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Category: Training (Page 1 of 9)

Foraging in the Pacific Northwest

In today’s day and age, foraging is becoming more and more popular and this blog post will be focusing on some of the plants you can forage in the Pacific Northwest.

We will be going over some of the common plant life that you may encounter, where to find it, how to identify it, what nutritional qualities it carries and what it can be used for. We highly encourage you to further research the plants you will be looking for.

Plantlife changes throughout the season and so it only makes sense that we focus on the plants you can find during fall months. These include the following:

  • Stinging Nettle
  • Chickweed
  • Watercress
  • Rose Hip
  • Hairy Bittercress

Now keep in mind, like any other natural resources, there may be restrictions on harvesting certain berries, plants or mushrooms in different regions, so be sure to check local restrictions either on your provincial government website or municipal bylaws.

Finally, take care when picking to ensure that you are not leaving damage to the area in which you are harvesting from. It’s important that we take care of our natural resources and don’t over pick to allow for future growth and enjoyment by others.

Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle, or Urtica Dioica L. as it is scientifically named, is a wild edible potherb that should only be used after it has been cooked.

Stinging Nettle can be found during spring and summer, but also in fall depending on where you live. It grows in places that are damp such as marshes, creeks, lakes, or in places that have a higher than normal rainfall; because of this it grows in abundance in the Pacific Northwest, but also grows in much of North America.

This is because, as you may have guess, Stinging Nettle can sting when touched with bare skin. As such, it is recommenced that you wear protective gloves when harvesting. For those that aren’t looking to use this plant for eating, you may wish to take a read on our other blog post, Plants to Avoid in the Bush.

When attempting to identify this plant, look for the following features:

  • Paired leaves which can be egg-shaped or heart-shaped
  • Serrated leave edges
  • Tiny stinging hairs on the plants surface
  • Small green flowers that form clusters, several clusters per plant
  • A single straight stem
  • Spreading rootstocks which create large patches
  • Height between 2 – 8 ft, but commonly between 3 – 4 ft

When harvesting this plant, opt for the young nettles which are more tender and when the plant is between 1 – 1.5 ft tall as it produces a much nicer flavour. The older plants a not so palatable and the stems become too woody to eat. Also be sure to only harvest from the centre and leave the first and last plants within a grove. This allows seeding to occur in the fall and provides future harvesting of the plant.

This plant contains Vitamins A, C and K, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Folate, Iron, Fibre and Serotonin. Due to its nutritional value, it’s great for medicinal uses including:

  • Digestion
  • Stimulating appetite
  • Aid iron deficiency anemia
  • Body cleanser
  • Antiallergic
  • Diuretic
  • Antihemorrhage
  • Antiheurmatic, and
  • Nutritive mineral-rich tonic

Learn how to make Stinging Nettle and Ricotta Tortellini by our very own, Tiffany Bader.


Chickweed, also known as Stellaria Media if using it’s scientific name, is one of the most common weeds that you can find growing in near all parts of the world and during all seasons.

Chickweed is used as a salad green and can be eaten raw, however you should only eat the new leaves or succulent tops of the plant raw. You may also wish to cook the plant to use it as a potherb or in soups. Mouse-ear Chickweed has a hairiness on the leaves and for that reason should always be cooked.

When looking for Chickweed, you’ll want to head to areas with moist, waste soils or gardens. It thrives in areas of soil which have been disturbed. Although you can find Chickweed throughout the year, it’s most plentiful between September – April.

This plant is an easy one to identify and you can do so by looking for the following features:

  • Leaves places on stems in equal pairs
  • Egg-shaped leaves that form a point
  • Small white star-like flowers, found in axils of leaves
  • Fine hairs on the leaves around the base of the flower
  • Stringy looking

Chickweed is known to have Vitamins A, C, D, Rutin, Folic Acide, Riboflavin, Niacin and Thiamine. It also contains the minerals Calcium, Potassium, Manganese, Zinc, Iron, Sodium, Phosphorus, Copper and Silica.

Given the nutritional qualities of this plant, it can be used for the following medicinal purposes:

  • Refrigerant (removes excess heat from the body)
  • Demulcent (relieves inflammation or irritation)
  • Vulnerary (heal or treat wounds)
  • Alterative
  • Anti-itch
  • Emollient (softens or soothes the skin)
  • Mild laxative
  • Anti-rheumatic
  • Galactagogue (increases lactation in breast-feeding mothers)

If you’d like some ideas on ways to cook this plant up, check out the Chickweed Falafel recipe we put together featured on Anchored Outdoors. We also have 3 other Chickweed recipes you can use very easily, also on Anchored Outdoors here in this blog post.


The scientific name for Watercress is Rorippa Nasturtium-Aquaticum and it gives off a pungent and peppery flavour.

You can find Watercress in slow moving water. Often found in creeks or streams in the Northwest, it will grow with Tiny Duckweed and Water Hemlock (be careful as this is a deadly poisonous plant which can look similar to Watercress during early spring).

This plant is widely used as a salad green and believe it or not, it can be found year round. The stems, leaves and fruit of the Watercress are all edible and can even be dried and used as a substitute seasoning similar to pepper.

Identifying this plant can be done by looking for the following physical features:

  • Perennial aquatic or semi-aquatic herbaceous plant
  • Trailing stems with only tips erect
  • Young leaves with no lateral segments or lobe
  • Minute blooms form white cluster, 1-2″ across during summer-fall
  • Slender capsule 1″ long summer-fall

Watercress is packed with tons of vitamins and minerals and is known to be used for its detoxifying and body-purifying features. Some of the nutritional benefits which you can find from eating or drinking watercress include Vitamins A and C, as well as Minerals Iron, Calcium, Potassium, Folic Acid, Flavonoids, Sulfur Compounds, Carotenoids, Iodine, Lutein, and Isothiocyanates.

It can be used for the following medicinal purposes:

  • Antiseptic expectorant (promotes the secretion of sputum by the air passages, used to treat coughs)
  • Remove toxins from the body
  • Treat arthritis, gout and rheumatism
  • Improve appetite and warm the stomach
  • Stimulate the liver and gallbladder function
  • For spider bites
  • Topical application for eczema
  • For skin sports and freckles
  • Relief for hemorrhoids

Studies also have indicated that Isothiocyanates in cruciferous vegetables can inhibit cancer development by activating the ability of phase II liver enzymes to detoxify.

Rose Hip

Rose Hip, also known as Rosa Acicularis by its scientific name, is a widespread wild plant which is harvested after the first frost from late August until mid-October. It’s harvested after first frost because the flesh is then able to become soft and will even give more liquid once the fruit is cooked. Don’t wait too long to harvest though as they can become very soft

The identification of a Rose Hip is quite simple, look for a rose bush and the uncut rose stems will form Rose Hips. These will be bulb-like and fleshy. These are typically red, but can have an orange tinge to them, and can also be found purple or black in colour!

Rose Hips are rich in Vitamin A, C, and E and Minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Iron. They also contain organic acids, Carotenoids, Flavonoids, and Tannins.

The Rose Hips can be used not only for medicinal purposes, but also for for edible purposes such as the following:

  • Syrup
  • Decoction
  • Jam
  • Jelly
  • Nutritive food

When it comes to using Rose Hips for medicinal reasons, it comes in use for the following ailments:

  • Astringent for hemorrhages, ulcers and diarrhea
  • For eye inflammation
  • To treat sore throat or tonsillitis
  • Skin wash for ulcers, open wounds and cuts when prepared as an infusion.

Hairy Bittercress

Hairy Bittercress is known scientifically as Cardamine Hirsuta and is a thinly taprooted (a primary root that grows vertically downward and gives off small lateral roots) annual.

This plant prefers to grow in soils that have been cultivated, but you can also find it near gardens, train tracks, and roadsides. Hairy Bittercress flowers in Spring and Autumn, depending on when seeds have germinated.

When looking to identify Hairy Bittercress, look for the following physical features:

  • 2 – 12 inches in height
  • Tiny white flowers in compact racemes
  • Upright seed pods that are up to 1 inch long
  • Leaves which form a circle at the base of the stem, that all grow a similar length and somewhat resemble a rose (known as a Basal Rosette)
  • Leaves that are divided in two or more pairs of opposite facing leaflets
  • Few stem leaves are unstalked and reduced in size

This plant is high in Vitamin C and also has Calcium, Magnesium, Beta-carotene, and antioxidant value.

You can eat the leaves of this plant raw in a salad or cooked and used in a soup, but it is most commonly used for salads. The flowers can also be eaten. While you can put the roots of this plant to use, it would be used for more of a seasoning when grated onto a dish.

Learn how to make Naan bread with foraged Bittercress here.

We hope you enjoyed learning about these common plants that you can find and no matter what plant or berry you plan to forage, remember to know your identifications well and be safe!

Happy foraging.

Corrine Owerko

Rifle Sport Shooting and How To Get Started

Shooting sports don’t always have to mean shooting with a handgun, there are many sports available to new, and experienced shooters for rifle, and shotgun too. In this blog we will be reviewing the most common sports when it comes to competition shooting with rifles. These include the following:

  1. 3 Gun / MultiGun
  2. Airgun
  3. Bullseye
  4. Cowboy Action
  5. Fullbore Target Rifle
  6. Metallic Silhouette
  7. Muzzleloading / Black Powder
  8. Paralympic
  9. Precision Rifle Series (PRS)
  10. Small-bore

3 Gun / MultiGun

This shooting sport is exactly what it sounds like; it puts use to multiple guns such as Rifle, Shotgun and Handgun.

