Hunting regulations for migratory birds: British Columbia 2018-2019

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 districts, 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 Government of Canada website, or you may contact:

Environment and Climate Change Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service
Pacific Wildlife Research Centre
R.R. 1, 5421 Robertson
Road Delta, British Columbia V4K 3N2

Tel.: 604-350-1950
Toll free: 1-800-668-6767
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.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.

The Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit is now available online on the Government Canada website. Purchase and print your permit from the comfort of home.

Hunting districts

Hunting districts of British Columbia

  • Long description
    1. Provincial Management Units (PMUs) 1-1 to 1-15
    2. PMUs 2-2 to 2-19
    3. PMUs 3-12 to 3-20 and 3-26 to 3-44
    4. PMUs 4-1 to 4-9 and 4-14 to 4-40
    5. PMUs 5-1 to 5-15
    6. PMUs 6-1 to 6-30
    7. PMUs 7-2 to 7-58
    8. PMUs 8-1 to 8-15 and 8-21 to 8-26

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 Government of Canada website.

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 a contravention of a designated provision occurs, the offender upon conviction, is subject to minimum and higher maximum fines. For more information on AMPs and the new fine regime, please visit: About the Environmental Enforcement Act.

Waterfowler Heritage Days provide young hunters who are minors (under 18 years of age) 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 do not require the federal Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit or the Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp
  • 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 (who is not a minor)
  • mentors may not hunt or carry a firearm, and may accompany no more than two young hunters; and
  • only young hunters may hunt when Waterfowler Heritage Days fall outside of the regular open seasons

In British Columbia, non-toxic shot must be used to hunt migratory game birds, except for Band-tailed Pigeons and Mourning Doves. 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. As well, remove the skin and fat from fish-eating birds before cooking them.

Open seasons table

Open seasons and waterfowler heritage days in British Columbia
District Waterfowler Heritage Days

Ducks and geese
Open Seasons in British Columbia

Ducks, coots and snipe
Open Seasons in British Columbia

Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese
Open Seasons in British Columbia

Other geese
Open Seasons in British Columbia

Brant
Open Seasons in British Columbia

Band-tailed Pigeons
Open Seasons in British Columbia

Mourning Doves and Eurasian Collared-Doves
No. 1 Sept. 29 and
30, 2018
Oct. 6, 2018, to
Jan. 18, 2019
Oct. 6, 2018, to
Jan. 18, 2019
  • Oct. 6, 2018, to
    Jan. 18, 2019 a;
  • Sept. 1 to
    Sept. 9, 2018 b, c, d;
  • Oct. 6 to
    Nov. 18, 2018 b, c, d;
  • Dec. 15, 2018, to Jan. 6, 2019 b, c, d;
  • and Feb. 10 to
    Mar. 10, 2019 b, c, d
No open season Sept. 15 to
Sept. 30, 2018
No open season
No. 2 Sept.  29 and
30, 2018 e, f
Oct. 6, 2018, to
Jan. 18, 2019 c, e
Oct. 6, 2018, to
Dec. 30, 2018 e and
Feb. 20 to
Mar. 10, 2019 e
  • Oct. 6,  2018, to
    Jan. 18, 2019 e, g;
  • Sept. 1 to
    Sept. 9, 2018  c, d, e;
  • Oct. 6 to
    Nov. 18, 2018 c, d, e;
  • Dec. 15, 2018, to Jan. 6, 2019 c, d, e;
  • and Feb. 10 to
    Mar. 10, 2019 c, d, e
Mar. 1 to
Mar. 10, 2019 c, h
Sept. 15 to
Sept. 30, 2018 e
No open season
No. 3 Sept. 1 and
Sept. 2, 2018
Sept. 10 to Dec. 23, 2018
 
