September 10, 2020

Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations 2020-2021

Posted In
Information & Education | Regulations

Did you know that Migratory Game Bird hunting is a federally regulated hunting sport? Regulations on open seasons, districts, and bag limits can be found on the government of Canada website.

In order to hunt Migratory Game Birds in Canada you must have:

  • A valid Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit, and
  • A Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp
    • Either affixed to or printed on the permit

These are issued by the Federal Government and lucky for you, are valid in all provinces and territories. They can be purchased online, at Canada Post location, or through an independent vendor. Once you’ve purchased the permit and signed it, it’s valid immediately.

Permits are sold each year beginning August 1st and are valid until June 30th of the following year, ie. if you purchase your permit August 2020, it’s valid from then until June 30, 2021.

Remember to have this printed permit on you when hunting if you decide to purchase it electronically.

It’s important to keep in mind that although these permits are valid throughout Canada, most provinces and territories have other licence requirements for individuals to hunt the Migratory Game Birds and/or to carry firearms that you’ll need to confirm details on.

Each province has it’s own individual regulations on hunting zones, individual bag and possession limits and Waterfowler Heritage Days (more on what this is below).

Waterfowler Heritage Days

This Canada wide day helps to facilitate minor hunters the ability to learn from adult licensed hunters who act as a mentor to the young hunter. This gives the young hunter the opportunity to learn about wildlife conservation, have safety training reinforced and practice their hunting skills. The age range for these hunters is between 12-17 in all provinces, except British Columbia, where it is 10-17.

Liability Insurance while Hunting

Remember, some areas across Canada, such as the Fraser Valley of BC, will require that you obtain a special permit or affirm to holding third party liability insurance in order to legally hunt in that area.  The Silvercore Club membership includes 10 million in liability insurance which is valid throughout North America and will assist in ensuring you are properly covered.

Let’s get to specific regulations for the following provinces and territories.

Mallard Duck

Alberta

LimitDaily BagPossession
Ducks8 (a)24 (b)
Snow Geese &  Ross’s Geese50No limit
Canada Geese, Cackling Geese
& White-Fronted Geese
8 (c)24 (d)
Coots824
Snipe824
Sandhill Cranes515

(a) For non-residents of Canada, not more than 2 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye or Common Goldeneye or any combination of them. 

(b) For non-residents of Canada, not more than 6 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye or Common Goldeneye or any combination of them. 

(c) Not more than 5 may be White-fronted Geese. 

(d)Not more than 15 may be White-fronted Geese.

British Columbia

LimitDaily BagPossession
Ducks8 (a), (b), (c), (d)24 (e), (f), (g), (h)
White Geese 
(Snow Geese &  Ross’s Geese)
515 (j)
Dark Geese 
(Canada, Cackling &
White-Fronted Geese)
5 (k), 10 (l)15 (k), 30 (l)
Brant3 (m)9 (m)
Coots1030
Snipe1030
Band-tailed Pigeons515
Mourning Doves
& Eurasian Collared-Doves
5 (n)15 (n)

(a) Not more than 4 may be Northern Pintails. 

(b) Not more than 4 may be Canvasbacks. 

(c) Not more than 2 may be Goldeneyes. 

(d) Not more than 2 may be Harlequin Ducks. 

(e) Not more than 12 may be Northern Pintails. 

(f) Not more than 12 may be Canvasbacks.

(g) Not more than 6 may be Goldeneyes. 

(h) Not more than 6 may be Harlequin Ducks. 

(i) In PMUs 2-4 and 2-5, up to 15 White Geese including not more than 5 Ross’s Geese may be taken daily and in PMUs 2-2 and 2-3 and 2-6 to 2-19 inclusively, up to 10 White Geese including not more than 5 Ross’s Geese may be taken daily. 

Canada Geese

(j) In PMUs 2-4 and 2-5, up to 45 White Geese including not more than 15 Ross’s Geese may be possessed and in PMUs 2-2 and 2-3 and 2-6 to 2-19 inclusively, up to 30 White Geese including not more than 15 Ross’s Geese may be possessed daily. 

(k) For White-fronted Geese only. 

(l) Any combination of Canada Geese and Cackling Geese. 

(m) PMU 2-4.

