The province is waiving the requirement for CORE (Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education) training for hunters new to the sport.
Hunting is a big source of revenue for the province, with some 84,000 licenses in 2012. Victoria would like to see that number top 100,000 this year and to help accomplish this Minister Steve Thompson’s message in the government’s 2012-14 Hunting and Trapping Synopsis included the following comment:
“To encourage new hunters, we are developing a new expanded Youth Hunting Licence and creating an Initiation Hunting Licence. These licences will provide a chance for novices to have a full hunting experience under the care and supervision of a seasoned mentor.”
“The Initiation Licence will allow a onetime purchase of a trial hunting licence for adults who have never hunted before, but would like to see if it is right for them.”
The B.C. Wildlife Federation (BCWF) operates the CORE Program on behalf of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations.
According to the BCWF website the goal of the CORE Program is to ensure that prospective hunters meet acceptable standards of knowledge and skill for safe and ethical participation in hunting recreation. The program consists of a practical firearms handling test, and a written examination on conservation, ethics, law and regulations, first aid and survival, firearm safety and identification of animals and birds.
That all sounds reasonable. So why scrap it? Giving a hunting licence to someone with no training or education in the sport and sending them into the bush with a loaded rifle sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen.
Why should we be concerned? Because the Boundary has more active hunters in the field than anywhere else in the province.