At some point your guide will request that you load your rifle. NEVER have your rifle loaded unless your guide has requested it. ALWAYS have your gun pointed in a safe direction with the safety ON when following your guide. It is almost impossible to regain the trust and respect of your guide if you accidentally point a loaded firearm at him.
We are often asked what the guidelines are for tipping your guide. A basic rule is to figure on 5% – 10% of the base cost of the hunt, excluding trophy fees, license fees, tax etc. If you want to tip more than that – please do so! Our guides are some of the best in the industry and dedicated to their professions, and will sincerely appreciate the recognition of a job well done. The cooks are often overlooked, but are working hard to keep you well fed and served. If you feel they have done a good job and you enjoyed their food, please tip the cooks as well.
- Black bear – $500 – $750; additional animal – add $200 – $300
- Mule deer – $500 – $750; additional animal add $200 – $300
- Cougar – $750 – $1,000; additional animal add $200 – $300
- Moose – $750 – $1000; additional animal add $200- $300
- California Bighorn Sheep – $2,000 to $5000
- Cook’s Tip: $100 – $300 per hunter.
Shot Placement, Wounding Policy & Game Retrieval
Our business is built on successful hunts and satisfied clients. Therefore, it is important to be honest with yourself and your guide as to your shooting and hunting abilities. At the beginning of your hunt your guide will counsel you as to the preferred shot placement for your chosen species. Please keep an open mind to this advice and let go of any preconceived theories you may have as to how to hunt any of the animals in our concession. Rule # 1. Listen to your guide.
If the unthinkable occurs and an animal is lost, it is entirely your guide’s call as to whether or not your hunt continues. If your guide feels that the animal’s wounds are not life threatening, you will be able to continue to hunt that species. On the other hand, if your guide feels that the animal will die as a result of its wounds, you will be expected to make every effort to locate the animal. Should you and your guide not be able to locate the animal, the hunt for that species will be called off. You may continue to hunt for another species assuming you have a tag for it, but not for the same species that was lost.
Be assured we will continue to search for the lost animal long after you have left and will send it to you if we are successful in locating it.
There are no winners with a lost animal, especially not the animal, yourself or our company. This is a partnership. Please don’t take any undue risks with shots. We would much prefer that you pass on a shot and go after another animal than have a lost animal. Be assured that we don’t over use our area and have plenty of animals to hunt.
Liability Insurance Waiver Information
All clients hunting and/or fishing with Arcadia Outfitting Ltd. Are required to sign a liability insurance waiver form that will be provided by your Guide Outfitter. This is a requirement of our insurance underwriter, and is becoming more common in many outdoor recreation activities and pursuits throughout North America. Without implementing the waiver, it would be far more difficult, if not virtually impossible, to find insurance companies willing to offer affordable insurance coverage.
Trophy & Meat Care
Upon harvesting your game, the guide will field dress, quarter, and care for the transport of your animal. We have the option of caping and salting all hides here in camp, though this will take some time away from your hunt. This is a tedious process and great care is taken to ensure proper handling of the hides. If you would like us to take this time to care for your trophy, we can do so, but please know it will take at least a half to full day of hunting time from your hunt…time you could otherwise use to search for an additional trophy animal. If you choose to continue hunting instead, we can freeze the hides and heads, and transport them at a later date to our taxidermist to be cared for at a later date. The taxidermist reserves the right to charge whatever fee is necessary for the caping and salting of these hides once in his care. Usually this is around $200-$300 for this service.
At the end of each hunt, every client will be required to sign a Declaration form, as well as a record of receipt for transporting wildlife. If you have a Taxidermist back home you would like to use, please provide us with their contact details so we know where your animal is going.
At the end of the hunt, we will send all trophies to our Taxidermist and Export Specialist, Harley White. He looks after all necessary permits and shipping orders to the taxidermist of your choice. All additional shipping fees are at the expense of the client.
If you are planning to keep some if not all of your meat, please contact us for further information regarding the proper procedure for transporting meat back into the USA or other international destinations. You can also buy coolers from us for $50 each, filled with frozen meat to take home. All wild game meat not taken with the client will be used in camp or given to local First Nation families.
Border Entry Information (Old DUI’s or DWI’s)
The laws governing visitors coming to Canada have been tightened up considerably since September 2001. The immigration and Refugee Protection Act became a law in June of 2002, and contains provisions that allow Canadian officials to bar certain individuals from entering into Canada. While intended to primarily stop terrorists and others of that type from entering into Canada, it also had its implications for some other visitors.