(n) Any combination of Mourning Doves and Eurasian Collared-Doves

Manitoba

LimitDaily BagPossession
Ducks 
Residents of Canada
824
Ducks 
Non-residents of Canada
8 (a)24 (b)
Snow Geese &  Ross’s Geese50No limit
Canada Geese,  Cackling Geese,
White-Fronted Geese & Brant 
Residents of Canada
8 (c)24
Canada Geese, Cackling Geese,
White-Fronted Geese
& Brant
Non-residents of Canada
5 (d), (e)15 (f), (j)
Sandhill Cranes515
Coots824
Snipe1030
Woodcock
Residents of Canada
824
Woodcock
Non-residents of Canada
412

(a) In Game Bird Hunting Zone No. 4, not more than 4 may be Redheads or Canvasbacks or any combination of them. 

(b) In Game Bird Hunting Zone No. 4, not more than 12 may be Redheads or Canvasbacks or any combination of them. 

(c) In provincial Game Hunting Area 38, as described in the Hunting Areas and Zones Regulation, 220/86, of the Province of Manitoba, made under the Wildlife Act (C.C.S.M., c. W130), up to 4 additional Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, White-fronted Geese or Brant, or any combination of them, may be taken daily during the period beginning on September 1 and ending on September 23. 

(d) Except in Game Bird Hunting Zone No. 1, where the limit is 8. 

(e) Except March 1-31, where the limit is 8 Canada geese. 

(f) Except in Game Bird Hunting Zone No. 1, where the limit is 24. 

(g) Except March 1-31, where the limit is 24 Canada geese. 

Note: The open season for non-residents of Canada in Game Bird Hunting Zone No. 4 and in provincial Game Hunting Areas 13A, 14 and 14A, that portion of Game Hunting Area 16 south of the north limit of Township 33 and Areas 18, 18A, 18B, 18C, 19, 19A, 19B, 20, 21A, 23A and 25, as described in Manitoba’s Hunting Areas and Zones Regulation, 220/86, of the Province of Manitoba, made under the Wildlife Act (C.C.S.M., c. W130), includes: 

  • in respect of Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, White-fronted Geese and Brant, only that part of each day from one half-hour before sunrise to 12:00 noon, local time, from the opening date (September 24) up to and including the second Sunday of October (October 11), and, after that period, from one half-hour before sunrise until one half-hour after sunset; and
  • in respect of Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese, only that part of each day from one half-hour before sunrise until one half-hour after sunset.

New Brunswick

LimitDaily BagPossession
Ducks 
(other than Common & Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Harlequin Ducks, Eiders & Scoters)
6 (a)18 (b)
Common &
Red-breasted Mergansers,
Long-tailed Ducks, Eiders & Scoters
6 (c), (d)12 (e), (f)
Geese5 (g)16
Woodcock816
Snipe1020

(a) Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye. In Zone No. 1, during the period beginning on December 15 and ending on January 14, and in Zone No. 2, during the period beginning on December 1 and ending on December 31, not more than 4 may be American Black Ducks. 

(b) Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye. 

(c) Not more than 4 Scoters may be taken daily.

(d) Not more than 2 Eiders (1 female) may be taken daily. 

(e) Not more than 8 Scoters may be possessed. 

(f) Not more than 4 Eiders may be possessed. 

(g) Up to 3 additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily from September 8 to September 22. 

Note: For more information on hunting zones, contact the New Brunswick Ministry of Energy and Resource Development

Newfoundland and Labrador

LimitDaily BagPossession
Ducks 
(other than Common & Red-breasted Mergansers, Harlequin Ducks, Eiders & Scoters)
6 (a)18 (a)
Common &
Red-breasted Mergansers
612
Eiders & Scoters612
Geese510
Snipe1020

(a) Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye.

Northwest Territories

LimitDaily BagPossession
Ducks
Residents of Canada 
25No limit
Ducks 
Non-residents of Canada Canada 
816
Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, White-fronted Geese & Brant 
Residents of Canada
15No limit
Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, White-fronted Geese & Brant 
Non-residents of Canada
5 (a)10 (a)
Snow Geese &
Ross’s Geese
50No limit
Coots25No limit
Snipe 
Residents of Canada
10No limit
Snipe 
Non-residents of Canada
1020

(a) Except that non-residents may not take more than 2 White-fronted Geese daily and may not possess more than 4. 

Nova Scotia

LimitDaily BagPossession
Ducks 
(other than Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Harlequin Ducks, Eiders, and Scoters)
6 (a)18 (b)
Common &
Red-breasted Mergansers,
Long-tailed Ducks, Eiders, & Scoters
5 (c), (d)10 (e), (f)
Geese5 (g), (h)16
Woodcock816
Snipe1020

(a) Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye. In Zone No.1, during the period beginning on December 1 and ending on January 7, and in Zone No.2, during the period beginning on December 8 and ending on January 15, not more than 4 may be American Black Ducks. 

(b) Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye. 

(c) Not more than 4 Scoters may be taken daily. 

(d) Not more than 2 Eiders (1 female) may be taken daily.

(e) Not more than 8 Scoters may be possessed. 

(f) Not more than 4 Eiders may be possessed. 

(g) In Zone No. 1, up to 3 additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily from September 8 to September 22. 

(h) In Zone No. 2, up to 3 additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily from September 8 to September 28. 

Note: For more information on hunting districts, contact the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry

Nunavut

LimitDaily BagPossession
Ducks 
Residents of Canada
25 (a)No Limit (b)
Ducks 
Non-residents of Canada
8 (a)24 (b)
Canada Geese,  Cackling Geese, White-Fronted Geese & Brant 
Residents of Canada
15 (c)No Limit (d)
Canada Geese,  Cackling Geese, White-Fronted Geese & Brant 
Non-residents of Canada
5 (e)15 (d), (f)
Snow Geese &
Ross’s Geese
50No Limit
Coots25No Limit
Snipe 
Residents of Canada
10No Limit
Snipe 
Non-residents of Canada
1030
Brant

(a) Except in that portion of the islands and waters of James Bay that are south of 55°N latitude, where the limit is 6, of which (i) not more than 2 may be American Black Ducks and 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye, in the area west of 80°15’W longitude; and 

(i) not more than 2 may be American Black Ducks and 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye, in the area west of 80°15’W longitude; and 

(ii) not more than 4 may be American Black Ducks, 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye, and 1 may be Blue-winged Teal, in the area east of 80°15’W longitude. 

(b) Except in that portion of the islands and waters of James Bay that are south of 55°N latitude, where the limit is 18, of which 

(i) not more than 6 may be American Black Ducks and 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye, in the area west of 80°15’W longitude; and 

(ii)not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye and 2 may be Blue-winged Teal, in the area east of 80°15’W longitude. 

(c) In that portion of the islands and waters of James Bay that are west of 80°15’W longitude and south of 55°N latitude, not more than 5 may be Canada Geese or Cackling Geese or any combination of them. 

(d) Except in the portion of the islands and waters of James Bay that are east of 80°15’W longitude and south of 55°N latitude, where the limit is 20. 

(e) Not more than 2 may be White-fronted Geese. 

(f) Not more than 6 may be White-fronted Geese. In that portion of the islands and waters of James Bay that are west of 80°15’W longitude and south of 55°N latitude, there is no limit on Canada Geese and Cackling Geese. 

Note: No person shall hunt earlier than one half-hour before sunrise or later than one half-hour after sunset, except north of the 60th parallel, where no person shall hunt earlier than one hour before sunrise or later than one hour after sunset.

Ontario

LimitDaily BagPossession
Ducks
(other than Harlequin Ducks)
6 (a)18 (b)
Canada Geese & Cackling Geese5 (c), (d), (e), (f)No Limit
Snow Geese & 
Ross’s Geese
20 (g)No Limit
Other Geese515
Rails
(other than Yellow Rails and King Rails), Coot & Gallinules
10 (h)30
Snipe1030
Woodcock824
Mourning Doves1545

(a) Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye. In the Southern District, not more than 2 may be American Black Ducks, and in the Hudson–James Bay District, Northern District and Central District, not more than 4 may be American Black Ducks. 

(b) Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye. 

(c) A total of not more than 3 Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily in Wildlife Management Unit 94 from September 26 to January 9. 

(d) A total of not more than 3 Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily in Wildlife Management Units 65, 82, 84, 85 and 93 from September 26 to October 30 . 

American Woodcock

(e) Up to 5 additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily in the following Wildlife Management Units: 

(i) 8, 10, 13, 36, 37, 39, 41 and 45 from September 1 to September 9; 

(ii) 42 to 44 and 46 to 59 from September 1 to September 18; 

(iii) 60 to 81, 83, 86 to 92, and 95 from September 10 to September 20; 

(iv) 60 to 81, 83, and 86 to 92 from February 27 to March 6, in municipalities where Sunday gun hunting is not permitted. 

