Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations, 2015–2016: Alberta

Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations, 2015–2016: Alberta (PDF; 268 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
9250-49 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T6B 1K5
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

Alberta hunting zones

Map of Alberta

Long Description for Alberta's hunting zones

Map showing the boundaries of the 8 Hunting Zones in the province of Alberta with Zone 1 in the North-East corner and Zone 2 in the North-West corner. Going South from Zones 1 are Zones 3, 5 and 7 and going South from Zone 2 are Zones 8, 4 and 6, with the southern boundary of Zones 6, 7 and 8 following along the US-Canada border.

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.

If you need more information to determine in which zone you are located, please visit: Alberta Guide Hunting Regulations

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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.

Waterfowler Heritage Days provide 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 Alberta, non-toxic shot must be used to hunt migratory game 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.

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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 1Note a of Table, 2Note b of Table, 3Note c of Table, 4Note d of Table and 8Note h of TableSept. 5 and Sept. 6, 2015Note i of TableSept. 1 to Dec. 16, 2015Note j of TableSept. 1 to Dec. 16, 2015Note i of TableSept. 1 to Dec. 16, 2015
Zones 5Note e of Table, 6Note f of Table and 7Note g of TableSept. 5 and Sept. 6, 2015Note i of TableSept. 8 to Dec. 21, 2015Note k of TableSept. 8 to Dec. 21, 2015Note i of TableSept. 8 to Dec. 21, 2015

Notes of Table: Open Seasons in Alberta

Note [a] of Table

“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.

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Note [b] of Table

“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.

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Note [c] of Table

“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.

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Note [d] of Table

“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.

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Note [e] of Table

“Zone No. 5” means that part of Alberta included in PWMUs 151, 160, 162 to 164, and 166.

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Note [f] of Table

“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.

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Note [g] of Table

“Zone No. 7” means that part of Alberta included in PWMUs 102, 116, 118, 119, 124, 144, 148, and 150.

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Note [h] of Table

“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.

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Note [i]

Recorded Snow Goose and Ross's Goose calls may be used when hunting Snow Geese or Ross's Geese; any species of migratory bird for which it is open season may be taken while hunting Snow Geese or Ross's Geese with those calls.

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Note [j]

Falconry season is open from September 1 to December 16, 2015.

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Note [k]

Falconry season is open from September 8 to December 21, 2015.

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Bag and Possession Limits in Alberta
LimitsDucksSnow Geese and Ross’s GeeseCanada Geese, Cackling Geese and White-fronted GeeseCootsSnipe
Daily bag8Note l of Table508Note n of Table88
Possession24Note m of TableNo limit24Note o of Table2424

Notes of Table: Bag and Possession Limits in Alberta

Note [l] of Table

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.

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Note [m] of Table

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.

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Note [n] of Table

Not more than 5 may be White-fronted Geese.

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Note [o] of Table

Not more than 15 may be White-fronted Geese.

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Overabundant Species

The Migratory Birds Regulations also provide for special conserva tion periods when hunters may take overabundant species. Please note that additional hunting methods or equipment are permitted during the special conservation periods. See the table below for details.

Measures in Alberta Concerning Overabundant Species
AreaPeriod during which Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese may be killedAdditional hunting method or equipment
Throughout AlbertaMar. 15 to June 15, 2016Recorded bird callsNote i of Table

Note of Table: Measures in Alberta Concerning Overabundant Species

Note [p] of Table

"Recorded bird calls" refers to bird calls of a species referred to in the heading of column 2.

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Note

Hunters interested in participating in the spring conservation harvest of Snow Geese and Ross's Geese should keep their 2015–2016 federal permits.

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

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