Sept. 10 to
Dec. 23, 2018
 
  • Sept. 10 to
    Dec. 23, 2018 g;
  • Sept. 10 to
    Sept. 20, 2018 d;
  • Oct. 1 to
    Dec. 23, 2018  d;
  • and Mar. 1 to
    Mar. 10, 2019 d
No open season Sept. 15 to
Sept. 30, 2018 i
Sept. 1 to
Sept. 30, 2018
No. 4 Sept. 1 and
Sept. 2, 2018
Sept. 10 to
Dec. 23, 2018
Sept. 10 to
Dec. 23, 2018
  • Sept. 10 to
    Dec. 23, 2018
No open season No open season Sept. 1 to
Sept. 30, 2018
No. 5 Sept. 8 and
Sept. 9, 2018
Sept. 15  to
Dec. 25, 2018
Sept. 15  to
Dec. 25, 2018
  • Sept. 15  to
    Dec. 25, 2018
No open season No open season No open season
No. 6 Sept. 1 and
Sept. 2, 2018
Sept. 3 to
Nov. 30, 2018 j;
Oct. 1, 2018, to
Jan. 13, 2019 k
Sept.  3 to
Nov.  30, 2018 j;
Oct. 1, 2018, to
Jan. 13, 2019 k
  • Sept. 3 to
    Nov. 30, 2018 j;
  • Oct. 1, 2018, to
    Jan. 13, 2019 k
No open season No open season No open season
No. 7 Sept. 1 and Sept. 2, 2018 l;
Sept. 8 and Sept. 9, 2018 m
Sept. 3 to
Nov. 30, 2018 l;
Sept. 1 to
Sept. 7 and
Sept. 10 to
Nov. 30, 2018 m
Sept. 3 to
Nov. 30, 2018 l ;
Sept. 1 to
Sept. 7 and
Sept. 10 to
Nov. 30, 2018 m
  • Sept. 3 to
    Nov. 30, 2018 l;
  • Sept. 1 to
    Sept. 7 and Sept. 10 to
    Nov. 30, 2018 m
No open season No open season No open season
No. 8 Sept. 1 and
Sept. 2, 2018
Sept. 12 to
Dec. 25, 2018
Sept. 12 to
Dec. 25, 2018
  • Sept. 12 to
    Dec. 25, 2018  g;
  • Sept. 20 to
    Nov. 28, 2018 d;
  • Dec. 20, 2018,  to Jan. 5, 2019 d;
  • and Feb. 21 to Mar. 10, 2019 d
No open season No open season Sept. 1 to
Sept. 30, 2018

a Provincial Management Units (PMUs) 1-1 to 1-15 inclusive for White-fronted Geese only and PMUs 1-3 and 1-8 to 1-15 inclusive for Canada Geese and Cackling Geese only.

b PMUs 1-1, 1-2, and 1-4 to 1-7 inclusive.

c See provincial regulations for local restrictions.

d For Canada Geese and Cackling Geese only.

e PMUs 2-2 to 2-19 inclusive.

f Excluding Brant.

g For White-fronted Geese only

h PMU 2-4 only.

i PMUs 3-13 to 3-17 inclusive.

j PMUs 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to 6-10 inclusive, and 6-15 to 6-30 inclusive.

k PMUs 6-3 and 6-11 to 6-14 inclusive.

l PMUs 7-19 to 7-22 inclusive, 7-31 to 7-36 inclusive, and 7-42 to 7-58 inclusive.

m PMUs 7-2 to 7-18 inclusive, 7-23 to 7-30 inclusive, and 7-37 to 7-41 inclusive.

Bag and possession limits table

Bag and possession limits in British Columbia
Limits Ducks White geese (Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese) Dark Geese (Canada Geese, Cackling Geese and White-fronted Geese) Brant Coots Snipe Band-tailed Pigeons Mourning Doves and Eurasian Collared-Doves
Daily bag 8 n, o, p, q 5 v 5 x, 10 y 3 z 10 10 5 5 aa
Possession 24 r, s, t , u 15 w 15 x, 30 y 9 z 30 30 15 15 aa

n Not more than 4 may be Northern Pintails.

o Not more than 4 may be Canvasbacks

p Not more than 2 may be Goldeneyes.

q Not more than 2 may be Harlequin Ducks.

r Not more than 12 may be Northern Pintails.

s Not more than 12 may be Canvasbacks.

t Not more than 6 may be Goldeneyes.

u Not more than 6 may be Harlequin Ducks.

v In PMUs 2-4 and 2-5, up to 15 White Geese including not more than 5 Ross’s Geese may be taken daily and in PMUs 2-2 and 2-3 and 2-6 to 2-19 inclusively, up to 10 White Geese including not more than 5 Ross’s Geese may be taken daily.

w In PMUs 2-4 and 2-5, up to 45 White Geese including not more than 15 Ross’s Geese may be possessed and in PMUs 2-2 and 2-3 and 2-6 to 2-19 inclusively, up to 30 White Geese including not more than 15 Ross’s Geese may be possessed daily.

x For White-fronted Geese only.

y Any combination of Canada Geese and Cackling Geese.

z PMU 2-4.

aa Any combination of Mourning Doves and Eurasian Collared-Doves.

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.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: