Online hunting changes

B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources announces amendments for hunting in the province.

The B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources has introduced new legislative amendments to make licensing and permits easier for hunters.

The new amendments will support the launch of an online licensing system for hunters. The new system will allow for B.C. hunters to obtain their hunting licence online, and apply for certain permits and licences to be issued on the same day.

Last year, the government launched an online portal for hunters to apply for hunting credentials, limited entries and new Fish and Wildlife ID. Lake Windermere District Rod & Gun Club president Richard Hoar found last year’s new online system user-friendly and expects the new system to be the same.

“The option was open; they could go to the government agent and the government agent would walk them through it and help them and carry it out. I suspect that’s going to be the same way with the hunting as well, that there will be the option for those who are computer illiterate or not familiar with that to just go to the government agent,” said Hoar.

The new amendments will allow for conservation officers to request photo ID from hunters, trappers and anglers to verify identification. Hoar expects this amendment will raise questions for members of the club who may not have a photo ID. Anyone hunting would have their Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL), which is photo ID, but those fishing won’t.

“So if you’re not hunting and don’t have a PAL and you don’t have a driver’s licence, where is a person going to get photo ID? That would be a question that our members would be asking: ‘Where do I get a photo ID for that?’ said Hoar.

As for the allowance of same-day permits, Hoar expects that hunters will still have to go through a vetting process, but was hopeful the new approach will improve wait times.

“The permitting system now is horrendous. It takes months sometimes to get some of these permits just because the staffing levels are so poor within the government that you have to wait,” said Hoar.

As the new legislatuive amendments are being rolled out, the public will have to wait for further information regarding what permits will be available online. The new system will streamline the licensing, permitting and reporting system, taking more services for hunters, anglers and trappers online.