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.
Here’s what CORE graduates say about their new path:
Jenny Ly, BCWF Director
Hunting requires long stretches of silence, and it’s become a form of mediation, making me feel closer to nature and my true self.
Choosing what I eat in a natural habitat and taking only what I need is a mindful practice that brings me closer to nature. As someone with a passion for all things food, it’s enriching and a wild feeling to be able to connect with my nourishment on this primal level.
Observing nature has made me feel more connected to it because I started realizing how similar all living things are to each other. Most of us strive to eat, find shelter and community; we take and give. It’s a beautiful cycle that I’m grateful to be intimately involved with through hunting and gathering my food.
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:
- Law and Regulations
- First Aid and Survival
- Firearm Safety
- Animal Identification
- Bird Identification
- Indigenous Peoples & Hunting in BC
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 must 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.
CORE COVID-19 Update
The office is now open to the public. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. We are closed on weekends and statutory holidays.
CORE Courses and COVID-19
Due to COVID-19, many CORE examiners will be choosing to cancel or postpone in-person courses and exam challenges. CORE examiners are independent sub-contractors who make their own schedules and will determine, at their sole discretion, for the health and safety of themselves and their family, if they choose to provide any service at this time.
If examiners choose to provide challenge exams, the following procedures have been suggested, which are in line with recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer:
- Examiners wash hands and change gloves before & after each student/exam challenge.
- Clean and disinfect all surfaces between each student/exam challenges. Click here to see the approved disinfectants.
- Wearing masks in public indoor settings is not required by public health. Wearing a mask is a personal choice. Masks are encouraged in indoor spaces, but not required. Individual businesses and event organizers can choose to continue requiring masks on their premises. It’s important that we respect the choices of people, businesses and one another.
- Maintain the minimum recommended 6 feet (2-metres) safe social distance between all people at all times.
- There is only 1 person allowed in the office at any time.
- Masks are required.
- Expect to wait for your CORE Certificate for approximately 30 minutes.
- Mail: for regular forms, the processing time is 7 to 10 business days once it reaches our office. Please note that due to COVID-19, Canada Post’s delivery estimate for regular mail is 7 to 10 business days.
- Rush forms by XpressPost processing time is 3 to 5 business days once it reaches our office. Canada Post’s mailing estimate is 1 to 3 business days, but due to COVID-19, it has
suspended delivery guarantees and delays are possible.
- Please do not mail cash. Cheques are not accepted.
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.
Please Note: due to increases in postage costs, the Rush Xpress Post option for mailing the Core Graduation Certificate has increased from $20.00 to $22.00.
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).
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.