Education for safe and ethical hunting
The Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) program is British Columbia’s hunter education program.
The program ensures you have the basic knowledge and skill requirements for safe and ethical participation in hunting. If you are 18 years of age or older and you are a BC resident, you are required to complete the CORE program if you wish to obtain a hunting licence.
The CORE Program consists of a practical firearms handling test, and a written examination on all of the following subjects:
- Law and Regulations
- First Aid and Survival
- Firearm Safety
- Animal Identification
- Bird Identification
You can learn about all of these subjects through the CORE Manual (available on the BCWF Online Store) and the Hunting and Trapping Regulation Synopsis. You can also study for your CORE exam online! Online Hunter Education Course Now Available
In addition to the cost of classroom or online courses, there is a written test fee of $30 and a second practical test fee of $30.
Certified examiners offer CORE Courses. Examiners offering CORE Courses should provide complete examination preparation and may make arrangements for testing by CORE Examiners. Course fees may vary with these independent courses.
The examination process
You must complete a registration form, provided by the CORE Examiner, prior to starting the examinations. Until both exams have been successfully completed, the registration form should be kept to be shown to an examiner each time an examination is taken.
Two tests required
The written examination
The written examination consists of 75 multiple-choice questions based on the CORE Manual and the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis.
You must obtain at least 56 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. Upon completion of the test, the examiner will provide you the results. A failed exam must be retaken on a date other than the day the test was failed. Each time an examination is taken, a $30 fee is payable to the examiner.
Practical firearms handling examination
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.
If you have satisfactorily completed the Canadian Firearm Safety Course (CFSC), you do not need to complete the CORE practical firearm-handling examination.
You must provide the CORE Examiner with the completed CFSC report form showing successful test completion to be exempt from the practical firearms handling examination.
A Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) and/or Possession Only Licence (POL) are NOT acceptable for the exemption to the CORE practical firearms handling exam.
When both examinations have been successfully completed, the examiner will give you a document of completion. You must send this form, along with a $30 administration fee, payable to the BCWF, to obtain a graduation certificate.
You will need to take this graduation certificate to the local Service B.C. office and request a B.C. Resident Hunter Number Card (RHNC). There is no cost for the RHNC. Before a RHNC is issued, you will have to prove that you are a BC resident and that you meet the minimum age requirements.
With your RHNC, you may purchase a hunting licence and enter the limited entry-hunting draw.
The BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) operates the CORE Program on behalf of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations.
Share your knowledge
CORE Examiners operate on their own schedules and are appointed under the Hunter Safety Training Regulation. The CORE Examiners provide the written exam and practical firearm-handling exam.
Potential CORE students should contact the CORE Examiners to obtain a mutually agreeable arrangement for testing or to inquire about the availability of optional instruction in CORE subject material. Please contact the examiner prior to 9:00 PM.
There is a $30.00 fee payable to the examiner for each of the two required tests (written and practical) or Examination retakes.
On successful completion of the two tests, an administration fee of $30.00 must be provided to the BCWF. The CORE student will forward this fee to the BCWF. A graduation certificate will be mailed to the student. If the administrative fee is paid by cheque please make it payable to the BC Wildlife Federation.
The instructor sets fees for the instruction of CORE. Students should ask what the instruction fees cover.
Find a CORE Examiner
View the list below of CORE Examiners or call or visit a Service B.C Centre, contact the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, or call the BCWF at 1-888-881-2293.
The asterisks * beside the Examiners name indicates that this individual also teaches the Canadian Firearm Safety Course. That program is used to obtain a Federal Firearms Licence.
Becoming a CORE Examiner
Do you want to share your knowledge of the outdoors with others? Becoming a CORE Examiner is an opportunity for those experienced in the outdoors and hunting to share their knowledge with new hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. If this interests you, please feel free to download our Examiner Application and email it back to our CORE Coordinator.