The first priority of the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection is to ensure the long-term conservation of wildlife populations and their habitats. The Ministry also recognizes that Indian people have Aboriginal rights to harvest wildlife for sustenance (food, social and ceremonial purposes) in their traditional areas. Such uses of wildlife must be sustainable, and harvesting methods must not jeapordize safety or the use and enjoyment of property. Any hunting of wildlife species for sale or barter in whole or in part, is not legal, except as authorized by regulation or where there is a demonstrated Aboriginal or treaty right to do so.
Under the Wildlife Act ‘Indian’ means a person who is defined as a Status Indian under the Indian Act (Canada).
Indians who are residents of British Columbia are not required to obtain any type of hunting license under the Wildlife Act. Indians who are residents of BC and are exercising an Aboriginal right to hunt for sustenance purposes within a traditionally-used area are required to comply with hunting regulations related to public health and public safety. In situations where conservation of a particular species is of concern and compliance with hunting regulations is required by Indians belonging to a First Nation group, there will be prior consultation with the affected First Nation in accordance with Ministry policy and procedures. These restrictions may include the requirement for Limited Entry Hunting (LEH) authorizations. Prior to undertaking any hunting activity, individuals should inquire with their appropriate First Nation officials or with the MWLAP Regional Office with respect to any specific requirements that may apply to them.
Indians who are residents of BC and wish to hunt outside their traditionally-used areas must do so in accordance with the Hunting Regulations. This includes making application for a LEH authorization via the LEH draw. If an individual is in doubt regarding a traditional hunting area or practice, they should be in contact with the appropriate First Nations officials and the regional Wildlife Program staff to discuss specific situations.
A reminder that all Metis individuals intending to hunt in the upcoming season are required under the Wildlife Act, to hold a valid hunting license and comply with all appropriate hunting regulations. This includes obtaining appropriate species licences and complying with Limited Entry Hunting Regulations.
Limited Entry Hunting
Limited Entry Hunting (LEH) seasons are open to hunters who have drawn the appropriate LEH authorization. LEH seasons and open seasons may coincide for some species in some management units if:
a) the class of animal (sex, age, etc.) is different, or
b) a portion of the management unit is available for LEH only
Species licenses are required in addition to an LEH authorization.
Maps showing LEH zones for seasons that coincide with open seasons are included in this synopsis for reference. Hunters should refer to the Limited Entry Hunting Synopsis published each spring for specific LEH maps.