MultiGun matches are similar to IDPA or IPSC in that the shooter has different stages that they’ll move through to engage targets, often times shooting in different positions as well. Targets can include clay pigeons, cardboard silhouettes, steel targets, and more. The goal is to have the shooter hit as many targets in the least amount of time, while also avoiding ‘no shoot’ targets at the same time.

For more information on this shooting sport, read our blog post on Handgun Shooting Sports & How To Get Started or listen to episode 12 of The Silvercore Podcast where Taka Kuwata talks about 3 Gun competitions and how to become a sponsored shooter.

You can also learn more about 3 Gun/MultiGun and find a club that offers this sport visit the 3 Gun Nation website.


You can compete using air pistol, or air rifle. The most common competitions when it comes to airguns are the 10 metre air pistol or air rifle which is an Olympic shooting event thats governed by the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF).

In this post we will focus on Air Rifle’s, but if you’d like to learn more about shooting with an Air Pistol you can read our blog post on Handgun Shooting Sports & How To Get Started.

Air rifle shooting is shot at a distance of 10 metres and is shot from the standing position. Specialized clothing may be used to improve stability and also prevent back injury that can be caused by stance and weight.

Equipment required for this shooting sport includes the following:

  • Air / Gas Rifle
    • Chambered in .177″ (4.5mm)
    • Weight under 12.13 lbs (5.5kg)
  • Match Diabolo Pellets

To learn more about the Air Rifle visit the ISSF website here.


Bullseye competition shooting can be done using a handgun or rifle and both platforms feature multiple disciplines available to shooters.

There are several disciplines when it comes to bullseye shooting with rifles, these include:

Equipment required to participate will greatly depend on which discipline you plan to get into. So do your research and figure out which one interests you most and then you can make your decisions on what equipment you’ll want based on requirements.

A local club is likely to have one or more of the disciplines listed above for you to get started in the competition shooting, but you can also check online with the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF0)

Cowboy Action

Cowboy Action is a competitive shooting sport which typically features firearms from the mid-to-late 19th century like Single Action revolvers, Lever Action rifles that are chambered to shoot pistol calibre’s. Side-by-side double-barrelled shotguns and Pump Action shotguns with external hammers may also be used.

To compete, you’ll need four guns; two revolvers, a shotgun, and a rifle that shoots a centre-fire revolver calibre that pre-dates 1899.

For more information and finding a club to participate in this sport visit the Single Action Shooting Sport (SASS) website for Canadian clubs.

You can also find more information on what Cowboy Action consists of in our previous blog post; Handgun Sport Shooting & How To Get Started.

Fullbore Target Rifle

Fullbore Target Rifle, also known as TR, or just Fullbore, is a precision rifle shooting sport which is governed by the International Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations (ICFRA). In Canada, national level competitions are regulated by the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association (DCRA).

Believe it or not, this shooting sport is one of the oldest shooting disciplines in the world! Founded by the NRA back in 1860, participants shoot between distances of 300 yards, all the way up to 1000 yards from the prone position.

The goal is to have as accurate a shot on the circular targets as possible. Shooters must focus on their trigger control, position and natural alignment in order to get as close to the centre as possible, all while keeping in mind changes in windage and elevation.

To get into this sport, shooters will need the following basic equipment:

  • Bolt Action Rifle (chambered in 7.62mm (.308″))
  • Iron sights (telescopic sights are not allowed)

If you would like more information on how to get into this sport, we would recommend taking a look at the DCRA website.

Metallic Silhouette

Metallic silhouette shooting started from an old Mexican sport back in the early 1900’s and consisted of live game animals being put out at varying distances and used as targets. Nearly 50 years later metal cutouts were being used in place of live animals.

The metal cutouts are of a chicken, pig, turkey, and ram with the goal being to knock down as many targets as possible out of a total of 40 targets. You’re given a time limit of 2 minutes and 45 seconds for banks of 5 to shoot at and are required to hit 10 shots .

Today, metallic silhouette can be shot with large bore rifles, or large bore handguns, however in Canada it’s just shot with Rifles at this time.

There are a few divisions in the Rifle category of Metallic Silhouette, there are a number of divisions in the USA, and then there are those that are National. The National divisions include the following:

  • IMSSU Silhouette Rifle
  • IMSSU Hunting Rifle
  • IMSSU Silhouette Rifle Small Bore
  • IMSSU Hunting Rifle Small Bore

To participate in this shooting sport, you’ll need a Bolt Action Rifle (.22 is typically used). For more information and to find a competition to participate in near you, visit the Silhouette Rifle Association of Canada (SRAC) website.

Muzzleloading / Black Powder

Muzzleloading sport shooting uses both antique as well as reproduction muzzleloading firearms and use shot using Black Powder which is why you may also see this sport as being reference to as Black Powder rather than Muzzleloading.

Rifles are what is commonly used for muzzleloading, but there are shotgun muzzleloaders as well. Of the muzzleloading firearms, there are Matchlock, Wheel lock, Flintlock, and Percussion. Flintlock and Percussion are typically what are used in shooting competitions or for hunting.

This particular sport originated from the USA in the 1930’s and is now governed by the Muzzle Loaders Associations International Committee (MLAIC), founded in 1971.

To get started you will need the following equipment:

  • Muzzleloading firearm (Flintlock or Percussion)
  • Powder horn or flask (to carry extra powder)
  • Powder measure
  • Ball starter (to get the bullet down the barrel)
  • Pick (to remove residue or debris)
  • Ramrod (to seat bullet against powder charge, and for cleaning)
  • Brushes and Solvent
  • Patches (to create a tight seal in the barrel)
  • Patch puller (to remove patches)

To get started in this shooting sport you can often search the province you are in and then black powder and find either a local club that is offering competitions, or a provincial body that helps to facilitate the sport. In BC this is the BC Black Powder Association (BCBPA)


Para, which was also formerly known as Para-Shooting refers to Paralympic competitions and consists of shooting sports which have been adapted to allow for competitors with disabilities to compete and are open to all individuals with physical disabilities. Since 1976 this sport has been part of the Paralympic games in Toronto with as many as 50 different countries participating in it today.

Competing can include rifle and pistol from distances of 10, 25 and 50 metres. There are 12 Paralympic shooting events, 6 of which are open to men and women, while the other 6 are divided between men and women only equally (3 each).

Para shooting with handguns can be read in previous blog post on Handgun Shooting Sports & How to Get Started. Para shooting with rifles has 9 different disciplines that are split into 2 different classes. The SH1 class allows shooters to support a firearm without a stand, and the SH2 class allows shooters to use a support to shoot for those that require it. The disciplines of each class consist of the following:

SH1 Class

  • 10M Air Rifle Standing (Men)
  • 10M Air Rifle Standing (Women)
  • 10M Air Rifle Prone (Mixed)
  • 50M Rifle Prone (Mixed)
  • 50M Rifle 3-position 3×40 (Men)
  • 50M Rifle 3-position 3×20 (Women)

SH1 Class

  • 10M Air Rifle Standing (Mixed)
  • 10M Air Rifle Prone (Mixed)
  • 50M Rifle Prone (Mixed)

To get started in this sport visit the Paralympic Website here.

Precision Rifle Series (PRS)

Precision Rifle Series, which is also commonly known as PRS, is a shooting sport where shooters compete to collect points from 30 various matches. Focus is typically placed on speed and precision.

Targets may be placed at known, or unknown distances, but are typically somewhere between 10 – 1,000 metres or yards with the primary focus on the long range distance shooting.

The various courses have set maximum times, also known as par time, in which the shooter can be awarded points based on the number of targets that they hit within that time.

Different categories within PRS which you can participate in include the following:

  • Military / Law Enforcement (active)
  • Senior (55+)
  • Junior (18 & under)
  • Ladies
  • International

The basic equipment required to partake in this shooting sport includes the following:

  • Long range sniper-style rifle
    • Must fire bullets no greater than 0.308″ (7.82mm) at muzzle velocities not greater than 3200ft (980m) per second
  • Variable magnification telescopic sights
  • A support bag

For more information on PRS, you can listen to Episode 29 of The Silvercore Podcast!

For further details on PRS and how to get started, we’d recommend visiting the Precision Rifle Series website.


Small-bore is shot with a rifle and consists of firearms that are chambered in .32 or smaller, but is most commonly shot using a .22 Rimfire target rifle.

Targets are typically shot between 15 – 25 yards if indoors, and when shot outdoors they can be between 50 – 100 yards.

To get into small-bore sport shooting you will need a rimfire target rifle that is chambered in .32 or smaller.

To get into a small-bore shooting competition, you can search for a local club that is offering competitions near you, or visit the BC Target Sports Association (BCTSA).


Keep in mind that there are many other shooting sports available out there and some which will depend on where you live. So if you didn’t find the shooting sport you were looking for, do some reading online and you’re likely to find what you’re looking for.

The Silvercore Club provides 10 Million in North American wide liability insurance for all your hunting and shooting related activities. For only $49/year you get insurance, an ATT for any restricted firearms you may own, member discounts, and so much more.

If you are looking to get into shooting with a handgun, be sure to check out our other blog post; Handgun Sport Shooting & How To Get Started and keep an eye out for an upcoming blog post on Shotgun Sport Shooting & How To Get Started.

What Handgun Shooting Sports Are Available? How Do I Get Started with Handgun Sport Shooting?

Are you looking at getting into competitive shooting in Canada? Sport shooting comes in many forms and mainly depends on whether you plan to be competing with a rifle, shotgun or handgun.

Not knowing what shooting sports are available, what equipment is needed or how to get started is common for new competition shooters or those that are new to the firearms industry.

