Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations, 2013–2014: Alberta

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Summary

Please be aware that if there is a discrepancy between the hunting regulation summary and the Migratory Birds Regulations, the regulations prevail.

The information presented here is a summary of the law. 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 Migratory Birds Regulations. These, along with other useful information for hunters, can be found on the Environment Canada website (www.ec.gc.ca), or you may contact:

Environment Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service
4999-98 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T6B 2X3
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.

Hunting Zones

Map showing the boundaries of the 8 Hunting Zones in the province of Alberta.

Hunters are advised to pay particular attention to the Alberta Hunting Guide to ensure that they are hunting for the correct species in the correct wildlife management unit during the permitted times and dates. Note that these zone numbers do not correspond to regions as presented in the Guide.


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Consultation Process and Migratory Birds Regulatory Reports

The hunting provisions of the Migratory Birds Regulations are reviewed annually 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 annually publishes the Migratory Birds Regulatory Report Series that can be found on the Environment Canada website (www.ec.gc.ca).

Important Updates to the Hunting Regulations for Alberta

Bag and possession limit for Barrow’s and Common Goldeneye for non-residents of Canada: For any combination of Barrow’s and Common Goldeneye, the bag limit is set at 2, and the possession limit at 6.

Recorded Snow Goose calls may be used while hunting Snow Geese. Any species for which there is an open season may be taken while hunting Snow Geese using these recorded calls.

For complete details regarding the 2013–2014 hunting season, please refer to the Open Season and Bag and Possession Limit tables below.


Waterfowler Heritage Days provide young hunters under the age of majority with the opportunity to practice 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 Alberta, non-toxic shot must be used to hunt migratory birds. 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.

Helpful Tip

Canadians may be exposed to avian-borne viruses when hunting or handling migratory birds and other wild game. Environment Canada recommends the following website, maintained by the Public Health Agency of Canada, for information about minimizing the risk of exposure: www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

Open Seasons in Alberta
AreaDucks, geese, coots and snipe
(Waterfowler Heritage Days
)
Ducks, coots and snipeSnow Geese and Ross’s GeeseCanada Geese, Cackling Geese and White-fronted Geese
Zones* 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8Sept. 7 to Sept. 8, 2013(a)Sept. 1 to Dec. 16, 2013(b)Sept. 1 to Dec. 16, 2013(a)Sept. 1 to Dec. 16, 2013
Zones* 5, 6 and 7Sept. 7 to Sept. 8, 2013(a)Sept. 8 to Dec. 21, 2013(c)Sept. 8 to Dec. 21, 2013(a)Sept. 8 to Dec. 21, 2013

* “Zone No. 1” means that part of Alberta included in Provincial Wildlife Management Units (PWMUs) 501 to 506, 509 to 512, 514 to 519, 529 to 532, and 841.
“Zone No. 2” means that part of Alberta included in PWMUs 344, 347, 349 to 360, 520 to 528, 534 to 537, 539 to 542, and 544.
“Zone No. 3” means that part of Alberta included in PWMUs 200, 202 to 204, 230, 232, 234, 236, 238, 240, 252, 254, 256, 258, 260, and 500.
“Zone No. 4” means that part of Alberta included in PWMUs 206, 208, 216, 220 to 222, 224, 226, 228, 242, 244, 246, 248, 250, 320, 322, 324, 326, 328, 330, 332, 334, 336 to 340, 342, 346, 348, 429, 507, 508, and 936.
“Zone No. 5” means that part of Alberta included in PWMUs 151, 160, 162 to 164, and 166.
“Zone No. 6” means that part of Alberta included in PWMUs 104, 106, 108, 110, 112, 128, 130, 132, 134, 136, 138, 140, 142, 152, 156, 158, 210, 212, 214, 300, 302 to 306, 308, 310, 312, and 314.
“Zone No. 7” means that part of Alberta included in PWMUs 102, 116, 118, 119, 124, 144, 148, and 150.
“Zone No. 8” means that part of Alberta included in PWMUs 316, 318, 400, 402, 404, 406, 408, 410, 412, 414, 416 to 418, 420, 422, 426, 428, 430, 432, 434, 436 to 442, and 444 to 446.

(a) Recorded Snow Goose calls may be used when hunting Snow Geese; any species of migratory bird for which it is open season may be taken while hunting Snow Geese with those calls.
(b) Falconry season is open from September 1 to December 16, 2013.
(c) Falconry season is open from September 8 to December 21, 2013.

Bag and Possession Limits in Alberta
LimitsDucksSnow Geese and Ross’s GeeseCanada Geese, Cackling Geese and White-fronted GeeseCootsSnipe
Daily bag8(a)208(c)88
Possession24(b)6024(d)2424

(a)  Not more than 4 may be Northern Pintails. For non-residents of Canada, not more than 2 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye or Common Goldeneye or any combination of them.
(b)  Not more than 12 may be Northern Pintails. For non-residents of Canada, not more than 6 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye or Common Goldeneye or any combination of them.
(c)  For Canadian residents, not more than 5 may be White-fronted Geese. For non-residents of Canada, not more than 4 may be White-fronted Geese.
(d)  For Canadian residents, not more than 15 may be White-fronted Geese. For non-residents of Canada, not more than 12 may be White-fronted Geese.

Report Your Migratory Bird Bands

Call 1-800-327-BAND (2263) or go to: www.reportband.gov