Limited Entry Hunting in British Columbia... How well does the system work for you?
Love-it or hate-it LEH draws are here to stay in BC, at least for now!
For years, my Dad who lived in the Kootenay's put in his name for LEH moose hunts in the Caribou... and he was drawn for an any bull moose tag seemingly EVERY SINGLE YEAR!
My uncle on the other hand who lived in the lower mainland, put in for the same hunts at the same time of the year... he applied for 13 years before he got his first and only moose draw! He was always accusing my Dad of knowing someone in the Wildlife Branch!
These guys were old timers, my Dad who will turn 92 this year and my
Uncle would have been 93 (at the time of this writing). They remember the days when,
if you wanted to get a moose tag, all you did was go to the local
hardware store and buy one. No fuss, no muss! My how times have changed!
Sadly, both of these hunters are gone now, leaving us only with memories and stories to mull over. Speaking of stories, I did manage to get my dad on camera retelling a story of moose hunting in the Caribou (5 Parts).
Limited Entry Hunting in British Columbia is for residents of BC only. How well does the system work for you? Do you get draws or not?
In a nutshell, if you have a Fish and Wildlife ID (FWID) number you may apply for an LEH draw for the species of your choice. Be sure that you don't make any errors on your application, every year many cards are rejected because of incomplete or incorrect information. If in doubt have someone else check them for you.
New for 2016: You can only apply on-line. Errors should be limited. Read on to find out more...
Travis from Silvercore which is Canada's largest and longest standing training company of its kind recently able to secure a podcast with two BC government representatives who are directly responsible for working on our LEH. This is a very informative Podcast in which Travis was able to get answers to most LEH system questions. Have a listen here. Or if you prefer you can watch the interview on YouTube.
Can't remember your BCeID but need to check the status of your LEH draw? No problem. Follow the link BCeID to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Limited Entry Draw Results, type in your FWID into the box and you will get your results.
It works the same as the old system where you would have typed in your hunter number (no longer valid).
Although the BC Government has said in the past they are trying to hold the draws earlier so the hunters can make plans; as you can see we have started to see a trend in that direction. Let's hope it continues.
May 25, 2021: Limited Entry Hunting Synopsis for 2021-2022 is now available for download. Applications must be in Victoria by 11:59 PM on June 16, 2022. Don't miss the deadline!
This coming season will signal a dramatic change to the way hunters access moose and caribou licenses in BC.
The provincial government has begun talks to reduce or remove available moose licences in North Eastern BC by 50, any remaining available moose licenses for the foreseeable future will then be converted to LEH licenses.
In addition, the caribou hunt the the region will be closed completely to resident hunters.
The release of the Limited Entry Synopsis will layout the forthcoming changes.
With these eminent changes in mind, be prepared to see an increase in hunter numbers into areas where there are General Open Seasons (GOS) available.
April 21, 2021: Limited Entry Hunting Synopsis for 2021-2022 is now available for download. Applications must be in Victoria by 11:59 PM on Friday May 28, 2021. Don't miss the deadline!
Applications may only be submitted online! The printed version of the synopsis will no longer be available in print. If you want a paper copy, just download the PDF and print it yourself or in the case where you don't have a printer, you can go to a print shop such as Staples and have them print it for you.
COVID continues to influence the Province of BC. As I write this we have sweeping travel restrictions across the province which are preventing you and I from leaving our Health Authority Region. Although the restrictions are supposed to be in place as a temporary measure till May 24th, 2021... we will have to wait and see what if any restrictions are in place this coming fall.
April 22, 2020: Limited Entry Hunting Synopsis for 2020-2021 is now available for download. Applications must be in Victoria by 11:59 PM on Friday May 29, 2020. Don't miss the deadline!
Applications may only be submitted online! Because of COVID-19 the printed version of the Limited Entry Synopsis is not available for 2020, however if you have access to a printer you can print the pages that are of importance to you,
This year is a year like no other, COVID-19 has taken over our lives and the results of social distancing make things more difficult to be sure!
Quoted from the provincial LEH Webpage...
Be sure to check for updates as time goes on, the province may enforce further travel restrictions that could affect any hunting trips you have planned.
I know a lot of people are interested in going hunting and fishing this year, license sales have more than doubled previous years so you can expect a lot of competition in the woods and for the LEH draws this year.
As our PHO, Bonnie Henry says... Be Calm, Be Kind, Be Safe
April 15, 2019: Limited Entry Hunting Synopsis for 2019-2020 is now available for download. Applications must be in Victoria by 11:59 PM on Friday May 31, 2019. Don't miss the deadline!
Applications may only be submitted online!
I only applied for one draw this year and I received the same results as usual.
So, I am headed to the Yukon this year. Stay tuned for exciting stories!
April 10, 2018: LEH Synopsis is now available for download Applications must be in Victoria by midnight on May 25th, 2018. Don't miss the deadline!
March 8, 2017: LEH Synopsis is now available for download Applications must be in Victoria by midnight on May 26th, 2017. Don't miss the deadline!
Applications may only be submitted online!
June 27, 2016: The LEH draw has been run. Login to BCeID to see the results of your draws.
No moose draws for us... again! We will head to an area for the archery only season, or further north where there are open seasons.
April 25, 2016: The LEH system is available online only. Draw cards are no longer used.
April 18, 2016: The LEH Synopsis is now available for the current year.
The LEH Application Deadline is May 27, 2016
July 8, 2015: The limited entry draw has been run for the year 2015. Interestingly enough, the result were available the same date as in 2014.
We didn't receive a draw this year, which really is of no surprise because we were awarded one last year.
