Hunting Ontario/USA

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Ontario Hunting Regulations


The Ontario Hunting Regulations Summary is published and updated every year copies are free and are available at a number of outlets.
These regulations include very important information for all hunters, included area maps and WMU locations, licence information, an outline of the program, regulations pertaining to firearms and wildlife regulations.
Hunting in Ontario is governed and regulated by both the Federal and Provincial governments, enforcement are the responsibility of a number of agencies, more importantly Conservation Officers.
Consider these regulations as a hunting bible, do not leave home without a copy.
Hunting changes 2019 Ontario
  • Hunting tags can be printed from home, tags will be paper. Store them in sealable plastic bags
  • Electronic mandatory reporting must report, harvested or not
  • One outdoors card. No longer separate cards
  • Dog licences can be purchased on line, one licence type only
  • Aprentice hunters will have own bag limit

Wildlife is an international resource

Black Bear hunting Ontario


Black bears hold a special position in the ecosystem of Ontario, and their populations are carefully guarded through measures of adaptive management and selective harvesting. Current populations are healthy and hunt-able, one of the largest populations in North America.

Black bear hunts begin in mid-August to mid-September and end in November. Male black bears range from 250 to 600 pounds (114 to 272 kg), females from 100 to 400 pounds (45.4 to 182 kg) making these animals formidable quarry. Dispatching a trophy bruin is not only a matter of matching brawn, but also wits. The black bear’s intense sense of smell and hearing make them ideal for the careful hunter, those looking for a challenge and a truly impressive trophy.

What you should know

  • All black bear hunters hunting during the black bear season are required to wear hunter orange except when in a tree stand.
  • Hounds must be licensed and all licences and regulations (as per the Ontario Hunting Regulation Summary) must be met.
  • Non-resident black bear hunters are warmly welcomed in Ontario but required to contract the services of a licensed (by Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) tourist outfitter, guide or air operator.
  • Get more information about black bears and hunting this species in Ontario.

Moose hunting Ontario


This may be one of the most challenging and rewarding species to hunt in Ontario. Tactics range from calling and lying in wait in the cutovers, new burns, marsh meadows and lake narrows to tracking along game trails.

In Ontario, moose populations are controlled through strict selective harvest programs that limit the taking of animals with high reproductive potential. The result: a large population of moose in hunt-able areas – with additional populations in remote and protected areas.

No matter what your preference, there are myriad opportunities to experience the rush of the chase. Operators in Ontario offer a wide-range of options, from drive-to camps with all the amenities to fly-in outposts miles from the nearest road.

It is recommended that you make this a group adventure, both for fun and the heavy lifting. Considering that an adult cow can weigh as much as 800 pounds (363 kg) and an Ontario bull in his prime can tip the scales at 1,400 lbs (636 kg), you’ll need all the stealth and help you can get.

What you should know

  • Hunters orange must be worn during open gun seasons.
  • Non-resident moose hunting areas offer gun seasons (rifle, shotgun, and muzzleloader) and bows-only seasons from September to mid-November.
  • Non-resident hunters who wish to hunt moose in Ontario must have valid hunting accreditation from another state or province and be a registered guest and accommodated at an outfitter authorized to issue non-resident moose validations tags.
  • Get more information about Moose and hunting opportunities for this species in Ontario.

Deer hunting Ontario


White-tailed deer in Ontario are larger than most of their counterparts in the US in order to weather the chilly climate, so antler size is comparably vast. While most white-tailed bucks average 140 to 250 pounds (63 to 114 k), Ontario bucks can top 300 pounds (136 kg).

You can track or drive white-tailed deer through farm country or through big forest. Farm-country hunters concentrate on woodlots and creek bottoms near agricultural fields.

Most hunt from tree stands or ground blinds near trails, rubs, scrapes, feeding areas, or by using drives to push deer to waiting stands. Big-woods hunters use these same techniques in deer funnels and logging cuts, but also incorporate still-hunting and tracking.

What you should know

  • Ontario’s deer herds are managed through a selective harvest system.
  • During the gun season, opportunities to hunt antlerless (does and fawns) white-tailed deer are regulated, while buck hunting remains open. At other times, the overall number of white-tailed deer tags available to hunters will vary, depending on the carefully monitored population levels.
  • There is no open season for hunting caribou in the province. Elk hunting is only by draw for tags.
  • As with any game in Ontario, you should be aware of the seasons and hunting licences required.
  • Hunters orange must be worn during open gun seasons for both white-tailed deer and moose.
  • In some WMUs, non-resident hunters must hunt through an outfitter.