(f) Up to 3 additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily in 

(i) Wildlife Management Units 82, 84, 85, 93 and 94 from September 10 to September 20; and 

(ii) Wildlife Management Units 82, 84, 85 and 93 from February 27 to March 6, in municipalities where Sunday gun hunting is not permitted. 

(g) Up to 30 additional Snow Geese or Ross’s Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily in the Hudson–James Bay District. 

(h) Not more than 4 may be Gallinules and not more than 8 may be Coots.

Prince Edward Island

LimitDaily BagPossession
Ducks 
(other than Common & Red-breasted Mergansers,
Long-tailed Ducks, Harlequin Ducks, Eiders, & Scoters)
6 (a)18 (b)
Common &
Red-breasted Mergansers,
Long-tailed Ducks, Eiders, & Scoters
6 (c)12 (d)
Geese5 (e), (f)16
Woodcock816
Snipe1020
Common Snipe

(a) Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye, and during the period beginning on December 1 and ending on December 31, not more than 4 may be Mallard-American Black Duck hybrids or American Black Ducks, or any combination of them. 

(b) Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye. 

(c) Not more than 4 Scoters or 4 Eiders may be taken daily. 

(d) Not more than 8 Scoters or 8 Eiders may be possessed. 

(e) Up to 3 additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily from Sept. 8 to Sept. 21. 

(f) Not more than 3 daily during the period beginning on November 15 and ending on December 31.

Quebec

LimitDaily BagPossession
Ducks 
(other than Harlequin Ducks)
(combined)
6 (a), (b), (f)18 (c), (f)
Canada Geese & Cackling Geese  (combined)5 (d), (g)No Limit
Snow Geese20 (f)No Limit
Other Geese  (combined)5 (f)15 (f)
Coots & Gallinules (combined)4 (f)12 (f)
Woodcock8 (e), (f)24 (f)
Snipe10 (f)30 (f)
Mourning Doves8 (f)45 (f)

(a) In the portion of District F that is south of Route 148 and is west of Highway 15, not more than 2 may be American Black Ducks. 

(b) Not more than 1 may be Blue-winged Teal and not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye. 

(c) Not more than 2 may be Blue-winged Teal and not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye. 

(d) Up to 5 additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily between September 1 and September 25. 

(e) For non-residents of Canada, not more than 4 may be taken daily. 

(f) Not more than 3 birds may be taken or possessed during Waterfowler Heritage Days, with the additional species restrictions described in notes (a) to (c) applying within the total. 

(g) From September 26 to October 31, the daily bag limit is restricted to: 

  • 3 in Districts A, C, and the portion of District F that is west of Highway 15 and its northerly extension consisting of Route 117; 
  • 2 in District D and the portion of District F that is east of Highway 15 and its northerly extension consisting of Route 117; 
  • no change in Districts B, E, and G.

Saskatchewan

LimitDaily BagPossession
Ducks 824
Snow Geese &
Ross’s Geese
20No Limit
Canada Geese, Cackling Geese & White-Fronted Geese8 (a)24 (b)
Sandhill Cranes515
Coots1030
Snipe1030

(a) Not more than 5 may be White-fronted Geese.

(b) Not more than 15 may be White-fronted Geese

Yukon Territories

LimitDaily BagPossession
Ducks 8 (a)24 (a)
Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, White-Fronted Geese & Brant5 (b)15 (b)
Snow Geese &
Ross’s Geese
50No Limit
Sandhill Cranes24
Rails & Coots0 (c)0 (c)
Snipe1030 (d)

(a) Except that in Northern Yukon territory, 17 additional ducks may be taken per day, with no possession limit. 

(b) Except that in Northern Yukon territory, 10 additional geese may be taken per day, with no possession limit.

(c) Except that in Central Yukon territory and Northern Yukon territory, 25 Rails and Coots may be taken per day, with no possession limit.

(d) Except that in Northern Yukon territory, there is no possession limit.

Remember that regulations can change from time to time and that this post is meant as an educational guide and not to be taken as law. For up to date information go online to the Government website here.

Happy hunting!

Corrine Owerko

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