Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations, 2015–2016: Nova Scotia

Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations, 2015–2016: Nova Scotia (PDF; 298 KB)

Summary

The information presented here is a summary of the law. If there is a discrepancy between the law and this summary, the law prevails. For complete information on fines, general prohibitions, permitted hunting methods and equipment, the requirement to have adequate means to retrieve birds immediately, restrictions on the use of bait, the description of hunting zones, and other restrictions on hunting, please refer to the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and the Migratory Birds Regulations. These, along with other useful information for hunters, can be found on the Environment Canada website, or you may contact:

Environment Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service
17 Waterfowl Lane
P.O. Box 6227
Sackville, New Brunswick  E4L 1G6
Tel.: 1-800-668-6767
enviroinfo@ec.gc.ca

You are required to possess a valid federal Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit with a Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp to hunt migratory birds in Canada. This permit and stamp are valid in all provinces and territories. Most provinces and territories have additional licence requirements for hunting migratory birds and/or to carry firearms. To know what you require, and if there are further restrictions for hunting migratory birds, please verify the applicable regulations for the province/territory where you will be hunting. Note that all required permits and licences must be in your possession while you are hunting.

Consultation Process and Migratory Birds Regulatory Reports

The hunting provisions of the Migratory Birds Regulations are reviewed by Environment Canada, with input from the provinces and territories, as well as a range of other interested stakeholders. Environment Canada has developed a consultation process for establishing hunting regulations for migratory birds, and publishes the Migratory Birds Regulatory Report Series that can be found on the Environment Canada website.

Use of bait prior to and during the migratory bird hunting season is restricted; please consult the Migratory Birds Regulations for restrictions regarding deposition of bait. Check your permit and provincial hunting regulations for additional restrictions, such as Sunday closures and minimum required distances from residences and businesses.

National Wildlife Areas located in Nova Scotia are administered under the Wildlife Area Regulations of the Canada Wildlife Act. Refer to notices posted at entrances for area-specific rules.

Waterfowler Heritage Day provides young hunters under the age of majority (12 to 17 years) with the opportunity to practise hunting and outdoor skills, learn about wildlife conservation, and reinforce safety training in a structured, supervised environment. Licensed adult hunters who serve as mentors have an opportunity to pass on their considerable skills and knowledge by offering guidance and advice to younger hunters. The following rules are in effect:

  • to participate, young hunters under the age of majority do not require the federal Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit;
  • young participants must comply with all existing safety and licensing requirements found in the Firearms Act and provincial hunting regulations;
  • participants must be accompanied by a licensed mentor over the age of majority; and
  • mentors may not hunt or carry a firearm, and may accompany no more than two young hunters.

In Nova Scotia, non-toxic shot must be used to hunt migratory game birds, except for woodcock. Within National Wildlife Areas, the possession of lead shot is prohibited for all hunting, including the hunting of migratory birds and upland game birds. Hunters should consult provincial or territorial regulations for additional restrictions. For those birds still hunted with lead shot, remove the lead shot before cooking in order to reduce your exposure to contaminants.

Barrow’s Goldeneye is listed in the Species at Risk Act as a species of special concern, and the bag and possession limit of 1 remains in place.

Crime Stoppers

Hunting violations may be reported to Environment Canada Wildlife Enforcement at 506-364-5044, your local RCMP detachment, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-565-2224, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Top of Page

Open Seasons in Nova Scotia (No open season for Harlequin Ducks)
AreaDucks (other than Harlequin Ducks) and geese
(Waterfowler Heritage Day)
Ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks, Common and Red- breasted Mergansers, Long- tailed Ducks, eiders, scoters, Goldeneyes, and Buffleheads)Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, eiders, scoters, Goldeneyes, and BuffleheadsGeeseWoodcock and snipe
Zone No. 1Note a of TableSept. 19, 2015Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2015Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2015Sept. 8 to Sept. 22, 2015, and
Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2015
Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, 2015
Zone No. 2Note b of TableSept. 19, 2015Oct. 22, 2015, to Jan. 15, 2016Oct. 8, 2015, to Jan. 15, 2016Sept. 8 to Sept. 28, 2015, and
Oct. 22, 2015, to Jan. 15, 2016
Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, 2015
Zone No. 3Note c of TableSept. 19, 2015Oct. 22, 2015, to Jan. 15, 2016Oct. 8, 2015, to Jan. 15, 2016Sept. 8 to Sept. 28, 2015, and
Oct. 22, 2015, to Jan. 15, 2016
Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, 2015

Notes of Table: Open Seasons in Nova Scotia (No open season for Harlequin Ducks)

Note [a] of Table

“Zone No. 1” means the counties of Antigonish, Pictou, Colchester, Cumberland, Hants, Kings and Annapolis.

Return to note a referrer of table

Note [b] of Table

“Zone No. 2” means the counties of Digby, Yarmouth, Shelburne, Queens, Lunenburg, Halifax, Guysborough, Cape Breton, Victoria, Inverness and Richmond, except the area described under Zone 3.

Return to note b referrer of table

Note [c] of Table

“Zone No. 3” means Bras d’Or Lake and all waters draining into Bras d’Or Lake including waters on the lake side of the highway bridge on Great Bras d’Or at Seal Islands (Highway No. 105), at St. Peters on St. Peters Inlet (Highway No. 4) and at Bras d’Or on St. Andrews Channel (Highway No. 105).

Return to note c referrer of table

Top of Page

Bag and Possession Limits in Nova Scotia
LimitsDucks (other than Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Harlequin Ducks, eiders, and scoters)Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long- tailed Ducks, eiders, and scotersGeeseWoodcockSnipe
Daily bag6Note d of Table5Note f of Table5Note h of TableNote i of Table810
Possession18Note e of Table10Note g of Table161620

Notes of Table: Bag and Possession Limits in Nova Scotia

Note [d] of Table

Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye and not more than 4 may be American Black Ducks.

Return to note d referrer of table

Note [e] of Table

Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye.

Return to note e referrer of table

Note [f] of Table

Not more than 4 may be scoters.

Return to note f referrer of table

Note [g] of Table

Not more than 8 may be scoters.

Return to note g referrer of table

Note [h] of Table

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, 2015.

Return to note h referrer of table

Note [i] of Table

In Zone No. 2 and Zone No. 3, up to 3 additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily from September 8 to September 28, 2015.

Return to note i referrer of table

Report Your Migratory Bird Bands

Call 1-800-327-BAND (2263) or go to the Report a bird with a Federal Band or Color Marker website

Top of Page