B.C. hunting permits will be going online

By the 2015-2016 season, B.C. hunters should be able to apply for a license online

Hunters will soon be able to apply for a hunting license online.

The B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations announced last week that it has begun work on creating an online service, expected to be in place for the 2015 to 2016 hunting season.

“The new electronic licensing system is a fundamental step forward in improving access to hunting and will help support sustainable wildlife populations by creating a reliable system to collect hunter participation and harvest information,” said Bill Bosch, president of the B.C. Wildlife Federation.

In the 2012 to 2013 hunting season, more than 100,000 hunting licenses were issued in B.C., in part due to B.C.’s Resident Hunter Recruitment and Retention strategy.

Hunting brings $9.2 million in licensing revenues to the B.C. government and brings in $500 to $700 million in economic activity.

The new online licensing service will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week so hunters can easily purchase a license or apply for Limited Entry Hunting opportunities. At the moment, licenses and applications can only be purchased at a Service B.C. office or a licensed vendor, and most are only open during regular business hours.

What’s more, the electronic system will create a single point of reference for data collection, including compulsory inspection information, guide outfitter hunter reports and resident hunter harvest information, all of which will help the government make timely and more informed wildlife management decisions.

“The new electronic licensing program will make it easier than ever for British Columbians to go hunting and will help ensure sound wildlife management decisions support the ministry’s conservation goals,” said Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

The government is inviting bids to design the upgrade. Those wishing to submit a proposal can do so at www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca.