Canadian geese in flight
Sep 8, 2022

What you Need to Hunt with a Firearm in British Columbia

Want to get into hunting in time for the 2021 season?  As an adult (18 or older),  BC resident wanting to hunt with a firearm, we will explain two options to get you out in the field this season.  Both of the options below require taking the CORE course to obtain a FWID and will permit you to hunt under your own license*.

*Note:  there is an option called an “Initiation Hunting License” that can be used only once in a persons lifetime.  You can find out more or purchase one here.

The first is to get your Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) by taking the Canadian Firearms Safety course.  Combined with a FWID (after taking your CORE course) this option will allow you to hunt with a non-restricted firearm unsupervised.  The second option allows you to hunt but requires that you do so with a licensed partner who has their PAL.   To make sure you get yourself on the right path, we will go into both options in greater detail below and included links to both courses to help.

Option 1 - Hunting with your Non-Restricted Firearm

This option is for outdoor enthusiasts who want to hunt with their own non-restricted firearm. We recommend obtaining your Possession and Acquisition Licence, PAL, first. One might think that it would be logical to take the CORE Hunter Education course certificate first, but hear us out.

If you intend to hunt with a personal firearm and do not have a valid PAL, then you will have to take the Canadian Firearms Safety (CFSC/ CRFSC) course. The reason we recommend that students take the Canadian Firearms Safety course first is so they safely and legally know how to handle their firearms before heading into the field.

Hunter with Duck

Once you have your PAL, you are now ready to take the CORE Hunter Education course. Because you have already taken and passed Canadian Firearms Safety course (CFSC/ CRFSC), you can now be exempted from the practical examination that occurs in the CORE course.

In order to be exempt from the practical exam, students must provide proof of PAL course completion ie. course reports (these are given to you at the end of your CFSC / CRFSC class provided you’ve passed). If you’re a previous student of Silvercore, we’ll automatically check our records to see if you can be exempted and will mark the class list for the instructor accordingly. Please note that a valid PAL, gun license, is not accepted as proof for an exemption for the practical test as per BCWF regulations.

Once you have completed both the Canadian Firearms Safety course and the CORE Hunter Education course you can then safely and legally hunt in B.C. with your own non-restricted firearm.

Option 2 - Hunting with a Partner who has a Valid PAL

If you decide not to take the Canadian Firearms Safety course, there is still a mandatory non-restricted practical exam within the CORE course. What this means is that you are still able to hunt legally in B.C. with a non-restricted firearm without a valid PAL. Confused? Let us explain.

To hunt legally in B.C., all that is required of you is to complete the CORE Hunter Education course and obtain your Fish & Wildlife ID (FWID). Meaning you can hunt with a firearm, without a license, as long as you’re under the direct supervision of someone who does have a valid PAL. You are required to stay near someone with a valid PAL so they can monitor your safety and handling of the non-restricted firearm.

Hunters in camouflage gear

Here at Silvercore, we recommend that individuals take both the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and the CORE Hunter Education course. This recommendation is to ensure all our students are adequately prepared, filled to the brim with knowledge and skills to enjoy the great outdoors safely and confidently.

If you prefer to study in the comfort of your home and on your own time, Silvercore has created an online training course for the CORE Hunter Eduction course as well as a full online prep course for the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and Restricted Safety course

So it’s your choice! Whether you decide to take both courses or just the one, we are here to help you every step of the way. Should any further questions arise, please call our office at 604-940-7785 or email [email protected]

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