Raccoon Hunting on Vancouver Island

Anything you need to know about the best time, places, outfitters, and regulations of Vancouver Island raccoon hunting, you can find them here. We are ready to help you make a rewarding BC hunting opportunity.

The content is valid until June 30, 2024.

Have you ever seen a raccoon in your yard lurking for you to sleep? Well, on Vancouver Island, provided that you have the required licence, raccoon hunting is allowed. Since Vancouver Island has all the criteria of a raccoon habitat, the population of raccoons on the island is pretty significant. Raccoons have heavy-set bodies, black facial masks, and banded tails. They weigh between 12 and 35 pounds (5.4 kg and 15.8 kg), making them great bates for hunting, although raccoon hunting is mainly done for the fur.

The raccoon population on the east coast (Campbell River, Comox, and Nanaimo) of Vancouver Island is denser than on the west coast. According to the statistics, there are 238 raccoons per square kilometre, but remember that hunting and trapping are illegal without possessing a licence. It's best if you choose your hunting site there. Over the past ten years, Trapping activity has declined and has been reduced to only a few dozen raccoons a year. Although its nocturnal lifestyle makes for more than a few incidental takings, annual harvests from trapping have rarely exceeded 1,000 pelts.

In the following, we will discuss the essential factors you need to know regarding raccoon hunting on Vancouver Island. Besides, we will introduce all the regulations you must know before going on a raccoon hunting tour on Vancouver Island.

History of Raccoon Hunting on Vancouver Island

Many years ago, raccoon flesh was used as the staple food by indigenous people on Vancouver Island. Indigenous people set hunting trips for raccoon harvests to freeze food for the winter. Back then, raccoons were one of the main resources Micmac indigenous people of Richibucto for both food and clothes. So, we can say that raccoon hunting used to be a custom on Vancouver Island for years, and now, the fur has widespread use amongst people; for two decades, during the 50s and the 60s, coonskin hats were fashionable. However, the flesh isn't the reason why people go raccoon hunting anymore.

Vancouver Island Raccoon Hunters

Raccoons are brilliant small game animals, sometimes even more than human beings. Once to attempt to trap them and fail, trapping them may become the last thing that happens before you say goodbye to this world. Raccoons are "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" kind of creature. Therefore, hunting aside, even trapping raccoons is a big challenge whether you are a hunter or not. Again, both hunting and trapping raccoons require a licence; otherwise, there will be consequences.
In addition, people can create lots and lots of clothes using raccoon fur. And when it comes to beautiful clothes, women make their hunter husbands go raccoon hunting and make sure that the harvest is going to be thriving. Then they can show off about two things; first, they have shiny coonskin clothes. Second, their husbands managed to have successful raccoon hunting. Thus, successful raccoon hunting plays the role of "two birds with one stone," and nothing more than being praised can satisfy a woman.

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Reasons to Hunt Raccoon on Vancouver Island

We already mentioned that people initially used to hunt raccoons for their flesh and fur. Nowadays, tastes have changed, and the diversity of edible fauna has increased considerably as well. Therefore, not many people think of eating raccoon flesh anymore. Some indigenous people still consider it edible meat, but many just go raccoon hunting for its fur.
✔️ Meat: although not many people account for the flesh as a reason for hunting raccoons, it is worth mentioning some of the benefits of raccoon meat. As the same as all the other meats, it is packed with protein. Plus, it is a good source of iron and vitamins, especially vitamin B12. Reading this meat's merits, you may be even more interested in raccoon hunting on Vancouver Island.
✔️ Fur: Raccoon skin has many cute patterns on it, which is why many people are enthusiastic about hunting this fur-bearing animal. They are aware that if they make it and have a successful raccoon harvest, incredible clothes such as coats and hats are waiting for them.
✔️ Fat: Don't disgust! Raccoon fat is not edible. However, it was used for leather softening. So, if your business has anything to do with raw leather, raccoon hunting can be one of the options you have for the upcoming weekend.
✔️ Getting rid of the garden-destroyers: It is a primary motivation for hunting raccoons rather than a solid reason. One of the reasons citizens and raccoons are encountering very much during recent years is the overpopulation of the bandit. That is why the government warned people about feeding raccoons; once you feed them, they don't fear you, and that's the end of everything in your yard. So, one of the reasons for hunting raccoons on Vancouver Island would be to reduce the high number.