In this blog post we are going to go over some of the most common shooting disciplines, which category they fall under and what they consist of, as well as what you need to get started. This blog will be specific to shooting sports that use Handguns, if you’re interested in Rifle or Shotgun shooting sports, be sure to keep an eye out for our next blog posts which will go into detail on these as well.

  1. 3 Gun / MultiGun
  2. Airgun
  3. Bullseye
  4. Cowboy Action
  5. International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC)
  6. International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA)
  7. Metallic Silhouette
  8. Paralympic
  9. Police Pistol Combat (PPC)

3 Gun / MultiGun

This shooting sport is exactly what it sounds like; it puts use to multiple guns such as Rifle, Shotgun and Handgun.

MultiGun matches are similar to IDPA or IPSC in that the shooter has different stages that they’ll move through to engage targets, often times shooting in different positions as well. Targets can include clay pigeons, cardboard silhouettes, steel targets, and more. The goal is to have the shooter hit as many targets in the least amount of time, while also avoiding ‘no shoot’ targets at the same time.

There can also be different divisions which provide the option for individuals to have variations in what they can or cannot use for equipment. For example, if you were to use a larger calibre, you may be put into a division specifically for calibre’s that are larger. Divisions for this sport include:

  • Open – Allows nearly any legal modifications of the 3 guns allowed and are customized for competition. Multiple optics can be used on all guns.
  • Tactical Optics – Only one optic is allowed on one gun; a practical choice for beginners.
  • Limited – Allows only iron sights on handguns and shotguns; rifles are allowed one non-magnified optical rifle sight.
  • Heavy Metal – Allows only rifles chambered in .308 or larger, 12G pump action shotguns and handguns chambered in .45 ACP with a single stack mag.

When it comes to the equipment you’ll need to compete, there are a few things you’ll need to put on your list to purchase if you don’t already own these. Keep in mind that you may need different equipment for one division as compared to another so do some research to find out if and what divisions there are in your area for 3 Gun/MultiGun and then you can go from there for specifics. We’ll start the basics:

  • Rifle
  • Shotgun
  • Handgun
  • Belt
  • Holster
  • Mag pouches
  • Magazines

The rifle will be based on the AR platform and you can get away with any basic model to get started. Rifles chambered in .223 is a good place to start, but larger is ok too.

For the shotgun, look at getting either a pump action or semi-automatic chambered for 12 gauge. Magazine capacity will be important with this firearm, if you can spend a little extra to get an 8 round tube or extensions it’ll pay off.

Most shooters will start out with a 9MM because theres so many options available for firearms chambered in this and they’re relatively cheap to get. You’ll need three magazines that will allow for a high capacity, if not more.

To learn more about 3 Gun/MultiGun and to find a club that offers this sport visit the 3 Gun Nation website. You can also take a listen to episode 12 of The Silvercore Podcast where Taka Kuwata talks about 3 gun competitions and how to become a sponsored shooter.


You can compete using air pistol, or air rifle. The most common competitions when it comes to airguns are the 10 metre air pistol or air rifle which is an Olympic shooting event thats governed by the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF).

You can also use your airgun to participate it what’s called plinking; this is done more recreationally than competitively and often times uses targets which are not typically used such as tin cans, pop bottles, or other non-standard targets.

The 10 metre air rifle and air pistol use what are called match diabollo pellets, these are wadcutters and allow for a clean round hole for easier scoring on the paper targets.

The goal of these matches are to score as many points as possible during the match, this is timed. Participants start standing in an offhand position 10 metres from a target down range.

When it comes to equipment needed to participate in this sport, you don’t need much besides the air pistol, but this has the following requirements:

  • Air Pistol
    • Chambered in .177″ (4.5 mm)
    • Max weight of 1500g
    • Min trigger weight of 500g
    • Must fit in box dimensions 17″ x 8″ x 2″

Adults and youth can participate in this type of competition and it’s relatively easy to get into because it’s pretty common and can be found at many local clubs. To learn more about the 10 metre Air Pistol visit the ISSF website here.


Bullseye competition shooting can be done using a handgun or rifle and both platforms feature multiple disciplines available to shooters.

These include the following for handgun:

The objective of Bullseye shooting is to score points by hitting a round shooting target and getting as close as possible to the centre with emphasis on accuracy and precision.

The equipment required will largely depend on which discipline you plan to participate in. To get started in this shooting sport, first choose your discipline and then you can typically find the sport either at a local gun club, or via the governing body of the shooting sport.

Cowboy Action

Cowboy Action is a competitive shooting sport which typically features firearms from the mid-to-late 19th century like Single Action revolvers, Lever Action rifles that are chambered to shoot pistol calibre’s. Side-by-side double-barrelled shotguns and Pump Action shotguns with external hammers may also be used. To compete, you’ll need four guns; two revolvers, a shotgun, and a rifle that shoots a centre-fire revolver calibre that pre-dates 1899.

Shooters are required to put together an alias which is unique and a costume to go with it.

These can be built on a character, profession or the later 19th century, hollywood western star or fictional character, however the alias itself must be unlike any other alias so as not to get confused with others.

The costume is typically an old west or victorian era theme outfit and accessories. The only exception to this is personal protection equipment, eye and hearing protection is mandatory when shooting. Some sanctions in this shooting sport may only require an old west theme as oppose to victorian era.

When competing, only one shooter will compete while being timed for each stage. Each target missed will increase the time for each stage by five seconds and ten seconds for any penalties incurred relating to procedures. The shooter with the best total time wins.

Equipment required includes 4 firearms which consist of the following:

  • Single Action Revolver
  • Lever Action Rifle
    • Chambered in pistol calibres
  • Side-by-side double-barrelled Shotgun
  • OR a Pump Action Shotgun with external hammer

You’ll also need a costume as part of the alias you create. For more information and finding a club to participate in this sport visit the Single Action Shooting Sport (SASS) website for Canadian clubs.

International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC)

The International Practical Shooting Confederation, also known as IPSC, is the worlds largest shooting sport association. IPSC was founded in 1976 and is not only the largest, but also the oldest of it’s kind when it comes to practical shooting.

This sport is very dynamic and has the principles of accuracy, speed and power which are then balanced into a unique scoring system. It involves the shooter moving and shooting at targets which may be moving targets, multiple targets as well as drawing from a holster.

In order to get into IPSC, you’ll need to have training before hand, this is known as the Black Badge course. Students will be provided with a current Rule Book and must pay all of the necessary course and membership fees. Black Badge teaches safety, proficiency and the concepts of IPSC’s rules. After you’ve completed your in-person live fire training, you’ll then be required to complete a qualifier within 1 year of your training date.

As with other shooting sports, there are divisions within IPSC, these consist of the following for handgun:

  • Open
  • Standard
  • Production
  • Classic
  • Revolver
  • Modified

There are also divisions for shooting IPSC with a rifle and shotgun.

The equipment you need will greatly depend on which division you look to join. There are also other divisions such as optical sights and iron sights. If you plan to join the Open division, then you’re looking at the following equipment requirements:

  • A handgun (minimum calibre of 9×19 mm)
  • Holster (must cover the trigger guard)
  • Belt (must be secure & have at least 3 belt loops)
  • Magazine pouches (should be low cut to allow proper grip & minimum of 3 pouches are required)
  • Magazines (minimum of 5 – or 6 speedloaders)

The following restrictions or allowances will be imposed:

  • Optic/electronic sights are permitted
  • Ports/compensators permitted
  • No minimum trigger pull
  • No maximum size of firearm
  • No restrictions on holster position

If you are a male competitor, your equipment (holster, magazine holders, etc) must be at waist level, while female competitors can have their equipment at hip or waist level. Positioning and equipment cannot be changed in between stages during competitions.

For more in depth information on equipment requirements for the different divisions, range safety, range commands and procedures, shooting basics and much more, we’d recommend visiting the IPSC website.

You can also listen to episode 3 of The Silvercore Podcast where we speak with Murray Gardner, a 9 time national International Practical Shooting Confederation champion, firearms instructor and firearms, range and ballistics consultant about how IPSC has changed over the years and what the future of the sport looks like to Murray.

International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA)

IDPA focuses on defensive tactics with carrying gear. It’s meant to simulate self-defence scenarios and real life encounters.

The association was founded in 1996 because of the demand of shooters across the world and the organization now has a membership base of more than 25K.

IDPA consists of 7 divisions for competition, and similarly to IPSC, each division has its own restrictions on equipment. Divisions include:

  • Stock Service Pistol
  • Enhanced Service Pistol
  • Custom Defensive Pistol
  • Compact Carry Pistol
  • Stock Revolver
  • Enhanced Revolver
  • Back-Up Gun Semiauto
  • Back-Up Gun Revolver
  • Pistol Calibre Carbine
  • Carry Optics

Required equipment to participate in IDPA will again depend on your division, but if you plan to go into the Stock Service Pistol you’ll be looking at the following equipment:

  • A handgun
    • minimum calibre of 9×19 mm, max 10 loaded rounds
    • semi-auto, DAO DA/SA or striker fired
    • minimal stock modifications
  • Holster
    • strong side required
    • enough tension to prevent firearm from coming out if carrying out daily tasks
    • must be concealable, except for law enforcement using duty equipment
    • Shoulder, ankle, appendix carry, or cross-draw holsters are not allowed due to safety concerns
  • Belt (must be sturdy)
  • Magazines
  • Magazine pouches or speedloaders (as required depending on division)

For more in depth information on IDPA and to get signed up into competing we recommend going to the International Defensive Pistol Association website.

Metallic Silhouette

Metallic silhouette shooting started from an old Mexican sport back in the early 1900’s and consisted of live game animals being put out at varying distances and used as targets. Nearly 50 years later metal cutouts were being used in place of live animals.