Get more information about white-tailed deer and hunting opportunities for this species in Ontario. From the popular ruffed grouse to the spruce grouse, various types of this species can be found across Ontario. The ruffed grouse exists in greatest abundance, roosting clear across the province to the tip of James Bay.


Grouse hunting Ontario


There is ample time in the hunting season for upland birds. The province has a mix of road-accessible uplands and remote wilderness, as well as experienced outfitters to guide your hunt. They’ll provide everything from trip-planning expertise to complete hunting packages throughout Ontario, where the birds are as stirring as the landscape.

What you should know

  • Apart from having a keen wing shot, it is important to carefully consider your choice of ammunition. Under federal regulation, migratory gamebirds must be hunted with non-toxic shot, though lead shot is still legal for grouse.
  • Get more information about Grouse and other upland gamebirds, as well as hunting opportunities in Ontario.

Turkey hunting Ontario

Hunting this species can be the most exciting and challenging fowl hunting available. Beginning in the spring, when male birds attempt to attract their mates with proud displays of strutting and calling, the challenge is the greatest. As a result, calling has become the preferred method for luring these birds, notorious for their awareness.

Wild turkeys are a relatively recent reintroduction into Ontario’s wildlife system. Conservations and wildlife experts work with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Ontario Federation of Hunters and Anglers and the National Wild Turkey Federation to help the species integrate and thrive.

Measures of selective harvesting and hunter education have since proven fruitful: according to wildlife management experts, our provincial population of wild turkey is now plentiful in the Southern Ontario region.

What you should know

  • Conservation is still all-important with the wild turkey. Regulations have been put into place to ensure that their populations are respected, during the spring hunting season a two-bird limit applies. Separate turkey tags must be purchased for each, and each bird must be harvested on separate days.
  • To hunt wild turkey in Ontario, you require both a small game license and a special wild turkey license.
  • Get more information about wild turkey and the hunting opportunities for this species in Ontario.

Waterfowl hunting Ontario


Whether you hunt for duck or goose, from boat or shore, Ontario offers a wide range of waterfowling experiences.

Goose hunters will find an abundance of Canada and Brant geese searching for food across the tidal flats, or preparing for the long migration south along James Bay and Hudson Bay. Further south, hunters mostly seek out two subspecies: the maximas, or resident Canada geese, who reach 15 lbs (6.8 kg), and the interiors, the migrant Canada geese, that weigh up to 12 lbs (5.4 kg).

Duck hunters will find goldeneye and pintail in the north. Heading south, you’ll find green-winged teal, ringneck, mallards and black duck. In the southernmost corridor, experience thriving populations of redheads, widgeon and canvasbacks.

What you should know

  • Waterfowl hunters require a federal Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp (available at most post offices) as well as an Ontario small game licence.
  • Non-toxic shot is required for all waterfowl hunting in Canada.
  • Most field hunting for Canada geese in Southern Ontario occurs on private land; hunters require the permission of the landowner, or may want to look into trips through outfitters who have pre-granted access.
  • Get more information about waterfowl and the opportunities to hunt this species in Ontario.
Be aware of the following.
Currently there are two turkey hunting seasons, the Spring season starts April 25th and concludes May 31st,
Hunting hours, half an hour before sunrise to 19:00, two licences per hunter maximum, one bearded wild turkey per licence and the two birds cannot be harvested on the same day.
Hunters are allowed one fall licence per hunter, Check the hunting regulations for dates.
Hunting hours are 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.
Only one wild turkey may be harvested. Either male or female.
Finally to hunt wild turkeys you must possess the following.
1. A valid outdoors card.
2. Taken the wild turkey hunter education course.
3. A valid small game licence.
4.  A wild turkey paper licence and game seal.
Check the regulations for more information, to schedule a wild turkey course location phone (705) 748-6324 or visit this website. Here.
Hunting migratory game birds.
You must have a Federal Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit and a Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp, as well as an Ontario Small Game Licence to hunt small game, in order to hunt migratory game birds. Most post offices sells permits and stamps.
It is illegal to bait Migratory Game Birds, please read the Regulations.
Ontario now has an Elk season also the Spring Black Bear hunt has been approved although as a pilot project.
Deer Family.
Be on the look out for Chronic Wasting Disease. The WHO has said that there is no scientific evidence that Chronic Wasting Disease can infect humans, they strongly advises that the meat from an infected animal should NOT be consumed. Please report any findings or concerns to the Ministry of Natural Resources. Here.

Know what is legal.

Hunting Orange, know what is legal.
Hunter orange must consist of a coat or vest and head cover. This requirement is to maximize hunter safety without negatively impacting hunting success.
Refer to the regulations summary.