Guide outfitters will get a much-needed break on paperwork starting April 1, when amendments to the Wildlife Act come into force that will triple the amount of time available to provide a hunting report to government.
The government also reaffirmed its commitment to more than double the maximum term of the guiding territory certificate by no later than July 1, providing guides greater business security so they can concentrate on what they do best: giving visitors to British Columbia a first-class hunting experience.
Both amendments have been eagerly awaited by guide professionals since they were approved as part of Wildlife Act amendments during the fall 2011 sitting of the legislature. The amendments also contained changes to benefit resident hunters, such as an expanded youth licence and a new Initiation Hunting Licence. These amendments will be implemented before the end of the year.
Guide Reports (effective April 1)
Guides must submit a report to government after the conclusion of a hunt. Previously, this report was required within 10 days. This tight window represented a hardship for guide outfitters, particularly those located in more isolated areas. The new regulation, effective tomorrow, increases the allowable time to 30 days.
Guiding Territory Certificates (anticipated no later than July 1)
Guiding territory certificates allow guide outfitters to exclusively ply their trade and hire themselves out to non-resident hunters in a defined area. Changes to the act will increase the duration of these certificates from a maximum of 10 to a maximum of 25 years, giving guides increased business certainty.
A certificate issued for 25 years after the act changes can be renewed after 15 years have elapsed. Those who renew under the old system before the changes are implemented can renew after five years have elapsed.
All currently licensed guides have been advised of these changes so they can make decisions on when to renew their certificate in the best interests of their businesses.
The Province continues to actively work with guide outfitters to identify additional ways to provide confidence and certainty to this important industry.