The metal cutouts are of a chicken, pig, turkey, and ram with the goal being to knock down as many targets as possible out of a total of 40 targets. You’re given a time limit of 2 minutes and 45 seconds for banks of 5 to shoot at.

Today, metallic silhouette can be shot with large bore rifles, or large bore handguns, however in Canada it’s just shot with Rifles at this time. For more information on this sport with a large bore rifle, keep your eyes open for an upcoming blog post on Rifle Shooting Sports & How to Get Started.


Para, which was also formerly known as Para-Shooting refers to Paralympic competitions and consists of shooting sports which have been adapted to allow for competitors with disabilities to compete and are open to all individuals with physical disabilities. Since 1976 this sport has been part of the Paralympic games in Toronto with as many as 50 different countries participating in it today.

Competing can include rifle and pistol from distances of 10, 25 and 50 metres. There are 12 Paralympic shooting events, 6 of which are open to men and women, while the other 6 are divided between men and women only equally (3 each).

Para shooting with rifles can be read in our upcoming blog post on Rifle Shooting Sports & How to Get Started. With handgun for Para shooting there are 5 different disciplines, these consist of the following:

  • 10M Air Pistol (Men)
  • 10M Air Pistol (Women)
  • 10M Air Pistol Standard (Mixed)
  • 25M Pistol (Mixed)
  • 50M Pistol (Mixed)

The objective of this sport is to place a series of shots inside the centre ring of the bullseye on the target. Targets consist of 10 scoring rings scoring from 1-10, starting with the outside ring and moving in. The centre ring earns the shooter 10 points if hit. In the final round, the rings are subdivided into more scoring zones with 10.9 being the highest possible score.

To get started in this sport visit the Paralympic Website here.

Police Pistol Combat (PPC)

Police Pistol Combat, also known as PPC, was developed around 1957/1958 when the Department of Police Administration at University of Indiana in USA developed a handgun course more suitable to police training and replaced the prior training which was more ‘civillian style’ using a bullseye target.

In 1958 the first international Police Pistol Combat shoot was held in Indiana USA and by 1961 Winnipeg Police hosted the first Canadian PPC competition. It wasn’t until 1989 that civilians were able to participate as full members.

PPC is a precision based shooting sport with matches that consist of 150 rounds using both strong and weak hand and shooting between 7-50 yards from numerous shooting positions (standing, kneeling, sitting and prone).

Previously a revolver shooting sport, this has now expanded and competitors may use semi-automatic handguns.

To get into the PPC shooting sport visit the Canadian Police Combat Association Website. You can also listen to episode 6 of The Silvercore Podcast where we speak with Mark Horsley who had recently returned from Australia where he and his shooting partner won silver in their division at the world PPC championships.

Liability Insurance & ATT Coverage

If you own a restricted firearm, make sure you’re properly covered for all your shooting related activities by joining the Silvercore Club which includes 10 Million in North American wide liability insurance and meets RCMP requirements for your Long Term Authorization to Transport (ATT) throughout Canada!

Thanks for reading and good luck in your journey to competition shooting with handguns!

What Plants Should I Avoid in the Bush?

I was out on a trail last week which had gotten a bit overgrown through the summer and as I was walking through the plant life I couldn’t help but stop and wonder; what plants around me could cause a rash or sting if they touch my skin? I’ve heard of stinging nettle and that it’ll sting if touched, but I’ve never actually come into contact with it, nor do I really even know what it looks like.

The purpose of todays blog is to teach about some of the common plants that you could encounter in your outdoor adventures, their habitat, how to identify them, the risks they pose and what to do if you come into contact with one of these plants.

Common Plants

  1. Stinging Nettle
  2. Poison Ivy
  3. Giant Hogweed
  4. Devils Club

Stinging Nettle

Found throughout Canada, the United States, and northern Europe and Asia, Stinging Nettle grows in places that are damp such as marshes, creeks, lakes, or in places that have a higher than normal rainfall; because of this it grows in abundance in the Pacific Northwest.

Stinging Nettle grows between 1-2 meters tall during summer, has coarsely toothed leaves with pointed ends. The leaves can be several inches long, however when the plant is smaller, the younger leaves are shaped more like a heart. Stinging nettle also has bright yellow roots.

The leaves and stems of Stinging Nettle have hairs, which when touched will break off into the skin and cause an inflammatory response such as, you guessed it, stinging. It can also cause a burning sensation, itching, redness, and even swelling.

If you happen to come in contact with Stinging Nettle, wash your hands with soap and water immediately to remove the nettle hairs. If you are not able to wash your hands, you can use a clean cloth to wipe the are and remove the hairs. Ice packs or cool cloths can help to alleviate pain or itching caused.

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy grows in much of the Eastern Canada like the Maritime provinces, Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba, as well as all of the US states east of the Rocky Mountains. It’s commonly located in wooded areas that have breaks in the tree to allow for sunshine to flow through.

Ever heard the saying Leaves of Three, Leave Them Be ? Poison Ivy is one of those three leaved plants. The middle leaf has a longer stem compared to the side leaves and the edges of the leaves can be smooth, or toothed and will vary in size.  The colour of Poison Ivy’s leaves will depend on the season, they can be reddish in colour in spring, green come summer and in the fall they can be red, orange, or yellow, or a combination of all three colours.

Between the months of June – July this plant produces flowers in cluster formations that appear a combination of yellow and green. Come September, berries form that are also clustered, round, waxy and green to yellow in colour. In winter time, the plant will lose its leaves and may appear dead, but be careful as it is still alive.

This plant is known as an allergenic flowering plant that produces sap containing Urushiol which has allergenic properties. The sap will produce an itchy, irritated reaction when contact with the skin occurs. It can also cause redness, swelling and blisters.

To treat any area which may have come into contact with Poison Ivy, first wash the area with soap and cold water.  It’s important to use cold water as hot water opens up the pores of the skin and can increase the chance of the substance being more deeply absorbed causing a more adverse reaction. Although washing the area may not prevent a reaction, it can prevent it from spreading.

Giant Hogweed

Giant Hogweed can be found in southern parts of Canada, northwestern and northeastern parts of the United Stated as well as throughout western and northern Europe. In Canada, it can be found in most all provinces, except the prairies. In Ontario, Cow Parsnip, Wild Parsnip and Queen Anne’s Lace are often confused for Giant Hogweed because of the similarities in how they look.

Giant Hogweed is an invasive plant which if observed, needs to be reported as it can cause serious health risks and is a threat to our natural ecosystem. As you may have guessed from the name, it’s a very large plant (up to 4.3 metres tall) with big roots, thick hollow stems, it’s hairy and covered in toxic sap. This plant has white flowers which grow in an umbrella like pattern. The flowers produce only once in its lifetime and once it produces its seeds, it dies.

The sap produced from this plant is known as phototoxic, this means that coming into contact with the sap will prevent the sin from being able to protect itself from sunlight and can lead to burns and scarring. This plant can even cause blindness if sap gets into the eye.

In the event that you do come into contact with this plant, make sure you wash the area of contact with soap and cold water immediately, a reaction can occur in just 15 minutes after contact.  If you aren’t able to wash the affected skin, then apply sunscreen to help prevent a reaction until you are able to wash with soap and water. Prevention is always key here, and wearing protective clothing and glasses is recommended if you are going into an area which is known to have Giant Hogweed.

Devils Club

Devis Club can be found in the Pacific Northwest and grows in rainforest-like areas that have been undisturbed and are shady. This plant can grow quite tall (up to 5 metres), but you’ll find most of them are between 1-1.5 metres tall. You can identify it by the yellow needles that are found along the stems; these can be up to 2cm long! The needles are very brittle and can break off easily. If touched and spines break off into the skin, it can cause a severe infection.

Little known fact, this plant caused disruptions in the building of the CPR railway system and forced railway engineers to find another route because of the plants growth on the originally planned path.


If you spot any species which you know to be invasive and need to report them, below is the list of where to report them based on where you live. Often times you can check the app store on your mobile device to see if there is an app for reporting invasive species; these apps usually allow for reporting of invasive plants, animals, fish, insects & spiders and more.

BRITISH COLUMBIA Invasive Species Council of BC       1-888-933-3722     
ALBERTA Alberta Invasive Species Council 587-999-0954
SASKATCHEWAN Saskatchewan Invasive Species Council 306-668-3940
MANITOBA Invasive Species Council of Manitoba 204-232-6021
ONTARIO Ontario Invasive Plant Council 1-800-563-7711
QUEBEC Québec Council of Invasive Species 705-541-5790
NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR          Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden  709-737-8590
NEW BRUNSWICK New Brunswick Invasive Species Council 506-262-6247
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND P.E.I. Invasive Species Council 902-892-7513
NOVA SCOTIA Invasive Species Alliance of Nova Scotia 902-585-1935
YUKON Yukon Invasive Species Council 867-633-2479
NORTHWEST TERRITORIES Environment and Natural Resources 867-767-9055
NUNAVUT Department of Environment 867-975-7706

To learn what plants you can forage in the Pacific Northwest read more here.

Animal Diseases to Be Aware of When Hunting

In preparation for my first hunt, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and learning about what I need, or what I don’t need, and things to be aware of. Along my journey, one of the things that came to mind was animal diseases. I feel as though this could be something that many new hunters may not necessarily think about, but could also be considered as one of the most important parts of hunting!

Hunter safety is so important and in taking an opportunity to share knowledge with others on possible diseases, I chose to put together this blog post.  I’m going to talk about the common diseases which you could run into, the risk you might be facing and what to do in the event that you come into contact with an animal that carries the disease.

Below are some common diseases, but please keep in mind that this isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list by any means and I would whole heartedly recommend that you do additional research for any animal you plan to hunt to make sure you have as much knowledge as possible and are as safe as possible during your hunt.

Additionally, if you aren’t certified to go hunting yet, check out our blog on how to hunt in BC which outlines how you get your hunting certification.

The common diseases we will review today are as follows:

  1. Chronic Wasting Disease
  2. Trichinosis
  3. Hydatid Disease
  4. Bovine Tuberculosis
  5. Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease or CWD, can be found in Cervids (these are the split hoofed animal with antlers which are members of the deer family) such as Mule Deer, White Tailed Deer, Elk, Moose and Caribou. This is a fatal disease that affects the brain and nervous system of the anima. While there’s no direct evidence (or cases of the disease in humans) this disease is transmittable between animals and humans, it is highly recommended that hunters take precautions to reduce any possibility of transmission.

Now that we know what this disease is and the general risk, let’s discuss where you’re likely to find it, what signs to look for and what followup actions you can or should look to take. Let’s give a little background first, did you know that the first detection of this disease was 53 years ago in Colorado? Since then CWD has been found in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and in Montana (close to the BC border).

How can you tell if an animal is infected? It may not always be obvious, especially if the animal is in the beginning stages of CWD, but some of the signs of infection include:

  • Little fear of humans
  • Poor coordination causing stumbling or trembling
  • Drooping head
  • Drooling
  • The animal may appear skinny due to weight loss
  • Unusual behaviour

If you come across an animal that shows signs of being sick with Chronic Wasting Disease, report it immediately.  In BC reporting for any dead or sick animals can be done by contacting the BC Wildlife Health Program (250-751-3219), or RAPP (1-877-952-RAPP). Reporting for other provinces can found below in our Quick Links section.


Trichinosis is a parasitic disease that’s caused by roundworms. It’s commonly found Bear, Cougars, Wolves, Domestic Pigs, or Wild Boar. In severe cases, this disease can be fatal to humans and transmission happens when infected meat is eaten either raw or undercooked. The best way to prevent transmission of this disease is to not eat the meat. However, sometimes that may not be practical if you’ve already killed the animal and don’t want to waste the meat. So if you plan to eat the meat, ensure that it is fully cooked at safe temperatures. According to the CDC, curing, drying, smoking, or microwaving meat alone does not consistently kill worms, so keep this in mind.

Looking for signs that an animal is sick with Trichinosis isn’t always possible as they just may not appear sick. Some may show changes in their behaviour, such as being less active that normal, but that’s could be hard to tell based on a single interaction with an animal infected.

There are however signs and symptoms of a trichinosis infection in humans. These can vary, both in the severity as well as the duration. First signs include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Abdominal discomfort

Following the first signs and symptoms, these other can follow:

  • Headaches
  • Fevers
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Swelling of the face and eyes
  • Aching joints and muscle pains
  • Itchy skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

If you think you may have this disease, go to your health care provider immediately for testing.

Hydatid Disease

This disease is also known as Echinococosis and is a parasitic disease caused by tapeworms. This commonly infects Dogs, Foxes and Wolves, and although it can also infect humans, it depends on the type (there are two main types; cystic echinococcosis and alveolar echinococcosis). These tapeworms release eggs into the feces of dogs and wild canines and their eggs stick to the animals fur. Humans can get infected from the ingestion of the eggs.

According to the CDC, those infected with cystic Echinococosis often remain asymptomatic until hydatid cysts containing the larval parasites grow large enough to cause discomfort, pain, nausea, and vomiting. The cysts grow over the course of several years before reaching maturity and the rate at which symptoms appear typically depends on the location of the cyst. The cysts are mainly found in the liver and lungs but can also appear in the spleen, kidneys, heart, bone, and central nervous system, including the brain and eyes. Cyst rupture is most frequently caused by trauma and may cause mild to severe anaphylactic reactions, even death, as a result of the release of cystic fluid.

Infection is asymptomatic in livestock and dogs as well. The best way to protect yourself is by wearing disposable gloves, washing your hands, and disinfecting your work space when handling live canines, their feces, pelts or carcasses.

Bovine Tuberculosis

This is a contagious bacterial disease is which is slow growing, long lasting and is an aerobic bacteria that has been reported to have infected Bison, Moose, Deer, Elk and Cattle as well as humans.  Because the disease is slow acting, signs can vary, or may not show at all. Advanced stages may show multiple small gritty lumps in the lymph nodes, lungs and on the inner surface of the rib cage.

This disease is transmittable between animals and humans and when it comes to cattle, infection is typically caused by eating or drinking contaminated, unpasteurized dairy products. Infection can also happen if you come into direct contact with a wound, or by inhaling the bacteria in air exhaled by animals that are infected, though direct transmission from animals to humans through the air is thought to be rare.

The bacteria from this disease can infect an animal but lie dormant for many years and thus, show no signs of being sick. Because of eradication programs like those in Canada, the advanced form of this disease is rare because most cases are detected in the early stages when infection typically consists of few or small lesions in the lungs or lymph nodes associated with the respiratory system.

When progressive disease does occur, the general signs are as follows:

  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight-loss
  • Fluctuating fever
  • When the lungs are extensively diseased, there can be an intermittent, hacking cough.

If you believe you have come into contact with an infected animal, report the sick animal, and if possible include photos and videos.  Always wear gloves and wash your hands, clothes, and knives thoroughly in warm soapy water after field dressing and butchering. Hunters that suspect their kill is infected should contact their provincial or federal agencies and seek medical advice if they suspect they may have been exposed.

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease

This disease affects White-Tailed Deer in specific and is caused by an infection if a virus which can be fatal. According to the CDC, while this has been found throughout the USA, it has also been detected in the southern portions of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan (albeit rarely and sporadically).

This disease is similar to CWD in that the deer will show the following signs and symptoms:

  • Lost fear towards humans
  • Lost appetite
  • Become weak
  • Salivate in excess.
  • Blue tongue is possible from lack of oxygen in the blood
  • Head and neck of the infected deer may swell

EHD has not been shown to affect humans to that it can be transmitted through bite, nor consumption of meat from an infected animal. Despite this, it’s not recommended to consume any meat from any infected animal due to the increased likelihood of other infections being contracted after EHD.

Quick Links:

Reporting Dead or Sick Animals in Canada:
Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative 

Alberta: Ministry of Environment and Parks
Saskatchewan: Ministry of Environment
Manitoba: Sustainable Development
Ontario: Ministry of Environment
Quebec: Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
New Brunswick: Natural Resources & Energy Development
Newfoundland & Labrador: Department of Natural Resources
Nova Scotia: Communicable Disease Prevention & Control
Prince Edward Island: Environment, Water & Climate Change
Nunavut: Communicable Disease
Northwest Territories: Environment & Natural Resources
Yukon: Communicable Disease

Additional Resources to Learn More About Wildlife Diseases:
Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative: Disease Surveillance

Alberta: Wildlife Diseases
British Columbia: Wildlife Diseases
British Columbia Centre for Disease Control- Field guide for Hunters, Trappers, Anglers & Biologists – Diseases you can get from wildlife
Common Diseases and Parasites in Northern British Columbia
Manitoba: Wildlife Diseases
Saskatchewan: Fish & Wildlife Diseases
Northwest Territories: A Field Guide to Common Wildlife Diseases and Parasites

Safe hunting!

How do I choose a rifle scope?

A common question from people is “what rifle scope should I purchase?”

I just purchased my first rifle about a month ago now and before doing anything else with it, I wanted to get a scope for it. As I started looking online at available scopes I quickly realized that I had no idea where to begin and what anything really meant. So, I did some researching and talked to colleagues, read articles and listened to some Silvercore Podcast’s since we had an optic specialist on talking about Vortex Optics.

But doing all that, it took me a while to really figure out what it was that I was looking for. I’m the type of person who needs to know every detail when it comes to buying something, so in order for me to make a properly educated decision I felt it was really important that I understood all the components to an optic, what the different numbers meant, and how they worked.

Being passionate about the industry I’m in, I wanted to take the time to share this new knowledge I’ve gained in my journey of learning about optics. So let’s get right into it by reviewing the different components that I’m going to go over with you today.

  1. Magnification numbers
  2. Objective Lens
  3. Fixed Power Vs. Variable Power
  4. Reticle / Crosshair
  5. Bullet drop compensation
  6. Light transmission
  7. Eye Relief
  8. Parallax
  9. Field of View
  10. Adjustments
  11. Lenses
  12. Coatings

Magnification numbers

If you’ve checked out any of the rifle scopes either online or in a store yet then you’ll have noticed that they all start with numbers that look something like this 3-9×40 or some other numbers with the same format ie. #-# x #.

The number range of 3-9 is your magnification ability. So for example, in a scope which has a magnification range of 3-9, this means you are able to magnify and enlarge your target starting at 3 times it’s size, up to 9 times it’s size. 3 being your low power and 9, your high power.

There are many different ranges you can find when it comes to rifle scope magnification, but bigger isn’t always better.

Rather than purchasing a rifle scope based on a larger magnification range and thinking that if you get something with a larger magnification ability, the better off you’ll be, decide first what you plan to do with your rifle. There’s no point in spending extra money on a feature if you’re not going to use it. But thinking long term is also a good thing. Personally, I decided on a scope with a 3-15 magnification power because I plan to go hunting, but I can also see myself getting into precision rifle shooting in the future and if I’m spending a good chunk of change on a high quality optic, if possible, I’d like it to be a multi-purpose use optic.

