadian Lynx, Cougar, Sea Otter, River Otter, or Gray/Timber Wolf out of Canada.

If you are ordinarily a resident of the United States, you may export a black bear ( which is a result of your hunting activities) without the need for a CITES Export Permit.

The black bear must be in a frozen, fresh, or salted condition, and you are exporting only the skull, the hide with paws and claws attached, the hide, or the meat excluding any organs.

Hunting Outfitters in British Columbia

Here is a list of the hunting outfitters in British Columbia:

1. Sawtooth Outfitters

2. Telkwa River Outfitters

3. Fraser River Outfitters

4. Whiteswan Lake Outfitters

5. Baldy Mountain Outfitters

6. Copper River Outfitters

7. Covert Outfitting