About GOABC and Guide Outfitting in BC
By the late 1800s the world's hunting fraternity had learned that British Columbia (BC) harboured one of North America's most magnificent big game populations. Local hunters started guiding services to meet the demand for quality big game hunts. Guiding licences were first issued in 1913 and guiding territories were established in the late 1940s. In 1961 legislation provided guide outfitters with the exclusive rights to guide non-resident big game hunters in a specific area. This exclusivity of the guide outfitter certificate became the foundation of the guide outfitting industry in BC.
Guide outfitters developed an understanding of wildlife and wildlife habitat within their guiding territory. This ownership increased the sense of responsibility and was the beginning of wildlife stewardship. The success of this model was recognized and quickly adopted in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. The big game populations in BC are healthy and growing due, in part, to the science-based wildlife management policies that were developed by government in cooperation with guide outfitters.
Hunters pay for conservation. Since 1981 licence surcharge dollars from hunters, trappers and anglers have generated over $120 million towards the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF). These funds went towards wildlife stewardship and habitat enhancement projects throughout the province. Approximately 50% of these funds were provided through the licences, tags, royalties and fees from non-residents.
Guide outfitters are the founders of the tourism industry and an important part of the outdoor heritage of BC. They enjoy showcasing "super, natural British Columbia" and derive great satisfaction from their clients' enjoyment. More than 5,000 hunters come to BC each year and spend more, per day, per capita, than any other visitor to our province.
The guide outfitting industry is an important contributor the health and well-being of rural economics. Our industry provides 2,000 jobs in BC's backcountry and generates approximately $116 million in revenue each year. Most guide outfitters derive their primary source of income from their family-run guide outfitting business. A guide outfitter is an entrepreneur with the leadership qualities; business acumen and organizing ability necessary to assist clients achieve their specific objective in British Columbia's outdoors.
The Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia (GOABC) was established in 1966 to represent the guide outfitting industry to government and advocate for science-based wildlife management. Today the association represents more than 80% of the guide outfitters in BC, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
To be the leader among guide outfitting associations in the areas of governance and organizational performance while ensuring legal and ethical integrity. The GOABC promotes guide outfitting to government and within our communities. We help market the Canadian northwest as the premier hunting destination and endorse the responsible, sustainable and ethical use of the wildlife resource. We encourage our members to honour a Code of Conduct and follow best practices to ensure the highest quality wilderness experiences for hunting clients.