March 20, 2015: The Limited Entry Synopsis has now been published and is available for download. (See the list below for current and archived synopsis.)
Note: The deadline for 2015 is May 22. Your application must reach Victoria before 4:30 PM on this date!
July 8, 2014: We are happy this year! My Dad who just turned 89 will join me on shared a moose hunt. This could be his last, so I'm very happy about that!
Update: We went on our moose hunt as scheduled in Region 5 and were rewarded with a respectable meat bull... on our very first morning! We had planned up to two weeks and our hunt was over an hour after leaving camp!
July 3, 2014: No draw to date! :-(
March 19, 2014: The Limited Entry Synopsis for 2014/2015 is now available. Your applications for regular draws must reach Victoria by May 23, 2013 at 4:30 PM to be eligible for entries.
At first glance one thing I noticed right away in this year's limited entry hunting synopsis is the reduction of moose draws compared to last year. In one MU that we hunt in region 5 the number of moose draws was reduced by almost 50%. That is a direct reflection of what we've hearing; the number of moose in some areas of British Columbia has declined dramatically and therefore the harvest must be reduced as well.
New to the synopsis this year is the opportunity to go on a shared Bison Hunt. If Bison is one of those species that you've always wanted to chase after, now may be your chance.
Earlier this year the BC Government announced the launch of a study to see if they can find out what is happening with the moose population. Hopefully they get some solid findings and act upon them.
July 2, 2013: The draw has been completed and the link is posted here to find out your status.
June 25, 2013: Someone just posted this on Facebook "They [Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management] emailed me and said due to high applicants [in 2013] the LEH will be completed late June to early July so I will bet on July 2nd."
This is the reply I received: "The LEH draw is not yet complete, although we are getting closer and pushing hard to get it done. We always run the draw as soon as we can each year and it usually takes approximately a month or so after the application card deadline date to complete everything. At this point I would say somewhere right around the beginning of July is my best estimate for you."
March 18, 2013: The Limited Entry Synopsis for 2013/2014 is now available. Your applications for regular draws must reach Victoria by May 24, 2013 at 4:30 PM to be eligible for entries.
As always there are some areas where numbers are reduced and others where the number of available draws are increased. Be sure to read the synopsis carefully and be sure you fill in your cards correctly.
My chosen area for moose hunting this year? An increase in the number of draws, hopefully this time we'll be lucky.
I've got two new moose hunters joining me this season, one has never hunted and the other has never hunted moose. To say the least, these two guys are stoked!
The LEH data has been posted for 2012. In 2012 your application must be in Victoria by May 25th 2012. The wildlife branch no longer notifies hunters if they received NIL draws. Only successful applicants will be notified by mail.
Limited Entry Hunting, also known as LEH is available for residents of British Columbia who are in possession of a BC Resident Hunter Number. If you are in search of current or past LEH Synopsis you can download them here.
How about you? Did you receive a draw? Tell us about it!
2016: Five of us applied for various Limited Entry Draws, I was the only successful applicant and received a Mule antlerless draw in MU-3. No moose or Elk this year.
2013: Two of my hunting buddies and I received mule deer doe draws in 3-14. No moose draws again!
2012: My hunting partner received a mule deer doe draw, and none of our hunting party received a moose draw.
According to Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management: "As for the number of LEH application cards we received last year (2012), I believe it was somewhere around 162,000 and 163,000".
That is a good number of hunters from BC. Although these numbers are down considerably from when Limited Entry Hunting First began.
As of 2016 the BC Government is only accepting LEH applications online. In order to apply for LEH you need an FWID number. This number is assigned to you once you register.
In order to get the FWID, you first need a BCeID number or registration. The basic is the easiest to acquire as you don't need to vist a Government Agency to verify. Once you have your BCeID you can the apply for your FWID number (of course you must have a BC Resident Hunter Number first).
Nothing now! Keep one for old times sake!
LIMITED ENTRY HUNTING
FISH, WILDLIFE & HABITAT MANAGEMENT BRANCH
2975 JUTLAND ROAD
PO BOX 9389 STN PROV GOVT
VICTORIA BC V8W 9M7
Not all BC resident hunters make use of the LEH system... "Why not?" I ask. There are plenty of opportunities to get drawn for some fine hunting prospects.
I'll tell you why I think many hunters in BC are jaded towards this system... "Some believe it is a cash grab... just another tax... or it is a fixed system so that those who: vote just right, live in certain areas and support the right causes are drawn.
What do you think? Is the LEH system fair?
Personally, I believe that the Limited Entry Hunting for British Columbia Residents lottery draw is fair. Like any lottery, there is always a chance. I have read about other jurisdictions and their system of points, I like how our system is set-up.
As for the LEH draw being fixed... I'll address that here... Limited Entry Hunting Opinions, where you can have your say too!
Also for many participants who do not understand How the Limited Entry System Works, this document explains the process.
I have been tracking the LEH results for Moose Hunting BC in the Caribou on an Excel spreadsheet since 1993... it is
interesting (to me at least) to be able to track the trending of: number of draws available, the odds of being successful for a draw and number of hunters applying for draws.
Do you have an opinion as to how or why the Limited Entry Hunting Draw system works... or doesn't work? Please share it with us!
This year marks the fourth anniversary of the All About Moose website. After fielding many requests over the years (answering lots of questions too) it was determined we should offer a book with all the moose hunting tips in one place. The Ultimate Guide to Moose Hunting is our offering. The eBook has over 130 pages jam packed with moose hunting tips gathered from many sources.
Download a copy today, you won't be disappointed.
Now includes an interview and moose hunting tips from Wayne Carlton of Hunter Specialties and Carlton Calls.