Learn to Hunt Academy

A two-day in-person workshop to develop your hunting field skills

The BCWF Learn To Hunt Academy is an immersive hunter education program that will help you gain all the practical skills, knowledge, and confidence to be a safe and successful hunter in BC. Whether you’re brand new to hunting or looking to further develop your hunter competencies, this workshop provides the opportunity to learn hands-on skills from local experts.

Watch here for future date announcements!

Instruction Modules

Module 1: Understanding BC Hunting Regulations

This unit will cover some basic information that all hunters should know before setting out to hunt in BC. We will discuss how to use the hunting/trapping synopsis, important regulations, reporting requirements, buying licences, LEH, how to cut a tag, and more. We will also touch on the steps you need to complete before becoming a registered hunter in BC.

Module 2: Choosing a Place to Hunt

Once you have all your hunting credentials and licences, its time to select where and what you want to hunt. This unit will introduce you to several game species in BC and highlight what type of habitat you are likely to find them. Participants will then learn how to use various digital maps and resources to “e-scout” locations from your home. Finally, we will discuss tips for using maps and compass for navigation that are important to understand before heading out.

Module 3: Shooting Range - Shotguns

Head out onto the range to try your hand and shotgun target shooting. We will walk participants through how to safely handle a firearm, gauge selection, shotgun chokes and their applications, and then we will get shooting! Participants will have a chance to fire a shotgun and learn how to hit a moving target safely and effectively.

Module 4: Shooting Range - Rifles

Next, we will move to the rifle range and, again, learn how to safely handle a rifle, how to sight in a rifle, and best practices for shooting long range targets. Participants will have a chance to fire a rifle and discuss when and where to use different calibre rifles for various hunting applications. Participants are not required to have a firearms licence to take part in either of the shooting activities.

Module 5: Planning & Executing Your Hunt

You’re now ready to get out in the field and get hunting! First, we will show participants different hunting strategies, discuss shot placement when lining up a shot on an animal, and walk through a real-world example of essential gear to pack for a hunt. We will have gear for participants to try out in-person to see what works best for everyone. Finally, we’ll head outdoors and search the woods surrounding the Ridgedale Rod & Gun Club for animal sign. Participants will learn what to look for and how to interpret animal sign to better understand animal behaviour and their use of the landscape.

Module 6: Wilderness Safety & First Aid

If you’re going to head out into the backcountry, there is essential safety information that you need. We will cover safety tips and best practices for avoiding injury, how deal with common field injuries if they do happen, and what to carry on remote trips into the wilderness.

Module 7: Field Dressing & Butchering A Big Game Animal

This can be one of the most intimidating aspects of beginning to hunt. Participants will learn through a hands-on demonstration how to field dress a big game animal, how to butcher yourself, and discuss the principles of proper meat care.

Program Instructors

B.C. Conservation Officer Service

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service is a public safety provider focused on natural resource law enforcement and human wildlife conflicts prevention and response. Their vision is to be a progressive and respected leader in environmental compliance and enforcement, shared stewardship, and public safety. As the leading authority on hunting laws and regulations in BC, an officer will walk workshop participants through how to be a responsible and ethical hunter, including everything from how to cut a tag to the proper field dressing procedure to comply with all transportation and reporting requirements.

Browning and Winchester Canada

Rory Gibbs, BC representative for Browning and Winchester Canada, will walk participants through safe firearms practices and help you become a proficient shooter. In addition to shooting instruction, Rory will showcase some of Browning and Winchester’s firearms to workshop participants, and will be an excellent resource to discuss calibre selection, shot placement, and all things firearms!


 Showcasing thousands of products, including hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, boating and wildlife-watching gear, as well as outdoor clothing and outdoor-themed gifts and furnishings, Cabela’s is famous for its strong brand and world-renowned reputation for delivering quality merchandise, value, and legendary customer service. Stephanie Brissette, Sales Manager at Cabela’s Abbotsford, will be attending the workshop to showcase some of Cabela’s line of hunting gear and apparel. Participants will have the chance to try out some gear and see what works best for them!

Iron Butcher Custom

Based in beautiful Maple Ridge, Iron Butcher focuses on providing quality, locally sources meats, charcuterie boards, custom cutting, and game processing. Come out and learn first-hand from Mike Lindsay – an expert in the industry for the past 24 years – and his team to process game in the field and get your hard-earned meat ready for the freezer!

Along with co-owners Mackenzie and Cole, these hard-working butchers have a passion for their trade and are proud to be offering their butchery skills and services to all hunters, farmers, and meat enthusiasts at their new custom cutting and processing shop located in Pitt Meadows, Iron Butcher Custom.

Mark McDonald

Mark McDonald has been a hunter and fisherman all his life and grew up hunting waterfowl and fishing on the Lower Fraser River. As the immediate past president of the Lower Mainland Region of the BCWF, Mark is a Life Member and has been involved with the board for over 25 years. With the values of conservation and generosity passed down by his parents, Mark now sits on the Lower Mainland Regional board along with his son. Mark also takes part in beach and wetland cleanups and has been mentoring youth through the Delta Ladner Rod & Gun Club’s youth program for over 25 years, alongside many other conservation initiatives. Mark is proud to be a part of the largest voice in B.C. for resident hunters and anglers and is an advocate for future generations at the BCWF.

Ridge First Aid

Ridge First Aid is a leading provider for first aid in BC and growing across Canada. They specialize in Wilderness specific programs and believe first-hand experience in guiding hundreds of people over the last 15 years makes them uniquely suited to assist you in experiencing life safely. An instructor will show participants what needs to be in your first aid kit, how to assess and mitigate risk, how to handle common injuries in the field, and what else you need to have with you to stay safe in remote locations.

Ridgedale Rod & Gun Club

The Ridgedale Rod & Gun Club is a vibrant, family-friendly club in Abbotsford, BC that sponsors and supports the recreational and sporting use of firearms, archery, and fishing equipment, and working cooperatively with all levels of government to develop sustainable management practices to conserve fish, wildlife, and the natural environment of British Columbia. Not only will Ridgedale be hosting our workshop, but participants will also learn how to shoot from some of their experienced and knowledgeable instructors.

Silvercore Outdoors

Silvercore Outdoors is Canada’s premier safety training & outdoor education provider. It is their mission to help you develop the skills necessary for outdoor proficiency. Not to be bigger, stronger, or faster, but rather to be more capable and confident. Using a blend of in-person and online training – everything from firearms safety to hunter education to bear safety – Silvercore Outdoors will get you ready for whatever outdoor adventure you seek. Workshop participants will have the pleasure of receiving shooting instruction from one of Silvercore’s experienced instructors.

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