Residents of other countries who have at some point in the past been convicted of anything considered a criminal offence in Canada and are now planning to visit Canada should be aware that these old convictions could pose problems. For example, if someone was convicted of a Driving While Impaired (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge in another country, that person may encounter a problem at the Port of Entry into Canada because impaired driving is an indictable offence in Canada. A client with such a conviction in his/her background who is enroute to a hunting and/or fishing trip in Canada, can be delayed or even turned back at the border.
There are steps that can be taken well in advance of a trip to Canada to address the matter. Please contact the Canadian Firearms Centre or Arcadia Outfitting for more information.
FAQ (About Firearms)
Here you will find our most frequently asked questions regarding rifles and ammunition upon bringing them to Canada through customs.
Canada’s Gun Laws and How They Apply to Hunting Clients
Laws governing the importation of firearms into Canada took effect on January 1st, 2001 and have been amended since the date. The system that has been put in place allowing a hunter to bring his/ her rifle into Canada has worked very well since its inception.
Each hunter completes a form that is available from your Guide Outfitter in advance, and then presents it to the officer at the Port of Entry at the time of entering Canada. A small fee is also paid at the Port of Entry.
Arcadia Outfitting Ltd. has prepared this general Q & A sheet to address the most commonly asked questions asked by our hunting clients. If you still have questions after reading this information, please contact Arcadia Outfitting Ltd. for more information.
1. On my next hunting trip to Canada, what procedure should I follow when I arrive at the border or airport into Canada?
You will inform the Canada Border Agency Officer that you are bringing a firearm and/or ammunition into Canada and explain to the Officer the purpose of your trip. You will then provide the Officer with the Non-Resident Firearms Declaration form provided by your Guide Outfitter. If you forgot to fill out this form or bring it with you, copies of the form are available at your Port of Entry.
2. What kinds of questions does the form ask?
The form requires the usual name and address information and also asks for information about the rifle(s), that you are bringing into Canada. (example. Type of firearm, make, serial #, gauge, barrel, length, etc.) There is also a signature line for you to declare that the information is true.
3. If I get the form in advance, can I fill it out beforehand and then present it to the Canada Border Agency Official when I arrive at the Port of Entry?
Yes, you can complete everything in advance, but you MUST sign the declaration form in front of the Official, not beforehand
4. Will I be subject to a background check at the Port of Entry?
Background checks are conducted randomly. Such checks are at the discretion of the Canada Border Service Agency Officer.
5. I’m planning to bring more than one rifle with me. How many forms do I need?
Each form has room for three firearms. If you are bringing more than that, you need a Continuation sheet which is available from the Government of Canada’s, Canadian Firearms Centre at 1-800-731-4000.
6. How much is the fee that I have to pay at the border?
The fee is $25.00 CDN per Declaration form (not per rifle) and must be paid at the Port of Entry. It can be made out in cash, (USD or CDN funds) or by Credit Card.
7. Will I have to pay the fee each time I come to Canada to hunt?
You will only have to pay the $25.00 fee once in any 60-day period regardless of how many times you come to Canada during that period. You can renew your declaration at no additional fee, if you renew it before it expires by contacting the Chief Firearms Officer of the Province or Territory where you are staying.
8. What happens if I bring a different rifle on my next trip within 60 days?
You won’t have to pay again, however, you must declare the firearm(s) and the Canadian Border Services Agency will add them to your Declaration form.
9. Can I borrow a rifle from my Guide Outfitter instead of bringing my own?
Yes, you can borrow a rifle from your Guide Outfitter or your licensed guide, but you must always be within his/her immediate company at all times while in possession of the rifle.
10. I am planning to bring my son/daughter to go hunting with me. Can they bring their own rifle into Canada with them once they have declared it at the Port of Entry and completed the form?
No, they cannot if they are under the age of 18 years old. However, you as their parent or guardian can. You will simply add their rifle to your Declaration form.
11. What happens if I bring a rifle to Canada and leave it with my Guide Outfitter before I depart?
If you are leaving it with the Guide Outfitter for safe storage only, no problem. But if you are giving it to him/her as a gift, you will have to use a different form. You can obtain that form by calling the Canadian Firearms Centre at 1-800-731-4000.
12. I have a custom-made rifle that I want to bring with me when I come hunting in Canada. Is that handled the same way at the Port of Entry?
Custom-made rifles are handled the same as any other rifle. As long as it does not fall into a category of a restricted or prohibited firearm, you should be fine. If in doubt, contact your Guide Outfitter or the Canadian Firearms Centre. Their website is: www.cfc-cafc.gc.ca
13. My custom-made rifle does not have a serial number on it. Is that going to be a problem?
No, it should not be. Complete all of the other information on the form but draw a line through that box on the Declaration Form.
