Youth Hunting in B.C.

For the purposes of hunting regulations in B.C., a youth is 10 years of age or older and under the age of 18. A person under the age of 10 years must not hunt wildlife, and a person who causes or allows a person under the age of 10 years to hunt commits an offence. Once a person turns 18 years old they are no longer considered a youth.

There are 2 types of hunting licenses available to youth in B.C., eligibility for these licenses depend on whether the youth has completed hunter safety training:

  • A Resident (basic) hunting licence
  • A Youth licence

Youth hunters may participate in youth hunting seasons regardless of what type of hunting licence they hold.

Resident hunting licence

Resident youth 10 years of age or older may obtain a hunting licence, provided they meet the qualifications for a resident hunting licence. Youth under 18 years of age who obtain a hunting licence must be accompanied by an adult who carries the proper licences and meets the qualifications to be a supervising hunter.

Individuals under 18 holding a resident hunting licence (not a youth licence) may obtain their own species licences and have their own bag limit, which are the same bag limits as those listed in the hunting and trapping synopsis. They are also permitted to participate in youth hunting seasons.

Youth licence

The youth hunting licence is available for youth 10 years of age or older and under 18 years of age. This licence allows the youth to hunt under a supervising hunting without having to complete hunting safety training.

The youth hunting licence can be purchased via BC Hunting Online or at participating vendor locations. The licence costs $7.00.

A parent or legal guardian must purchase, as well as hold, the youth hunting licence on behalf of the youth. To purchase the youth hunting licence, the parent or the guardian must sign a Written Undertaking, confirming that the parent or guardian is fully responsible for the actions of his or her child or ward while the child or ward is hunting or carrying a firearm in B.C. The form must be submitted with the application for hunting licences. A hunting licence cannot be issued to a youth without this form.

Bag limits

The holder of a youth licence does not have an individual bag limit for game.

Individual species licences may not be purchased under the youth hunting licence. The supervising hunter must hold the appropriate uncancelled species licence for any species that is hunted. Any game harvested by a youth must be accounted for and is part of the bag limit of the supervising hunter. This includes any limited entry hunting authorizations.

If the individual with a youth hunting licence is hunting with a licensed guide, the youth is allowed their own bag limits for small game only. All other game harvested by a youth remains part of the bag limit of the supervising hunter.

Supervising hunter for a youth hunter

Youth who participate in hunting in B.C. must be accompanied by, and under the close personal supervision of, an adult 18 years or age or older, who holds a hunting licence (unless exempted) and meets the qualifications as a supervising hunter.

A supervising hunter must be 18 years of age or older, hold a hunting licence (other than an initiation hunting licence) or be exempted from holding a hunting licence, and meet the following qualifications:

  • The person must hold a FWID with a hunting credential
  • The person must have held a hunting licence in B.C. (other than an initiation hunting licence) or a licence to hunt elsewhere in not fewer than three of any of the licence years preceding the current licence year (or be exempted from holding a licence)
  • If the person is an Indian as defined by the Indian Act (Canada) and residing in B.C., the previous bullets do not apply and the person must have received training in hunting and previously hunted lawfully without supervision
  • The person must not be prohibited from carrying or possessing a firearm

If the individual with a youth hunting licence is hunting with a licensed guide, the above qualifications do not apply to the supervising hunter.

The supervising hunter may accompany no more than:

  • Two youth hunting licence holders at one time
  • One youth and one initiation licence holder at one time
  • Two initiation hunting licence holders at one time