BC offers some of the most incredible terrain you will encounter in North America. Regardless of the species being pursued, preparing physically, mentally and dealing with logistics in advance is a necessity. Hunting on horses and relying on your outfitter makes life much easier and increases your ability to push limits and reach game that other hunters are missing. Foregoing the preliminary paperwork and details can put a halt to everything as well. Take care of every last detail before pursuing a northern BC hunt.
While it’s very easy to travel with firearms, Canada has zero tolerance for bringing undeclared firearms across the border. Have your paperwork in hand to ensure you have a smooth transition and see your rifle on the other end. Even folks going to Alaska with a stopover have to fill out the forms. The correct declaration form is the CAFC 909 EF. This is always subject to change, so be sure and rely on the expertise of your outfitter for the most up-to-date information.
It’s a non-resident firearm declaration that essentially states the purpose of your firearm. Take care of this in advance and prepare to answer for every line on your paperwork. In most cases, it’s smooth sailing but we always recommend that you book connecting flights with plenty of time in between – just in case.
Terrain and Conditions
Congratulations, you made it across the border! Now take a look at the vertical. The terrain in BC tends towards the up and down. Horses are beyond advantageous when available. If you have an experienced outfitter with the hooves to get there, that is fantastic. It’s also the way most folks approach a BC backcountry hunt. Even with horses to cover the distances, it’s rare that a hunter doesn’t burn some boot leather. Show up in shape, as you will likely have a guide pushing to crest that next ridge.
Treat BC like a combination of the Rocky Mountain US and the coastal rainforest. Prepare for the cold, snow and tough temperatures but also prepare for rain. Northern BC has a coastal system that will deliver rain at odd times, even in the high country. Carry your raingear at all times. And consider traveling with a satellite communicator, like the Garmin InReach. Treat your high country trip like a 4 season excursion where winter gear is important.
Taking your game meat back to the states is easy if you are prepared. Your guide will cape and salt the animal in the field. You must provide your taxidermist name and contact info along with a declaration form to transport everything. Your outfitter should assist with this process and make it very easy. But it helps to stay ahead of the curve and prepare your forms.
Kawdy Outfitters is a leading outfitter in northern British Columbia; offering guided hunts for stone sheep, mountain caribou, moose, mountain goat and interior grizzly. Explore the rest of our website at KawdyOutfitters.com. For details or availability, please contact us.
Written by Zach Lazzari
Zach Lazzari is a fly fishing guide and freelance writer. When he’s not fishing, Zach is chasing big game, upland birds and waterfowl in the Rocky Mountains and Northwest