On Point Training offers the CORE Hunter Education Program. CORE stands for Conservation Outdoor Recreation Program and is British Columbias recognised Hunter Education Program.
The path to becoming a legal hunter in British Columbia involves some study, a practical and written exam and beyond that, obtaining a Fish & Wildlife ID number, an annual hunting licence and species tags in some cases. There is a handy infographic here that describes the process in summary.
BC residents who are 18 years of age or older and who wish to obtain a hunting licence are required to complete the CORE Program. This course is open to anyone aged 10 years and older and specific youth only classes are also offered. The recommended age for a youth specific course is between 10 and 14 years of age but is dependant on the child.
The CORE program – classroom option
16 – 18hrs of instruction time, not including breaks or examination time.
Topics covered: •
- Law and Regulations
- First Aid and Survival
- Firearm Safety
- Animal Identification
- Bird Identification
The CORE program – self-study option
Study and preparation for the CORE exams have modernised in recent years to meet with advances in technology and busier personal schedules. Unlike the CFSC and CRFSC firearms courses which must be taught in person, the convenience of quality online training as a practical study method for the CORE exam has been embraced thoroughly by the public. In contrast, while the face-to-face CORE courses are more thorough and enjoyable, they come at a higher financial cost and take a great deal more time.
To self-study for the CORE exam, a prospective hunter has several options:
- Use the resources available online:
- Obtain a physical copy of the manual from most outdoor stores or booksellers
- Mawsons Sports, Creston
- Mountain Man Outdoors, Cranbrook
- Use both the online and the physical copy
With all other factors being equal, the BCWF course provides the best value; at $98+tax it is more expensive than the Hunter Course but it does include the mandatory $30 fee that BCWF charge for processing the application, making it cheaper overall. One more consideration when looking at the costs of self-study is that the online courses and physical manual can be utilised by multiple members of the household. Be aware though that the courses tend to be time-limited (often 90 days) and in the case of the first course, only one BCWF processing fee is included.
The physical CORE Manual explains the self-study method and like the online courses, also has sample questions to prepare you for the written examinations. A combination of reading, previous firearms handling experience and training, or tutoring maybe required to prepare you for the firearms practical examination. The Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis should be used as a study tool and you should be very familiar with the contents of it before challenging your exam.
The CORE exam – challenge option following self-study:
Once you have self-studied and feel you are ready to take the exam, we can provide the facility for you to do so. Experience has shown that you should allow around 90 minutes to complete the written-only exam.
We have found that many people underestimate the complexity and depth of the CORE exam and struggle considerably. Self-study is important; you may know how to hunt, you may have been hunting for years but you must recognise that the self-study is teaching you to pass the exam.
The written examination consists of 80 multiple-choice questions based on the CORE Manual and the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis.
You must obtain at least 60 points overall to pass the written examination. Supplemental information from the CORE Manual is not tested.
There is no time limit for the written examination although we find most students take between 60 and 90 minutes to complete the exam. Upon completion of the exam, the student will be provided with their final score. A failed exam must be retaken on a date other than the day of the original test.
Practical Firearms Handling Exam
The practical firearms handling examination requires the safe handling of two of the five types of firearm actions, including the identification and loading/unloading use of dummy ammunition. A minimum score of 23 out of 30 is required for a pass. The examiner will provide the firearms.
Individuals who have satisfactorily completed the Canadian Firearm Safety Course (CFSC) AND can provide the CORE examiner with the completed CFSC report form (RCMP 5484 or similar) showing successful test completion are exempt from the practical firearms handling examination. Students who have successfully passed the CFSC through On Point Training have this evidence on file with us and need not supply an additional copy.
IMPORTANT NOTE: your PAL or POL license card is not sufficient; a copy of your CFSC course report form must be provided. This can be obtained through your CFSC instructor in most circumstances.
The Application Process:
Upon successful completion of the CORE program and its required examinations, you will be provided with a signed course report which you must submit to the BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) for processing. The BCWF will then provide you with your actual certificate. This certificate can then be used to apply for a Fish and Wildlife ID (FWID). Your FWID is a permanent number linked to your online profile and replaces the old BC resident Hunter Number card. The FWID is required when applying for your annual hunting licence, when applying for any Limited Entry Hunting draws or the purchase of your tags for legal hunting in BC.
The BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) operates the CORE program on behalf of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations. All CORE examiners are appointed under provincial regulation and are permitted to instruct classes and conduct examinations on behalf of the above.
For more information and FAQ – follow this link to the BCWFs website