Objective Lens

The objective lens is the lens found at the end of your scope (the one you look into is called your ocular lens). The 40 from 3-9×40, refers to the diameter of the objective lens and is in millimetres. The larger this number, the larger the lens itself is.

When choosing the size of your objective lens an important consideration will be when you plan to use the scope. Will there be low light or will it be used only during the middle of the day when there is plenty of light? The larger the objective lens, the more light can be transmitted which can help to make a clearer image in lower lighting situations.

The larger you go with your objective lens however, the heavier it will be and if you are going hunting and trying to pack light, this may not be the most practical.  You’ll also find yourself needing higher mounting scope rings which could potentially be harder to find and it can also affect your cheek and weld method causing you to either need an adjustable cheek rest, or a stock specialized for your firearm to allow for more comfortable shooting.

If you don’t plan to be shooting during dawn or dusk when light conditions aren’t as ideal, then you can get away with a smaller objective lens. Majority of scopes out there are between 32 and 44 mm.

Fixed Power vs Variable Power

We’ve already discussed the magnification numbers, but we only discussed the variable power. There is also something called fixed power, this means that there is no range of magnification on that particular scope.

An example of this would be 4×32. This means that the scope has the 4 power magnification or having the target appear 4 times its typical size. There is no adjustment option for this.

As with anything, there will pro’s and con’s with one option vs another. One of the pro’s of a fixed power scope is that there is less fiddling around with magnification as it’s already done for you. This provides a level of assurance in not having to worry about making a mistake in your magnification adjustments and then missing your target.  It’s also going to cost less which is great if you have a fixed budget.

Possible con’s are that because the magnification is fixed, you aren’t able to adjust it to a target further away or that may be closer. For this reason variable scopes can be more desirable.

Another pro to a variable scope is that it can ultimately be used anywhere because of the ability to adjust your magnification.

Reticle / Crosshair

The reticle or crosshair is the point in which the vertical and horizontal lines meet up to make a cross or “+”. This is the aiming point. There are many variations of reticles including, but not limited to fine crosshair, duplex crosshair, german reticle, target dot, and mill-dot.

A consideration is the reticle’s focal plane. The reticle will either be located at the front focal plane, also known as the First Focal Plane or FFP. Or it can be located at the rear focal plane, also known as the Second Focal Plane, or SFP. The difference is that with the SFP, the reticle will remain a constant size whether the target grows larger due to increased magnification, or shrinks due to decreased magnification. If you purchase a FFP, the reticle will increase with magnification, or decrease with lower magnification.

Second Focal Plane scopes are not as expensive as those that are First Focal Plane, but depending on what type of shooting you plan to do, it may be worth wile purchasing one on the FFP. Wether you buy a scope that is FFP or SFP will depend on your personal preference, and again, what you plan to do with your rifle.  Because I’m looking at getting into longer range precision shooting and I like that the reticle size increases with magnification, I felt the FFP would be a good choice for me. But purchasing a FFP scope may not be the best option for you if all you plan to do is go shooting at a max of 100 yards.

Bullet Drop Compensation

Some rifle scopes have a bullet drop compensation (BDC) feature, this can also be referred to as ballistic elevation. This is actually something that’s built in to your reticle and it compensates for the effect of gravity. In order for this to be accurate, it needs to be specifically tuned for the particular ballistic trajectory of a particular combination of gun and cartridge at a predefined muzzle velocity and air density.

Nikon has created the SpotOn technology which allows you to go to their website, input the type of scope you have, followed by the bullet size, manufacturer, grain amount, bullet style, weight, and how far you’re shooting, scope magnification and it will show you where to have everything lined up on your reticle. It’s pretty cool, but keep in mind that this doesn’t account for windage.

Light Transmission

This is the rifle scope’s ability to transmit available light and give a bright and sharp image. Factors that can affect brightness include objective lens diameter, magnification, type and quality of the objective lens glass and the type of lens coatings.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is the space between the ocular lens and where your eye is placed. This is important in order for you to prevent ‘scope eye’. This occurs when you don’t have proper eye relief and your scope hits the area around your eye from the firearms recoil after a shot and can be pretty painful. Eye relief also plays a role in preventing eye strain and ensuring a clear view.

The amount of eye relief you need is dependant on the firearm you have as well as the magnification of your scope. The more powerful a firearm, the more recoil, then the more eye relief distance you’ll need. That said, the higher the magnification of your scope, the less eye relief you will need.

Typically 4 inches is the average eye relief distance needed.


Parallax occurs when your reticle and the target don’t line up within the scope and can create an unclear sight picture. You can spot this by moving your eye or head around whilst peering into the scope; if the reticle moves around the target you’re aiming at, then you are able to confirm that it is a parallax issue you’re dealing with. More on this and how to fix it below in the section on adjustments.


Field of View

Field of view (FOV) simply put is the area which you can view through your optic. As you increase magnification, the field of view decreases. FOV is mеаѕurеd in feet at 100 yards. To explain, if a rifle scope states that the field of view is 42ft at 100 yards, that means you can view a 42 foot scene from left to right at 100 yards. For scopes that have a variable magnification power you’ll likely find a range for the FOV, for example, 41.2-8.6 ft/100 yds. This accounts for the magnification variation which if it were 5-15 then at 5 power you’ll see a scene of 41.2 across and at 15 power you’ll see a scene of 8.6ft across.  


There are many adjustments which can be found on a scope. These include the following:

  1. Windage
  2. Elevation
  3. Parallax
  4. Illumination
  5. Magnification
  6. Diopter
Windage and Elevation

Windage is the horizontal adjustment on your scope whereas Elevation is the adjustment of the vertical direction.


These adjustments are made when parallax is an issue. This is done in steps; obtain your sight picture by aiming at your target, then adjust your parallax until the reticle becomes clearer. You want it as clear and crisp as possible. Then, while lifting your cheek off the stock of your firearm, continue to look through your scope lens. Look around and see if the crosshairs move off target when you do. If they do, continue to adjust until they stay focused and centred on your target, even when you move your eye around. Once there, lock these into place.


Illumination adjustments can be useful in controlling the level of brightness, especially when in low light conditions as it increases the illumination intensity for the lit parts of the reticle/crosshairs.


This adjustment is exactly like it sounds, allowing you to adjust your level of magnification (provided you have a variable power and not fixed) with the given range of magnification power on the rifle scope you have.


The Diopter adjusts focus of the reticle, this is not to be used to focus on an object.  While it will focus on the object, you don’t want to because it will effect the focus of the reticle, which is on another plane.

Stare at a blank blue sky or single colour wall, bring the scope up and quickly look through.  Don’t stare, your first glance is what you are looking for, then take the scope away, adjust the diopter.  Repeat. Until the reticle is crystal clear.  Your eye very quickly adjust focus so you want the reticle clear at a relaxed eye focus at a neutral object so your eye has only one thing to try and view. Then you use your parallax adjustment to reduce parallax which, typically brings your target into focus.


Typically, you’ll find about eight lenses on a rifle scope (this includes the obvious ocular lens and the objective lens), however there can be more, or less.


Majority of scopes will have some sort of coating on the lens and near all rifle scopes are fogproof and waterproof. The coatings available will vary and typically, the more coatings you have, the more expensive the rifle scope will be. Coatings can provide a clearer and brighter sight picture as well as reduce glare, but having multiple coatings doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be better than one with a single coating; this will depend on not only the coatings but also the glass quality.

There are 4 types of coatings commonly found on rifle scopes, these include the following:

  1. Coated – This means there is a single layer coating on at least one of the lens surfaces.
  2. Fully Coated – This means that there is a single layer of coatings on all air to glass surfaces.
  3. Multicoated – This means that there is more than one layer of coatings on at least one lens surface.
  4. Fully Multicoated – This means there are multiple layers of coatings on all air to glass surfaces.


This information should give you a good basis of understanding to be able to determine what type of rifle scope you’ll be looking to purchase. However, if you are looking for additional information, I’d definitely recommend listening to The Silvercore Podcast, more specifically, these episodes:

In addition to The Silvercore Podcast, we also have our YouTube channel where we’ve shared videos on how to mount a rifle scope as well as sighting in a rifle the easy way which will come into use after you’ve purchased your rifle scope.

Happy scope shopping!

How do I become more bear aware?

Whether you’re planning your next camping trip, going for a hike up a local mountain or going hunting, you want to be prepared for the unexpected. As Benjamin Franklin once said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”

One of the first, and best things you can possibly do to protect yourself from a bear encounter is avoidance. There are two types of avoidance:

  1. Initial planning, and
  2.  Site specific

What do we mean by these? Well, your initial planning should consist of creating a bear map to identify that are considered to be high use areas of bears. Then, avoid these areas as much as possible. If you are able, it’s recommended that you perform a helicopter fly over beforehand and work in pairs.

When being site specific, you’ll want to be able to recognize the bear sign and understand the bear behaviour(s), then you can employ your techniques to make sure that your presence is known.

If you see a bear and its unaware of you, this is your best opportunity to still avoid the encounter by quietly leaving. Don’t yell at a bear if it hasn’t given an aggressive signal. This is really important as it could trigger an attack.

In the event of an encounter, do your very best to avoid anything close range and that could be a surprise to the bear. Many people employ the use of bells to alert bears of their presence. Although this is a good idea, these are ineffective when there is high wind or river sounds because they could mask the sound of the bells. Try giving more than one indicator that you are in the area as many animals will wait for a second sensory input prior to feeling.

If you’re planning to be in an area that has the chance of bears being around, we highly recommend taking the time to learn more about bears and their behaviour and signs.

