The Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education Program

Your first step toward becoming a hunter or angler

If you are curious about hunting, your place in the natural landscape, and our rich tradition of harvesting wild, natural food, the Conservation Outdoor Recreation Education program is the first step on your journey.

CORE offers expert instruction on safe and ethical hunting, your role in the protection and conservation of wildlife and natural habitat, bird and animal identification, first aid, and firearms safety. CORE will give you the confidence and practical knowledge you need to begin a lifetime of adventure in the outdoors, hunting, angling, and feeding your family and friends.

The B.C. Wildlife Federation’s CORE course can be taken online, followed by an in-person written exam and hands-on training in the safe handling of a firearm.

What are the steps to getting hunting licences?

Education for Safe and Ethical Hunting

The Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) program is British Columbia’s hunter education program. The B.C. Wildlife Federation (BCWF) operates the CORE Program on behalf of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations.

The program ensures you have the basic knowledge and skill requirements for safe and ethical participation in hunting. The program is valuable for anyone interested in outdoor recreation, wildlife and firearms safety. The successful completion of the program is required for B.C. residents age 10 or older who wish to obtain a B.C. Fish & Wildlife ID and hunting credentials, both of which are required to get a B.C resident hunting licence. A hunting credential on your FWID profile shows you have successfully completed hunter safety training. Hunting credentials are available to both residents and non-residents and determines the type of licences you may qualify for.

The CORE Program consists of a practical firearms handling test, and a written examination on all of the following subjects:

  • Conservation
  • Ethics
  • Law and Regulations
  • First Aid and Survival
  • Firearm Safety
  • Animal Identification
  • Bird Identification
  • Indigenous Peoples & Hunting in BC

Click here for a full list of Certified CORE Examiners in BC

Interested in becoming a Core Examiner? For more information email us at

3 Ways to Prepare for your CORE Exams

The BCWF offers 3 ways to get ready for your CORE exam. Through these programs, the BCWF aims to set every participant up for success not only during the two written exams but in all future hunting. Below, we outline the different steps you can take based on your needs and availability.

1. Take an In-Person Course with a Certified Core Examiner

BCWF Certified CORE examiners offer in-person courses and CORE Exam challenges throughout the province.  Course fees vary, please ensure to ask the CORE examiner what the in-person course cost includes. To find an examiner in your area and information on in-person courses or arranging CORE exam challenges, please contact the CORE examiner on our CORE examiner list.

2. Self-study using the BCWF online CORE Course.

The online CORE Hunter Education Course consists of 47 remote lessons to prepare you to complete your in-person exams successfully.  The price includes the mandatory $30 student graduation certificate required to obtain your BC Fish and Wildlife ID (FWID).

3. Self-study from home.

To study independently, you can purchase the CORE manual from our website and study The Hunting & Trapping Regulations Synopsis. After self-studying, contact a certified CORE examiner in your area to schedule an exam.


The examination process

You must complete a registration form, provided by the CORE examiner, prior to starting the examinations. Please contact CORE examiners prior to 7:00 PM. 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.

There are two tests required to get your CORE certificate:


The Written Examination

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.

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) Card is NOT acceptable for exemption from the CORE practical firearms handling exam.

Graduate Certificate

Please Note: due to increases in postage costs, the Rush Xpress Post option for mailing the Core Graduation Certificate has increased to $25.00.

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 and request a Fish & Wildlife ID (FWID). FrontCounter BC and Service BC both offer hunting services and can create a FWID.  Hunters can also apply for a FWID online. There is no cost for the FWID. Before a FWID is issued, you will have to prove that you are a BC resident and that you meet the minimum age requirements.

With your FWID, you may purchase a hunting license and enter the limited entry hunting draw (LEH).

If you need additional information on obtaining your FWID or purchasing hunting licenses, please contact FrontCounter BC.


  • 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.

  • Core Examiners set their own fees for CORE courses. Students should ask what is included in the course fee.

  • Core Replacement Letters are available if you have lost your Core Graduation Certificate, the BCWF administration fee is now $25.00. Please email us at and we will be happy to assist you with this.

Continuing Education

The BCWF offers a online and in-person programs that will expand your skill set and help you navigate the great outdoors.

Check out our:

Interested in getting your PAL?

Learn more about the requirements to purchase or possess a firearm in Canada at the RCMP website.

You can also watch our Learn to Hunt video detailing the steps required to obtain a Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) below: