Using an Aircraft to Locate Wildlife for the Purpose of Hunting

Regulation Number: 
Regulation Type: 
General Open Season
Limited Entry Hunting
Closing Date: 
January 19, 2020 at midnight
Decision Statement: 

This regulation was approved as proposed and is included in the 2020-2022 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis.

Current Regulations: 

There are currently no prohibitions on sharing the location of wildlife spotted from an aircraft to a person on the ground for the purpose of hunting. 

Proposed Regulations: 

Prohibit the sharing of location of wildlife from an aircraft to a person on the ground for the purpose of hunting. 


This proposed regulation has been requested by the Provincial Hunting and Trapping Advisory Team. For more information on the process that led to the request refer to the “Additional Information” section at the bottom of this page.

Using an aircraft to locate wildlife, and then sharing that location information with hunters on the ground provides an advantage to hunters that is not considered by stakeholders to in line with provincial hunting principles.

Additional Information: 

A sub-committee of the Provincial Hunting and Trapping Advisory Team (PHTAT) with representatives from the B.C. Wildlife Federation, Guide Outfitters Association of B.C., B.C. Trappers Association, Wild Sheep Society, Wildlife Stewardship Council, and United Bowhunters of B.C., conducted a review of various hunting practices (methods, tools, and tactics), evaluated those practices against a set of criteria that reflect the principles of fair chase, and recommended management actions for specific hunting practices. These recommendations were accepted by PHTAT and were forwarded to the Province for consideration.

Factors that influenced or informed the Management Action Recommendation included:

  1. Does the hunting method, tool, or tactic:
  • Negate wildlife’s ability to avoid detection?
  • Negate wildlife’s ability to escape once it has detected a threat?
  • Lead to an inhumane treatment of wildlife?
  • Lead to increased wounding loss/jeopardize a hunter’s ability to retrieve the wildlife?
  • Jeopardize public acceptance of hunting?
  • Result in higher harvest rates/reduced opportunity in the future?
  1. Estimated difficulty in enacting a regulation.
  2. Regulatory enforceability.

The Management Action options available for each hunting practice included:

  1. Encourage/discourage the hunting practice through education and/or training
  2. Regulate the hunting practice through legislative prohibitions
  3. Monitor the hunting practice over the coming years to see if it becomes an issue in B.C.
  4. Defer; not of concern and no specific management action or monitoring is required.