Silvercore’s Online Bear Defence course was created in partnership with James Gary Shelton, the bestselling author on bear behaviour. Many students choose to take this online course to complement their training in conjunction with Silvercore’s Bear Defence Shotgun Course. This in depth online training will lead you through the psychology of a bear and their signs and identification thereof.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about encounters and avoidance strategies as well as survival tactics if in the event of an unlucky bear attack. We also lead you through the various bear protection devices including bear spray, firearms and the use of dogs.

Looking for a glimpse of what this course is like? Try our free demo.

Need to be prepared? Get started with the full course!

What do I need to go fishing?

So you want to go fishing? With modern technology and the internet, sometimes finding the information you need that can be considered reliable and trustworthy can be difficult. This is why Silvercore is here to guide you through what you need to go fishing.

First, decide what type of fishing you want to do. By that we mean, would you like to fish for freshwater fish, also known as non-tidal, or would you like to fish for saltwater fish, also known as tidal. The regulations for these types of fishing are different. Non-tidal fishing is provincially regulated, whereas Tidal fishing is federally regulated.

Freshwater Fishing (Non-Tidal)

In British Columbia, if you plan to go for freshwater fish, you will need a Basic Licence, also known as a Non-Tidal Angling Licence. This is for every angler who is 16 years of age or older and will allow them to fish in the non-tidal waters of beautiful BC.

In addition to your Basic Licence, you may also need a Conservation Surcharge Stamp, a White Sturgeon Conservation Licence, and / or a Classified Waters Licence.

Why? Glad you asked. There are two reasons why these are required. If you plan to fish for a specific type of fish such as Steelhead, non-tidal Salmon, or Sturgeon, or you’re going to specific locations that are regulated as Class I or Class II Classified Waters.

Purchasing these licences can be done either online through the BC Recreational Freshwater Fishing website, or from any vendor who offers this service.

Saltwater Fishing (Tidal)

If you plan to go fishing in the saltwaters of BC , you’ll need a Tidal Waters Fishing Licence. Although free for juveniles (under 16 years old), you’ll still need a licence for them which can be done online under your account.

This licence also has the option to purchase a Salmon Conservation Stamp. In the event that you catch Salmon in saltwater, and you intend to retain it, then you must purchase this stamp. This is not required if you catch and release. The fees for the Salmon Conservation Stamp help generate funds which are provided to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to the Pacific Salmon Foundation. This helps to support Salmon restoration, stewardship and enhancement projects in British Columbia.

These licences can be purchased through the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada website or through an Independent Access Provider.


When you plan to go fishing, be sure to always check for new regulations as things change from time to time.

If you’d like to know more about Freshwater Fishing such as the species, regulations and limits, equipment and setup and use thereof and more, we would recommend signing up for our online Pacific Northwest Fishing course.

This course was designed with the beginner in mind and is a must for anyone looking to get into the sport of freshwater fishing.   This is a veritable A to Z of everything a new angler needs to know and includes information on how to safely and legally fish in beautiful British Columbia.

To provide you with the best, Silvercore’s course was created in partnership with the world renowned angler, guide and conservationist April Vokey.

Try Our Free Demo

How do I import or export a firearm in Canada?

Many times throughout the year Silvercore gets asked “How do I import (or export) a firearm in Canada?“. We wanted to provide you with all the in’s and out’s of importing and exporting firearms in Canada and make it smooth sailing for you to safely, and legally get your firearm into (or out of) Canada.

If you’re new to Silvercore and our Blog, be sure to check out all the other useful content we have! Be sure to subscribe to our Newsletter where you’ll find all the most relevant and new content from our YouTube Channel, Podcast, Blog, Online Courses, Gun Club and much more.

What do you need to Import (or Export) a Firearm in Canada? 

If you want to import or export your firearm, the first thing you’ll need, regardless if you are dealing with a Non-Restricted or Restricted Firearm is to be 18 years or older and you must have a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence, also known as a PAL (more firearms acronyms, terminology and what they mean can be found on our blog here). And incase you’re wondering, neither Canadian residents, nor visitors are allowed to import prohibited firearms newly acquired outside of Canada under any circumstances.  

What are the legal requirements for importing and exporting firearms?

There are a few different legal requirements which need to be followed when it comes to importing or exporting firearms. The first we’ll touch on those that relate to Canada. There are governing bodies that have their own regulations which need to be followed. In this section we will review the following:

  1. Canada Border Services Agency, or CBSA
  2. Global Affairs Canada
  3. The Criminal Code and The Firearms Act.

So let’s begin!

1. CBSA, Importing and Exporting Firearms, Weapons and Devices.

Review Memorandum D19-13-2, effective as of May 29 2019. This document not only goes over a briefing of things most recently changed, legislation, the definitions of things like Action, Ammunition, Authorization to Carry (ATC), Authorization To Transport (ATT) and more, but also describes in great detail prohibited weapons and ammunition. Knowing what is considered prohibited will save you a great deal of grief when importing or exporting a firearm.

Additionally, you’ll find the import and export procedures. But we’ll keep this simple and break it down for you!

If importing a Non-Restricted Firearm

In addition to the 18+ age and valid PAL which has the proper authorization for the class of firearm which you plan to import, you’ll also need the following:

      1. Verify if you need an import authorization from Global Affairs Canada, more on that below. 

If importing a Restricted Firearm

In addition to the 18+ age and valid PAL, you will also need the following:

      1. Be authorized owner to which the Restricted firearm is registered to with the Canadian Firearms Program, or CFP and have your Firearm Registration Certificate, 
      2. Have a Long Term Authorization to Transport, or ATT in order to Transport the firearm (this is obtained by being a member of a recognized gun club or range), 
      3. Obtain an import authorization from Global Affairs Canada.

Something worth noting is that you can generally only import a restricted firearms if you are able to show that you have a need for that firearm, this could be something such as needing it to be able to take part in an organized target-shooting event.

Ensure you are properly covered, Join The Silvercore Club!

2.  Import Controls and Import Permits handled by Global Affairs Canada

Apply for an Import Permit. In order to apply for this you’ll need to  complete an Application for Import/Export Permit EXT-1466. (you’ll need Adobe Reader to load this file)

Be sure to include your application with a cheque for the corresponding total value of goods otherwise the permit will not be issued. The fee schedule can be found here.

3. The Criminal Code and the Firearms Act.

You’ll need to keep in mind the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act as this outlines the offences you could face if you import or export a firearm illegally and who is authorized to import or export. More on this below.


As a final note on things you need to do, don’t forget that you will also need to keep in mind the country where the firearm is coming from, as well as any other country the firearm will pass through and their legal requirements.

What offences could be faced for importing or exporting firearms illegally?

We’ll keep the legal jargon out of this summary- if you want to read that you can find it here in the Criminal Code of Canada.

Importing or exporting knowing it is unauthorized

The punishment when it comes to a firearm is imprisonment for up to 10 years and minimum punishment of 3 years (if first offence), or of 5 years (if second or subsequent offence)

In other cases of an indictable offence,  imprisonment up to 10 years and a minimum punishment of imprisonment of one year.

Unauthorized importing or exporting

Imprisonment for up to 5 years for an indictable offence, or if guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Who is authorized to import and export a firearm?

As per the Firearms Act, Authorization for non-residents who do not hold a licence to import firearms that are not prohibited firearms

35 (1) A non-resident who does not hold a licence may import a firearm that is not a prohibited firearm if, at the time of the importation,

(a) the non-resident

(i) is eighteen years old or older,
(ii) declares the firearm to a customs officer in the prescribed manner and, in the case of a declaration in writing, completes the prescribed form containing the prescribed information, and
(iii) in the case of a restricted firearm, produces an authorization to transport the restricted firearm; and

(b) a customs officer confirms in the prescribed manner the declaration referred to in subparagraph (a)(ii) and the authorization to transport referred to in subparagraph (a)(iii).

So what about airguns, replica firearms, and antique firearms? Can I import / export them?

Replica firearms are prohibited from entering Canada.

A replica firearm is considered a prohibited device and here is what CBSA says about them:
  • are designed or intended to exactly resemble a firearm with near precision;
  • are not reproductions of antique firearms; and
  • may include airsoft or blank guns.

Replica firearms are classified as prohibited devices. Individuals cannot import them into Canada. For more information on replica firearms see Memorandum D19-13-2, Importing and Exporting Firearms, Weapons and Devices.

Antique firearms can be imported to Canada- conditions apply

An Antique firearm can be imported as long as it is considered to be Antique as outlined under the Criminal Code, and as long as you are a Canadian resident or a visitor to Canada.  You won’t need to register an antique firearm, and you do not need a licence if you are the owner of one, however the proper safe storage and transportation requirements will all still apply. 

What weapons or devices are prohibited from entering Canada?

*Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, but common weapons and devices prohibited from entering Canada.*


  • automatic knives such as switchblades;
  • centrifugal knives such as flick knives or butterfly knives;
  • gravity knives;
  • mace or pepper spray designed for use on humans;
  • nunchaku sticks;
  • shuriken (throwing stars);
  • manrikigusari or kusari (fighting chains);
  • finger rings with blades or other sharp objects projecting from the surface;
  • Taser and stun guns shorter than 480 mm;
  • crossbows designed for one-handed use;
  • crossbows 500 mm or shorter;
  • Constant Companion (belt-buckle knife);
  • push daggers;
  • devices shorter than 30 cm concealing a knife blade (e.g. knife-comb);
  • spiked wristbands;
  • blowguns;
  • Kiyoga or Steel Cobra batons (spring batons);
  • spring-loaded rigid batons (triggered by a button or lever);
  • morning stars; and
  • brass knuckles.


