Hunting in B.C.
Hunting Regulation Changes in Response to Kootenay Wildfires
The Province is taking action to protect big game wildlife in portions of the Kootenay Region that were severely affected by wildfires this past summer.
Effective immediately, five fire perimeters in the vicinity of White/Bull River, Linklater Creek, Lamb Creek, Soowa Mountain and Island Pond, will be closed to motor vehicles for the purpose of hunting from September 1 to June 30 each year. Please click here for maps of the affected areas.
While wildfires can have beneficial impacts on wildlife, wildfires have also increased the vulnerability of hunted big game wildlife. Newly built fire guards coupled with existing fire guards from previous fires, and other industrial road construction, have enabled greater hunter access to remote habitats that were previously only accessible by foot. Lines of sight for hunters have increased dramatically in some areas of high fire severity where vegetation has burned.
To address the increased vulnerability of wildlife to hunters, the restrictions are expected to be in place until access and visibility conditions return to a state where wildlife is less vulnerable. As part of wildfire recovery efforts, the ministry is also prioritizing areas for reforestation and wildlife habitat restoration.
Hunting Closures Will Help Protect Moose
Two areas of the Cariboo Region severely impacted by wildfires this summer will be closed to moose hunting for the October 15-31 and November 1-15 seasons.
Zones A and C of management unit 5-13 in the Cariboo contain high quality moose habitat that was severely affected by the Chilcotin Plateau Fire. In addition, the area is important to First Nations for sustenance hunting.
Closure of these zones applies to all licensed hunting, including resident and guided hunters. The moose hunting closure announced today is for an area immediately north of Highway 20 and west of Williams Lake and Quesnel. The closure was recommended by ministry biologists. It comes on the heels of a ban on motor vehicles for the purpose of licensed hunting within the Chilcotin Plateau and Hanceville-Riske Creek area last week.
These measures are first steps to mitigate wildlife vulnerability to hunters as a result of increased access and sight lines following the burning of major tracts of forest this past summer.
The areas impacted by today’s hunting ban will be assessed over the winter to determine what levels of sustainable hunting opportunity will be available in the coming years.
For Zones A, B and C of Management Unit 5-13 please click here to see Map.
Quote from Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development:
“This has been an unprecedented wildfire season, with parts the Cariboo particularly hard hit. With moose populations already declining in this management zone, we need to take steps now to protect wildlife and ensure healthy moose populations in the future.”
Hunting ATV & Motor Vehicle Restrictions
The Province is taking action to protect big game wildlife in areas severely impacted by wildfires this summer.
In the long-term wildlife benefit from wildfire; however, in the short-term there can be negative impacts. For example, wildfires in the Thompson and Cariboo regions have enabled motor vehicle access by hunters to remote moose and mule deer habitats that were previously only accessible by foot. In addition, loss of vegetation from fires has significantly increased lines of sight for hunters.
To address the increased vulnerability of wildlife to hunters, two motor vehicle restrictions are being implemented under the Wildlife Act:
- ATV for Hunting Restrictions in M.U. 3-28, 3-29 and 3-30 and that portion of M.U. 3-17 north of Highway 99. Click here to see Map
- Motor Vehicle Hunting Restrictions, except designated roads, within portions of M.U. 5-4, 5-13 and 5-14. Click here to see Map
The restrictions are expected to be in place until access and visibility conditions return to a state where wildlife is less vulnerable. These new restrictions do not apply to First Nations exercising aboriginal rights to hunt.
The restrictions are immediate and government will monitor their effectiveness. Dependent on the review, further hunting restrictions may be implemented.
Electronic-based resident hunting licences are now available online. If you buy your species licence online, it will be mailed to you. You cannot buy a species licence online and pick it up in-person. If you want to hunt within a few days of buying your species licence, you should buy it at a vendor or at any Service BC or FrontCounter BC location.
Need help using the BC Hunting online system? See our quick reference guides.
The 2017 Fall Limited Entry Hunting Draw has been run.
The Special Mountain Sheep Resident Draw for a 2018 Hunt is open for applications from June 22, 2017 until 11:59 pm on July 28, 2017.
Resident hunters should be familiar with B.C. hunting laws and regulations.
Resident hunters need a Fish & Wildlife ID (FWID) to apply for Limited Entry Hunting or to buy a hunting licence.
Where to buy
You can buy hunting licences or Limited Entry Hunting (LEH) applications in a number of ways:
- Photo ID
- FWID (or Hunter Number)
- Hunt codes (for LEH)
Through the BC Hunting online service. You will need:
- A Basic or Personal BCeID.
- Your Fish and Wildlife ID or your Hunter Number.
- A credit card for online payment.
- Hunt codes (for LEH). These are listed in the LEH Regulations Synopsis (PDF, 11.7MB), or you can view them online when you apply.
You can apply for your FWID and hunting credentials online or at Service BC or FrontCounter BC.
Need help with the BC Hunting online system?
Learn more about:
- Limited Entry Hunting applications
- Group/Shared hunts
- Fish & Wildlife ID
- B.C. resident hunting credentials
- How to access your profile or apply for credentials - Adult (PDF)
- How to access your profile or apply for credentials - Youth (PDF)
- Update your Fish & Wildlife profile (PDF)
- How to buy a resident hunting licence for yourself (PDF)
- How to buy species licences (PDF)
- How to buy a licence on behalf of a youth (PDF)
- How to buy an initiation licence (PDF)
- How to buy special area licences (PDF)
Limited Entry Hunting: