Planning and Preparation for Your Hunt in BC
Planning and Preparation for Your Hunt in BC
Careful Planning and Preparing for your BC hunt
- Educate yourself about the game you’ll be hunting and its environment.
- Obtain the most current BC regulations and refer to the BC Hunting and Trapping Synopsis.
- Understand the Limited Entry Hunts ( LEH ) in BC.
- Buy appropriate clothing and gear for the environment.
- Secure lease arrangements and permits (dogs and horses may require veterinarian’s certificate or current vaccination record).
- Visit the site in the off-season to prepare blinds and cabin facilities.
- Sight-in rifles, handguns, and bows; pattern shotguns.
- Sharpen your skills at a shooting range.
- Pack extra firearms, scopes, bow strings, etc.
Know Your GAME
It is critical to educate yourself about the game you’re hunting. Understanding your game will increase your success and add to the enjoyment of the experience as well.
- Knowing your quarry may be necessary to ensure that you’re taking a legal game. You may need to determine the sex of game birds on sight or quickly recognize protected species as they move into firing range. If you hunt in southeastern Bc where white-tailed and mule deer occupy the same area, you’ll need to know how to identify both.
- There are many ways that wild animals are classified, but hunters are concerned with four basic categories:
- Large mammals: Big game, such as deer, elk, and black bear
- Small mammals: Small game, such as rabbits, squirrels, and racoons
- Upland birds: Turkey, grouse, quail, and dove
- Waterfowl: Ducks and geese
Animals can be identified by four basic characteristics.
- Distinctive Markings: The black cheek patch on male pronghorns; the “flags” of the white-tailed deer; the green head on a mallard drake; the red, white, and blue on the head of a male turkey.
- Sounds: The familiar honk of the goose; the gobble of a strutting “tom”; the grunt of the deer; and the howl of the coyote
- Movement: The bounce of mule deer; the fast or slow wing beats of some waterfowl; the zigzag in-flight pattern of the common snipe when flushed
- Group Behavior: Flock patterns, such as the familiar “V” shape of certain migratory birds; various types of herd behaviour
Still Hunting: Walking stealthily through an animal’s habitat, stopping frequently to scan and listen for game. Big-game hunters use this method in unfamiliar terrain, or where stands are impractical or forbidden. Spend at least ten times longer being still and observing than walking. Keep a low profile; a human silhouette will spook many game species. To avoid being mistaken for game by other hunters, always wear fluorescent orange.
The difference between still hunting and stalking is that when stalking, you follow signs leading to a particular type of game, or close the distance to game already spotted. You may follow tracks on trails or a morning dew trail through leaves and brush, or follow sounds or scents of animals. Or you may sneak closer to an animal for a better shot. Stalking requires total focus—remember to keep downwind, stay quiet, and stay alert and patient. Use caution when stalking a turkey—the sound you hear may be another hunter “calling.”
Involves sitting or standing in one spot. Location may offer a vantage point or spot near an animal’s trails. Posting is effective when you know where the game is travelling each day and you’re not allowed to use a blind or stand. Find a posting location that allows you to freely swing the firearm or draw the bow.
Makeshift or temporary structures located on the ground that conceal hunters. They’re made of everything from plywood to branches. Situate ground blinds downwind, away from the sun, and where the foreground and background are safest.
Elevated Stands (tower stands or tree stands):
These offer advantages to both firearm and bow hunters. Tower stands are above-ground seats or blinds that conceal the hunter above the level of the quarry. Tree stands are stands placed in or against trees. Check the condition of elevated stands routinely. Also inspect for insects, owls, and small mammals before entering a stand.
An effective technique for most animals. A skilful hunter uses sounds to attract animals close enough for an effective shot. There are a variety of sounds that can be imitated to draw game to you:
- Territorial sounds: Deer “rattling,” elk “bugle,” or a turkey “gobble”
- Feeding sounds: A duck’s feeding “chuckle”
- Distress sounds: Inviting coyotes, bobcats, or foxes to feed
Involves a group of hunters, some acting as “drivers” and others as “posters.” Drivers spread out across field or woods and push the game out of cover. Posters take a position at the end of the cover to intercept game pushed out by drivers. It is critical that everyone involved in a drive is aware of the position of other drivers and posters. Wear fluorescent orange and never shoot in the direction of another hunter.
Involves using noise, movement, or dogs to cause the game to become nervous and leave cover. Pause frequently when attempting to flush game. When you vary your pace, your quarry may think it has been detected and be more likely to leave cover.
Several breeds of dogs can be used for hunting different game species. Some dogs can be used to hunt several types of game animals: •
- Pointers: Used primarily for upland game birds
- Retrievers: Large, hearty dogs used primarily to retrieve waterfowl
- Spaniels: Used mainly as flushers
- Hunting Hounds: Used to hunt racoons and rabbits, cougars.
Free CORE Hunter Education Online Study Guide
Free online resources and study materials to help you prepare for your CORE Hunter Education Course.
Free resources and study materials to help you prepare for your Canadian Firearms Safety Course. No need to print the manual or bring the manual to your course with BC Firearm Academy. No need to print the manual or bring the manual to your course with BC Firearm Academy.
This course is designed to prepare you for the CORE Hunter Education Course examination and as a companion guide to the in-person course. Register for the exam challenge or the online course BC Firearms Academy.
A free online study guide to help you stay safe in the bear country of BC. This online guide will help you work, hunt, hike, and camp safely in the backcountry of BC.
This Canadian Firearms Safety Course & Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course runs over two days from 9:30 am to 5 pm. This is the course required for your Canadian Firearms Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL).
Canadian Firearms Safety Course Non-Restricted Only - CFSC - Canadian Firearms Safety Course. This Canadian Firearms Safety Course runs over 1 day from 9:30 am to 5 pm.
Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course – Restricted Only This Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course runs over 1 day from 9:30 am to 5 pm. Testing is completed on the day of instruction.
Combined - Canadian Firearms Safety Course - Non-Restricted Only & CORE Hunter Education Course This is a 2 Day combined course. The Non-restricted Canadian Firearms Safety Courses is completed on the first day.
Personal Coaching, One on One Instruction & Range Training. Accelerate what you’re out to accomplish. Address what matters most to your shooting goals.
For individuals who have completed a BC Firearm Academy Canadian Firearms Safety Course Only. The RCMP firearms program no longer allows individuals to challenge the firearms safety course.
This course is designed for those working in the bush or the outdoor enthusiast that spends time in bear country. For individuals who have completed a BC Firearm Academy Canadian Firearms Safety Course Only. The RCMP firearms program no longer allows individuals to challenge the firearms safety course.