14. I applied for and received a Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) from the Canadian Firearms Centre. Can I use that instead of the Declaration form when I come to Canada to hunt?
Yes, you can. It lasts for 5 years and costs $60.00 CDN. Most Canadians owning firearms have a PAL and indeed non-residents can also take the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and obtain a PAL. You will have to register with the Canadian Firearms Centre for the rifle that you plan to bring to Canada with you. For more information, contact the Canadian Firearms Centre 1-800-731-4000.
15. Two of us are going to Canada to hunt, but my partner is driving while I am flying. Can my partner take my rifle and declare it at the Port of Entry?
Each of you must bring your own rifles into Canada and complete the Non-Resident Firearms Declaration Form at your respective Port of Entry.
16. How much ammunition can I bring with me?
Non-residents can import up to 5,000 cartridges for hunting purposes, but you will have to pay duty on anything more than 200 rounds that you bring into Canada.
18. If I have any other questions about Canadian gun laws who can I contact?
FAQ (About the Hunt)
Here you will find the majority of questions regarding the hunt and all things involved. If you have additional questions not covered here, feel free to email or call Arcadia Outfitting for more information.
1. How big is your hunting area?
Our concession is roughly 1000 square miles. The landscape varies from vertical cliff faces and goat country in the south, to rolling alpine forests in the north, mixed with beautiful sagebrush and dry river valley between.
2. What temperatures and weather can I expect?
The area is known for dry hot temperatures in the summer and mild winters. We are in the rain shadow of the Coast Mountain Ranges and do not get much rainfall, though hunters need to come prepared with waterproof rain gear for all seasons. This is mountain hunting, and anything can happen, though temperatures are generally some of the best in Canada.
3. Do you provide alcohol?
No, we do not provide alcohol on your trip. Your guide or Outfitter will allow time to stop at the local liquor store on the way to camp, and you will have the opportunity to purchase whatever you desire. While alcohol consumption is permitted after the day’s hunting is finished, it needs to stay under control. If any drunken or disorderly conduct begins, the hunter will be asked to retire for the night. If a problem persists, your hunt will be terminated immediately. No exceptions.
4. What happens if I wound an animal?
All possible efforts will be made to retrieve your wounded game. If you cannot find the wounded animal after extensive searching, and your guide believes the animal to be wounded fatally, your tag will be cut, and hunting for that species must stop immediately. A trophy fee must be paid in full if the animal was an addition to a hunt. No exceptions. You may continue to hunt for any other species that you have tags for however.
5. What are trophy fees and why do you use them?
Trophy fees are a way to keep the cost of the main hunt down. Usually the trophy fee animals are incidental or add-ons, not the main target. This allows you the option of harvesting more game than initially planned upon, should you desire. You only pay a trophy fee once the harvest of an animal is complete. (This includes wounding even if not retrieved).
6. What is a standard tip for the staff?
Industry standard is a minimum of 5%-10%. Anything lower than this tells us that our staff did not do the best job possible, and we did not meet your expectations. Anything over 10% tells us that our staff was greatly appreciated and did a great job on your hunt. Wranglers and cooks generally make $100-$300 per hunter. Guides make the rest. The gratuity should be included in your budget beforehand.
7. Do you have any additional fees?
All extra fees are explained in detail in the hunt contract and Rates page.
-GOABC requires each hunter pay a $200.00 CDN WCF (Wildlife Conservation Fee). This fund was established to help ensure non-residents of Canada will be able to continue to hunt in British Columbia, The Yukon, and the NWT.
-Tags and Licenses. (Please see “Rates” for additional detailed information)
-Trophy Fees (Please see “Rates” for additional information)
8. Do you have a Taxidermist you recommend?
Yes, we do. We use Harley White, a well renowned Taxidermist from the Okanagan, who has been in business for over 30 years. His expertise and abilities are among the best in the industry. If you would like to use his services, please let us know before the hunt and we will arrange it for you.
9. Are deposits refundable?
No, all deposits are NON-REFUNDABLE. However, if you have to cancel your hunt for any reason, but are able to find a replacement hunter for your slot for the same timeframe, we will transfer your deposit to that individual.
10. Can I take meat and antlers home with me?
If you are driving, then it is much easier to bring with you. If a C.I.T.E.S permit is required, the animal and cape will have to stay with us until the proper paperwork can be obtained. If you wish to take meat home, we will help you get the necessary export permits required, and help with preparing and packaging of meat into coolers. (You may purchase coolers from us for $50 each).
