British Columbia is home to a wide variety of large and small game, and this makes it a hunter’s paradise. Whether you are going after deer, elk or simply hunting game birds there are a few things you should know before you start packing for the trip. This applies to residents and non residents of British Columbia. If you’re a Canadian resident but don’t live in B.C. you are still considered a non resident. Here are a few of the things that I was glad I knew before I went on my first hunting trip.
If you don’t have the right license then you won’t be allowed to hunt anything in British Columbia. Residents can easily apply for a Fish & Wildlife ID that will take them through the season or purchase a hunting license. While the temporary ID is free and you can apply for a new one every season, the hunting license does come with a small fee. In some cases you might need a “species license” and this will also come with a bag limit.
Non residents are not allowed to apply for an ID or hunting license. If you are coming to the area specially for the hunting season you must be accompanied by a registered guide outfitter. Your guide must hold a valid Accompany to Hunt Permit and then you can apply for a non resident hunting license. It should be mentioned that the license does come with a fee that must be paid in full with your application. However, if you are only planning on hunting small game then you will only need a temporary license.
Even if you’re a resident of British Columbia you will need to have a valid federal arms license, and this actually applies to all Canadians that want to own a gun. If you don’t own a firearm but still want to go hunting, it is legal to do so with a friend as long as they have a valid license. You can legally aim, fire and take down large and small game, as long as the licensed gun owner is standing nearby. Anyone under the age of 18 can also hunt with a firearm as long as they are closely supervised by an adult that holds valid hunting and firearm licenses.
If you are a non resident and are planning on bringing a firearm into Canada for the purpose of hunting large or small game you must be 18 years of age or older. The firearm must also be declared at customs and approved in writing by a Canadian customs official. If you do not declare your weapon before entering the county, chances are you will spend the hunting season sitting in jail.
These are the two most important things everyone needs to know before they consider hunting in British Columbia. I’ve also found that the Fish & Wildlife Department is more than willing to help residents and non-residents fill out the required paperwork and answering any questions that you might have.