  • silencers or devices designed to muffle or stop the sound of a firearm;
  • certain cartridge magazines above a given capacity. Generally, cartridge magazines are limited to 5 rounds for centre-fire, semi-automatic rifles or shotguns and 10 rounds for semi-automatic handguns, with exemptions for certain magazines;
  • bullpup stocks;
  • replica firearms (see additional information on replica firearms below); and
  • devices prohibited by regulations.


Can I ship firearms?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is, under certain circumstances.
If you are shipping a firearm it must be a licensed carrier company that is designated under the Firearms Act that is handling the firearms shipped to someone in Canada.
  • When shipping, the item must be shipped in a sturdy, non-transparent container. This container should be hard to break into and should not break open accidentally during transport. 
  • There must not be any markings on the outside of the container which indicate there are firearms inside- unless the marking is an address.
  • The Canadian Firearms Program, CFP, recommends that you label an envelope “Customs Documents” and attach it firmly to the outside of the container. You can put any waybills, import permits, or export permits into the envelope.
  • You must declare all firearms at Canada Customs and pay applicable duties and taxes.

Where can updates be found relating to firearms regulations?

It’s important that as a safe, legal and responsible firearms owner you’re always staying up to date with any applicable changes. Updates can be found online the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program section of the website under ‘Highlights’.

Sometimes it depends on the updates you are looking for as to where you can locate them. If you aren’t sure, feel free to reach out to us at
Or, if you have questions that relate to a specific firearm, weapon or device, we recommend that you contact the Canadian Firearms Program at 1-800-731-4000.

How can I learn more about firearms and firearms related Information?

There is a number of ways to find the information that you’re looking for, but for the sake of bringing you the easy access of information you may be on the look for, we would recommend any of the following.

  1. Listen to The Silvercore Podcast. The Silvercore Podcast discusses matters related to hunting, firearms, hiking, outdoor adventure and the people and businesses that comprise the community all from a uniquely Canadian perspective.
  2. Join the Silvercore Club to receive exclusive club discounts with participating retailers (some of whom sell hunting related products) – and the Silvercore Club Facebook Community. There are many individuals who hunt and have experience in  hunting who are happy to share their knowledge and all it takes is a little ask and community involvement.
  3. Take a Silvercore Online Course. Silvercore has a number of different online courses whether you’re looking to obtain your PAL, go hunting, become an RSO, or even just want to make sure you’re safe in bear country.



Please note that this post was created and intended for educational purposes and acts only as a guide and is by no means considered a legal document.

As regulations and legislation change from time to time, Silvercore and its subsidiaries make no warranties whatsoever, either express or implied, oral or written, in fact, or by operation of law or otherwise, regarding the import or export of any firearm or device mentioned throughout this post.

Individuals should always check with the appropriate governing bodies regarding legislative and regulatory specifications for the import and export of firearms into or out of Canada.

Firearms and Hunting Terminology

As our country’s oldest and largest safety training business of its kind, we have trained more outdoor enthusiasts, athletes, hunters, sports shooters and armed professionals, than any other company in our sector in Canada.

As you can imagine, in Silvercore’s endeavours and experience we know very well just how confusing it can be when you are first starting your journey to obtaining licensing, whether it be for your firearms licence, hunting licence, training, permits or otherwise. 

As such, we’ve created a list of different acronyms, variations of them and terms that you may run into in the process of becoming more knowledgeable in the firearms industry to help make things much clearer for you.

PAL or P.A.L. – Possession and Acquisition Licence

This is the current form of firearms licensing in Canada and the term which is most commonly used. It can refer to a Non-Restricted Firearms and/or Restricted Firearms Licence. It was put in place in 1995 when it replaced the term FAC (more to come on this below).

RPAL or R.P.A.L. – Restricted

This is also the current form of firearms licensing in Canada and is really just another term which is somewhat interchanged with PAL.  It refers to a Restricted Firearms Licence.

POL or P.O.L. – Possession Only Licence

This is the term used for individuals with a licence in Canada which cannot obtain firearms, but only possess them. POL’s were actually transferred to PAL’s in 2015 under the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act

FAC or F.A.C. – Firearms Acquisition Certificate

This was the old form of firearms licensing in Canada and term which is less commonly used, but still relatively known and used amongst older generations due to when it was valid (1977 – 1995). These have all now since expired and will need to be replaced by a PAL.

CFSC or C.F.S.C. – Canadian Firearms Safety Course

This is the required training set forth by the Canadian Firearms Program and RCMP for individuals to be able to obtain a Non-Restricted Firearms Licence or PAL.

CRFSC or C.R.F.S.C. – Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course

This the required training set forth by the Canadian Firearms Program and RCMP for individuals to be able to obtain a Restricted Firearms Licence or RPAL.

NR – Non-Restricted

This refers to a classification of a firearm and typically means long guns such as rifles or shotguns. This is not always the case however and there may be firearms which are exceptions based on barrel length, calibre discharged, etc. Specifics relating to the classification of Non-Restricted Firearms can be found on the RCMP’s website here.

R – Restricted

This also refers to a classification of a firearm and typically means firearms such as revolvers or handguns.  Specifics relating to the classification of Restricted Firearms can be found on the RCMP’s website here.

Prohib- Prohibited

This also refers to a classification of a firearm. Specifics relating to the classification of Prohibited Firearms can be found on the RCMP’s website here.

CFP- Canadian Firearms Program

The Canadian Firearms Program, also known as the Canadian Firearms Centre is a federal program which falls under the RCMP and is typically responsible for firearms licences and regulations in Canada.

CFO- Chief Firearms Officer

The Chief Firearms Officer is provincial body which is responsible for the issuance of PAL’s to individuals in that province, ATT’s, ATC’s Firearms Transfers, and Guns Show Sponsorship approvals.  There are different CFO’s per province and a list of these and their contact information can be found on the RCMP’s website here.

ATT or A.T.T. or LATT – Long Term Authorization to Transport

A Long Term Authorization to Transport is a requirement for individuals which possess a valid RPAL and wish to purchase, possess, or transport a restricted firearm.

In order to obtain an ATT, the individual meeting the requirements above, must provide proof of a valid membership with a recognized gun club or range in order to meet the requirements of the CFO.

This proof of membership is typically provided in form of a letter from your club or range which you have a valid membership with.

ATC or A.T.C – Authorization to Carry

An Authorization to Carry is a special permit issued by the CFO in your province under the Firearms Act. This permit will allow an individual to lawfully posses and carry a restricted, or prohibited firearm, which is readily accessible to them for use. This may be issued in the case of it being a requirement for your line of profession, for example, an armoured car guard may receive this permit.

WATC or W.A.T.C. – Wilderness Authorization to Carry

A Wilderness Authorization to Carry is a special permit issued by the CFO in your province under the Firearms Act. This will allow an individual to lawfully posses and carry a restricted firearm, which is readily accessible to them for use for the purpose of protection in their line of work. An example of an individual who may be eligible to apply for this permit might be a licensed professional trapper.

POP or P.O.P. – Proof Of Proficiency

A proof of proficiency is required to be completed by the Applicant that is looking to obtain a WATC. This consists of the applicant showing the administrator of the POP that they can shoot their firearm at a different distances and in different positions. They will be scored on their shots and where they placed on the target. This will determine if they’ve passed or not and will be included with their application which is submitted to the CFO for their WATC.

CORE or C.O.R.E. – Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education

CORE is education or training related to hunting. There are currently various ways to do this including self-study, reading the CORE Manual, completing the Online CORE Hunter Education Course, or attending an in-person CORE Hunter Education Course with a BCWF certified CORE Examiner.

All of these methods go towards the same goal; obtaining your Fish and Wildlife ID (FWID) which acts as the passport to hunting in BC. Individuals will be required to complete an examination with a BCWF Certified examiner and obtain their student graduation certificate in order to proceed and obtain their FWID. Read more on this in our blog post on what you need to hunt in BC.

BCWF or BC Wildlife Federation – British Columbia Wildlife Federation

The BCWF is the provincial body which manages the CORE program, its instructors and the certifications of students whom have successfully passed their CORE examinations. They also are British Columbias leading conservation organization with core values of Stewardship, Education and Research and Partnership. Find out more about the British Columbia Wildlife Federation on their website here.

FWID – Fish and Wildlife ID

The Fish and Wildlife ID or FWID, is the passport to access hunting services in BC.  This is required in order to obtain the following:

  • Hunting licences (resident, non-resident, non-resident alien, youth and initiation)
  • Fraser Valley and Gulf Islands special area licences
  • Species and upland game bird licences
  • Limited entry hunting (LEH) licences
  • Guide outfitter licences
  • Permit to accompany a non-resident or non-resident alien to hunt big game

LEH –  Limited Entry Hunting 

Limited Entry Hunting is a random draw which provides hunters the opportunity to hunt animals which may not otherwise be huntable during the general open season. LEH applications are typically for authorizations to hunt Bison, Mule Deer, Elk, Moose, Mountain Goat, Mountain Sheep, and other B.C. game.

Regulation Synopsis

There are many different synopsis’ with regulations as they pertain to hunting, LEH, trapping, and fishing, these include the following:

  1. BC Limited Entry Hunting Regulations Synopsis
  2. BC Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis
  3. BC Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis

These Synopsis’ are typically released every 2 years and have important regulations in them that are important for hunters, trappers and anglers alike to follow. The BC government also updates these online so its important to check their website to make sure you have the most current and accurate information.

Looking to learn more? Visit for information blog post resources for outdoor, hunter, angler, firearms enthusiasts alike.

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