11. What rifle do you recommend for the hunts?
We find rifles to be as specific to an individual as their toothbrush. Whatever you are used to shooting and are comfortable with is the absolute best option to bring on your hunt. That being said, we recommend certain calibers for certain game species. For Moose or Black Bear the 7mm is our preferred Caliber. You may also choose to bring a .300 Win Mag or .338 Win Mag for use on your Black Bear or Moose hunt for extra knockdown power, though with proper placement, this is not necessary. For Deer and Sheep, smaller calibers are perfectly fine. The .270 Win Mag or .270 WSM is a great caliber, and will not damage too much meat, but will certainly knock down your quarry. It is a beautiful gun. As well, the 6.5 Creedmor is a rising celebrity in the industry for sheep and deer hunting, and is a great option for both animals. With proper shot placement, this rifle can easily handle a black bear as well. For Cougar or other cat hunts, we recommend something smaller. A .223 or .243 is a great choice, as well as the 30-30. Just as important as rifle choice is, is the choice of quality ammunition. Please only purchase high grade bullets for your hunt, not cheap low value ammunition that won’t do the job. We have seen many wounded animals throughout the years due to bullet failures, even though good shot placements were in evidence. Good bullets to purchase include the Nosler Partition/Accubond, and Barnes Triple Shock.
12. What should I sight my rifle in for?
Most rifles should be zeroed in for either 200 or 300 yard shots. We do not like taking shots over 400 yards if we can help it. It is not sporting, though sometimes, situations do not allow us a better option. For Cougar hunts, shots will be within 50 to 100 yards generally
13. What distance should I be comfortable shooting to?
Please be comfortable shooting from 0-400 yards. Many hunters can shoot great at 200-300 yards, but if an animal is closer, and an offhand shot at 70 yards needs to happen fast, most pull the shot and the animal gets away. Practice running around the yard to get your heart rate up, and then stop and shoot quickly, to get in the habit of fast, close target acquisitions. This will greatly improve your shooting ability. Also, practice all shooting positions, and make sure you can shoot in uncomfortable positons as well. Many times on the mountain, we do not have the ideal shooting rest, and need to make do with what we have available. Shoot off of backpacks lying down, off of tree branches sitting up and leaning into the tree, and standing up leaning against trees as well. Once with us, you will have the chance to shoot again to make sure your rifles are still zeroed in where you left them before flying.
14. How many bullets should I bring?
Bring 2 boxes of ammunition (40 rounds). You may think this to be excessive, but trust me, we have seen hunters say the same and end up shooting their entire stockpile on a hunt. It happens. Be prepared please.
15. Can we use your rifle?
Yes, you can rent a rifle from Arcadia Outfitting for $150 CDN per hunt. One box of ammunition will be supplied. If requiring additional ammo for some reason, each additional box will cost $75 CDN. We supply high quality rifle and scope setups, and the best ammunition for these rifles out there. These rifles are deadly. If for some reason you miss your animal, it will not be because of the rifle, trust us.
16. What gear do you recommend to bring?
Please find “Equipment Lists” for each season/hunt we offer.
17. Do I need to bring binoculars or my own spotting scope?
100% bring your own binoculars, yes. 10×42 power are recommended. You do NOT need to bring your own spotting scope however. Sometimes hunters desire to scan the hillsides on their own, and if you want to, feel free to bring one, though all of our guides have high quality spotting scopes and you are free to look through them if a guide is not using it.
18. Do I need to wear camo clothing?
No, Camo seems to be the trend these days though. Camo may help us to blend in, though look back at the hunters of the 1960’s and 1970’s. More big trophy class game was harvested by these gentlemen wearing blue jeans and red flannel shirts than even today with our high-end Sitka and Kuiu. Good hunting practices are what we require. That being said, please wear “earth
19. Do I need to bring a sleeping bag?
Depending on your hunt and hunt style chosen, you may require a sleeping bag, yes. If you do not have one of your own, you can rent a high-quality sleeping bag from us for $50 CDN per hunt. No problem. Please let us know well in advance of the hunt, if you would like this option. You can also rent a sleeping pad if necessary as well for $40 CDN.
20. Do you pick us up from the airport?
If you fly into Kelowna, BC we will pick you up free of charge. This has already been incorporated into the cost of the hunt. If you need pickup/drop-off from Vancouver, a fee of $400 CDN will be added onto the cost of the hunt, and must be paid beforehand. Please specify before your hunt.
21. Am I guaranteed to harvest an animal?
Arcadia Outfitting Ltd. offers only Fair-Chase hunting adventures, and nothing is guaranteed. What we can guarantee is that we will do our best and never quit trying to get you your trophy class animal, as long as you do the same. We are not a high fenced business, and would have it no other way.