Vancouver Island Raccoon Hunting Highlights

1. In general, raccoons do not attack human beings; however, they may get aggressive when somebody approaches or corners them. Thus, take the necessary safety measures while hunting raccoons.
2. Raccoons hate cold temperatures; that is one of the reasons why Vancouver Island is an excellent habitat for raccoons and coon hunting. Try to finish your raccoon harvest before the first snowdrop.
3. If you're a local and, in any case, own poultry, secure it in the best way possible. Prevent raccoons from opening their way into your yard at any cost. Hunting and trapping raccoons are not allowed without a licence.

Where to Hunt Raccoon on Vancouver Island?

Raccoons are a common species on Vancouver Island; however, the best spots for hunting raccoons are places with an abundance of hardwood, like Maple, Oak, and Sycamore trees. It is best if there is also a water source, such as a creek, pond, or river nearby. They like the wetland since they can wash their food; thus, the best opportunity for hunting on Vancouver Island is maybe when they're occupied with the water.
Properties near a highway, town or any well-travelled road are not suitable for raccoon hunting because they seek food in the yards and garbage. You can easily set a trap and get them into it, provided with the required licence. And since Victoria has a massive population of raccoons, hunting is more likely to be successful there. Once the raccoons determine that a home or a neighbourhood is a good food source, they will keep coming back, which is an excellent chance for hunting or trapping. They are the invading bandits in the world of quadrupeds.
For now, the management units (MU) or the hunting areas designated by BC regulation for hunting raccoons are 1-1 to 1-15 on the region 1 (Vancouver Island) map. After all, hunters should be aware of no hunting and shooting areas on Vancouver Island.

When to Hunt Raccoon on Vancouver Island?

Since raccoons are nocturnal animals, the darker the night gets, the more active they are. Fall is the best season to hunt or trap raccoons. Raccoons hate cold weather very much and sleep in their dens for most of the cold season; that is why raccoon hunting around winter is challenging. During the peak season for raccoon hunting, look for the bandits in and around cornfields. Although there is no closed season for raccoons, and hunting them is allowed all around the year, raccoon hunting might as well be impossible once it is winter.
November, the early winter, when raccoons are putting on body weight to survive the cold, is the best time to set traps for raccoons. Resident hunters must have a licence for small game or a trapper's licence for hunting raccoons based on the region in which they're doing the harvest.

Protected Areas of Vancouver Island, Based on the BC Act

How to Track Raccoons on Vancouver Island

Given you're in a wooded area, you probably find the coon's den in hollow trees. In places without many trees, the den is likely to be abandoned beaver lodges found in abandoned buildings or small caves around an embankment along a road or stream. Sometimes raccoons nest underneath bridges. Make sure to get permission to set your traps if the location is on public or private property.
One of the popular ways through which most hunters track raccoons for coon hunting is using some special dogs called coonhounds. Using their strong-smelling ability, they can track down the raccoon as easily as a piece of cake and send their owners hunting signals for a successful raccoon harvest. Remember that it is unlawful to cause or allow dogs to pursue furbearers under the authority
of a trapping licence.

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Raccoon Hunting Methods on Vancouver Island

If raccoons come and go in your neighbourhood, provided that shooting with firearms is allowed and you have the licence, there's no problem with coon hunting. Hunting aside, you may not trap the creature without being a registered trapper.
According to the BC Government's synopsis regarding hunting and trapping regulations, you can use rifles and bows for hunting raccoons. No shotgun hunting is permitted. Besides, you may choose to hunt raccoons with your dogs and other exclusive approaches we will elaborate on later.

Rifle hunting

Both weapons are allowed. Whether you choose rimfire or centrefire hunting, first of all, you should have a licence for hunting small game. Second, try to keep your gun loaded all the time since coon hunting is no easy hunt.


