Hunting regulations for migratory birds: Nunavut 2017 to 2018


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 and Climate Change Canada website, or you may contact:

Environment and Climate Change Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service
5019, 52 Street
P.O. Box 2310
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories X1A 2P7
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.


The Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit is now available online on the Environment and Climate Change Canada website

. Purchase and print your permit from the comfort of home.

If you are hunting on private lands (Inuit Owned Lands), ensure you have permission from the Regional Inuit Association.

Consultation process and migratory birds regulatory reports

The hunting provisions of the Migratory Birds Regulations are reviewed by Environment and Climate Change Canada, with input from the provinces and territories, as well as a range of other interested stakeholders. Environment and Climate Change 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 and Climate Change Canada website

New enforcement tool, fine regime, and sentencing provisions

In June 2017, the Environmental Violations Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations came into force and administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) are now available to game officers to enforce designated violations of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (MBCA) and its associated regulations. In addition, amendments to the fine regime and sentencing provisions of the MBCA and the regulations necessary to complete the fine regime, the Designation of Regulatory Provisions for the Purposes of Enforcement (Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994) Regulations, came into force on July 12, 2017. The amendments aim to ensure that court-imposed fines more accurately reflect the seriousness of environmental offenses. The new fine regime will be applied by courts following a conviction pursuant to the MBCA or its associated regulations. Under the new fine regime, when designated offenses are contravened, the offender upon conviction, is subject to minimum and higher maximum fines. For more information on AMPs and the new fine regime, please visit the Environmental Enforcement Act.

In Nunavut, 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.

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.

Open seasons in Nunavut
Area Open seasons
Ducks, geese, coots and snipe
Throughout Nunavut Sept. 1 to Dec. 10, 2017Noteaof Table

Overabundant species

The Migratory Birds Regulations also provide for special conservation 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 Nunavut concerning overabundant species
Area Period during which Snow Geese and Ross's Geese may be killed Additional hunting method or equipment
Throughout Nunavut Aug. 15 to Aug. 31, 2017 Recorded bird callsNotebof Table
Throughout Nunavut May 1 to June 30, 2018 Recorded bird callsNote b of Table


The 2017 federal permit is also valid for the 2018 spring special conservation season for Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese.

Bag and possession limits in Nunavut
Limits Ducks
(Residents of Canada)
(Non-residents of Canada)
Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, White-fronted Geese and Brant
(Residents of Canada)
Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, White-fronted Geese and Brant
(Non-residents of Canada)
Snow Geese and Ross's Geese Coots Snipe
(Residents of Canada)
(Non-residents of Canada)
Daily bag 25Notecof Table 8Notecof Table 15Noteeof Table 5Notegof Table 50Noteiof Table 25 10 10
Possession No limitNotedof Table 16Notedof Table No limitNotefof Table 10Notefof TableNotehof Table No limit No limit No limit 20


No person shall hunt earlier than one half-hour before sunrise or later than one half-hour after sunset, except north of the 60th parallel, where no person shall hunt earlier than one hour before sunrise or later than one hour after sunset.

100 Years of taking birds under our wings

1916 to 2016

The Canada-US Migratory Birds Convention

1917 to 2017

The Migratory Birds Convention Act

Centennial celebrations

For more information on centennial celebrations, visit Celebrating 100 years of bird conservation

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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