Hunting just became more accessible to both youth and first-time hunters with regulatory amendments to the Wildlife Act.
The changes to the youth hunting licence now make it available for youth aged 10 to 17 years inclusive. Previously, the age range was 10 to 13 years.
The amendments also create a new initiation hunting licence, a mentoring licence that allows a person 18 years or older who has never previously held a hunting licence in B.C. to try hunting for a one-year period. It is a one-time-only licence.
“Hunting will always be an integral part of the social fabric of B.C. and these changes will help introduce a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts to this tradition,” said Steve Thomson, forests, lands and natural resource operations minister, at the Oceola Fish & Game Club annual banquet in Lake Country.
Both licence options represent an opportunity for those new to hunting to try the experience with a limited commitment and under the supervision of an experienced mentor.
It is anticipated that the new licence options will promote hunting uptake among B.C. residents and provide another opportunity for families to get out and enjoy B.C.’s backcountry.
“These changes will provide increased opportunities for youth to try hunting for the first time and will give experienced hunters a chance to foster responsible hunting and appreciation for wildlife and conservation in B.C.,” said Bill Bosch, president of the B.C. Wildlife Federation.