It may not be an appropriate way to hunt raccoons since they are very intelligent, and just a second of neglect is enough to lose your prey forever. Anyhow, some hunters are interested in a traditional way like bowhunting (or bow hunting), and they are very welcome to enjoy their coon hunting experience here on Vancouver Island.

Trap and Snare Hunting

The exit of a raccoon's dens is the best place to set a trap; however, sometimes, trappers set spring traps at the water's edge where raccoons wash their food. The line is tied to a tree to keep the trapped raccoon in place to pull the lasso tight. Hunting raccoons this way requires a hunter to be focused and experienced, for a fragment of error can flee your prey and leave you empty-handed. So, to make it a successful harvest, try hunting with outfitters.

Raccoon Hunting Regulations on Vancouver Island

Regulations for BC Raccoon Hunts | Region 1

Vancouver Island Raccoon Hunt Cost

Raccoon hunting costs depend on different factors and primary expectations from our clients. For example, services such as meals, hunting guides, and transportation that we provide to you during your hunting journey will definitely influence the price you'll pay. Our raccoon hunting prices start at $600.

Choose Among the Best Guide Outfitters for Raccoon Hunting in BC

To experience a successful raccoon harvest on Vancouver Island:
1- Plan for your coon hunting in advance.
2- Choose the areas where you intend to hunt for your coon hunting on Vancouver Island.
3- Apply for and obtain the necessary licence for your raccoon hunting.
4- Select the right outfitter to be by your side in coon hunting adventure.
But why does choosing the right outfitter matter before starting a raccoon hunting adventure? They provide their guests with appropriate gear and adequate scouting knowledge to ensure that every hunter involved in that trip would have the best chance of a successful raccoon harvest. If you want to make sure that your coon hunting adventure on Vancouver Island is going to be the best experience ever, choosing the right outfitter is a MUST! If you need help or have any questions regarding the choice of the best outfitter, please contact us.

Vancouver Island Raccoon Hunting Tips

✓ The raccoon is an annoyance somehow. If your home or neighbourhood is a good source of food, raccoons will keep coming back.
✓ They can outsmart many kinds of live traps.
✓ A group of raccoons (called a gaze) are observant. Whenever you're nearby, they quite likely to toddle off to darkness and safety.
✓ For farmers, raccoons can be trouble. They may decimate laying flocks, eat meat birds, and also destroy gardens.
✓ A raccoon could be turned into a hunting trophy because of a hat made from its pelts and tails.
✓ Placing live traps is a method for catching raccoons.
✓ Unleashed dogs may be used to hunt small game. Trained hunting dogs can help you to find your game.

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Vancouver Island Raccoon Hunting Common Questions and Answers

Raccoons may be legally hunted; you use firearms if you are in an area open and have a valid hunting license. However, if you are in a place where the use of weapons is forbidden, without a permit, you can't kill or capture a raccoon.
A raccoon can eat almost anything. It likes plant-based foods, such as nuts, seeds, and fruit. Their diet also includes insects, slugs, bird eggs, and even the birds themselves if they can catch them.
Use a lethal body-grip trap that will snap the raccoon's neck or shoot it but never try to poison a raccoon because it won't work. For euthanizing a raccoon caught in a cage trap, a CO2 chamber is best.
Raccoons are nocturnal animals, so you can expect to see them a couple of hours after the sunsets. During the night, they will come out scavenging for food.
For raccoon hunting, one or two dogs are enough. have a strong leash and collar for Each dog will need. A coupler will help you manage both with one hand; if you are hunting with two dogs.
Raccoons are not dangerous to humans. Accessing human food (garbage, pet food, or intentional feeding) has decreased their fear of people, and they may get aggressive toward food or injured pets.
Shooting a free-ranging animal is a common form of raccoon hunting. Use snap traps to capture animals while humanely killing them. Other kill traps (e.g., tunnel traps and body-gripping traps) also are suitable devices to accomplish a humane killing.

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