Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations, 2014–2015: New Brunswick

Download the PDF version - 235 KB


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 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
17 Waterfowl Lane
P.O. Box 6227
Sackville, New Brunswick  E4L 1G6
Tel.: 1-800-668-6767

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

Zone No. 1
Saint John County south of No. 1 Highway and west of Saint John Harbour, that part of Charlotte County lying south of No. 1 Highway, and the Grand Manan Islands and Campobello Island, except the following area, which is closed to hunting: the area in the Bay of Fundy known as The Wolves, including the surrounding waters.

Zone No. 2
The remainder of the Province of New Brunswick, except the following, which are closed to hunting: the estuary of the Tabusintac River; Bathurst Basin and most of Bathurst Harbour (two islands remain open and signs have been posted to indicate their locations); and the Dalhousie shoreline from the eastern tip of Dalhousie Island to the mouth of the Miller Brook and extending one kilometre offshore.

Top of Page

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 (www.ec.gc.ca).

Important Updates to the Hunting Regulations for New Brunswick

Change in season dates: For ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, eiders, and scoters), geese (other than Canada Geese and Cackling Geese) and snipe, the season is set at October 15, to January 4 in Zone No. 1, and October 1 to December 18, in Zone No. 2.

Daily bag limit for American Black Ducks: The bag limit is set at 3 for American Black Duck for the entire open season.

Farmland restriction lifted: Since 2012, the early season (September) restriction of hunting only on farmland for Canada Geese and Cackling Geese no longer applies.

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.

For complete details regarding the 2014–2015 hunting season, please refer to the Open Season and Bag and Possession Limit tables below.

Top of Page

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 New Brunswick 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 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 New Brunswick, 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.

Crime Stoppers

Environment Canada Wildlife Enforcement has joined forces with New Brunswick Crime Stoppers to address offences concerning migratory birds. Anyone wishing to report illegal hunting activities, illegal selling of birds or other offences related to migratory birds is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Your call is anonymous, and you may be eligible for a cash reward.

Top of Page

Open Seasons in New Brunswick (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 and scoters), geese (other than Canada Geese and Cackling Geese) and snipeCanada Geese and Cackling GeeseCommon and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, eiders and scotersWoodcock
Zone No. 1September 20, 2014October 15, 2014, to January 4, 2015September 2 to September 23, 2014, and
October 15, 2014, to January 4, 2015
October 15, 2014, to January 4, 2015, and
February 1 to February24, 2015
September 15 to
November 30, 2014
Zone No. 2September 20, 2014October 1 to December 18, 2014September 2 to September 23, 2014, and
October 1 to December 18, 2014
October 1 to December 18, 2014September 15 to November 30, 2014

Top of Page

Bag and Possession Limits in New Brunswick
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 bag6Footnote(a)6Footnote(c)5Footnote(e)810


Footnote a

Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye and not more than 3 may be American Black Ducks.

Return to footnote (a)

Footnote b

Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye.

Return to footnote (b)

Footnote c

Not more than 4 may be scoters; and in Zone No. 1 from February 1 to February 24, 2015, not more than 4 eiders may be taken daily.

Return to footnote (c)

Footnote d

Not more than 8 may be scoters; and in Zone No. 1 from February 1 to February 24, 2015, not more than 8 eiders may be possessed.

Return to footnote (d)

Footnote e

Up to 3 additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily from September 2 to September 23, 2014, inclusive.

Return to footnote (e)

Report Your Migratory Bird Bands

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

Top of Page