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By the late 1800s the world’s hunting fraternity knew that British Columbia (BC) harboured one of North America’s most magnificent big game populations. Local hunters started guiding services to meet this demand. Guide territories were established in the late 1940s, but it was not until 1961 that legislation provided exclusive rights to guide non-resident big game hunters in a specific area. This became the foundation of the guide outfitting industry in BC. The guide certificate constitutes property and part of the estate of a guide outfitter.

The success of this model was recognized and quickly adopted in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Guide outfitters developed an understanding of wildlife and wildlife habitat within their guiding territory. This ownership increased the sense of responsibility and was the beginning of wildlife stewardship. The big game populations in BC are healthy and growing, due, in part, to science-based wildlife management policies that were developed by government in cooperation with guide outfitters.

Hunters pay for conservation. Since 1981 license surcharge dollars from guides, hunters, trappers, and anglers have risen over $100 million in BC. These funds are administered through the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) and have resulted in more than 2,000 wildlife management and habitat enhancement projects. Forty percent (40%) of these funds are generated by the licenses, tags, royalties, and fees from non-residents.

A guide outfitter is an entrepreneur with the leadership qualities; business acumen and organizing ability necessary to assist clients achieve their specific objective in British Columbia’s outdoors. Guide outfitters are the founders of the tourism industry and an important part of the outdoor heritage of BC. They enjoy showcasing “super, natural British Columbia” and derive great satisfaction from their clients’ enjoyment. More than 5,000 hunters come to BC each year and spend more, per day, per capita, than any other visitor to our province. The guide outfitting industry in BC generates about $116 million of economic activity each year.
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