Hunting regulations summary for migratory birds: British Columbia, August 2019 to July 2020

Summary

To hunt migratory game birds in Canada, you must possess:

  • a valid Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit
  • a Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp affixed to or printed on the permit

These two documents are issued by the federal government and 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. Municipalities may have additional restrictions on discharging firearms.  Note that all required permits and licences must be in your possession while you are hunting.

Buy permit online

You can purchase and print your Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit by visiting the Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit web page.

Bird Hunting zone, see long description
Hunting Districts
  • 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

For more information on hunting districts, contact the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

Consultation process and migratory birds regulatory reports

A national consultation process has been developed to provide an opportunity for everyone to participate in developing the migratory birds hunting regulations. For more information, consult the Migratory Birds Regulatory Report Series web page.

Enforcement

In June 2017, the Environmental Violations Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations came into force. In particular, these regulations authorize game officers to use administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) to enforce the provisions of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (MBCA) and its associated regulations.

In July 2017, amendments to the fine regime and penalty provisions in the MBCA and the Designation of Regulatory Provisions for Purposes of Enforcement (Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994) Regulations came into force. In particular, these amendments allow courts to impose penalties that reflect the seriousness of offences following a conviction pursuant to the MBCA or its associated regulations.

For more information on AMPs and the new fine regime, consult the About the Environmental Enforcement Act web page.

Game officers

Game officers enforce the federal MBCA throughout Canada. This law regulates human interventions, such as hunting that could adversely affect long-term wildlife conservation. For any questions, please contact Wildlife Enforcement by telephone or by email at the contact information at the end of this hunting summary.

Waterfowler Heritage Days

Waterfowler Heritage Days are intended for young hunters under 18 years of age. These days provide opportunities for young people, for a few days before or during hunting seasons, to:

  • develop safe hunting habits in a supervised and structured environment
  • be guided by adult hunters who serve as mentors and pass on their skills and knowledge
  • learn more about wildlife conservation
  • young hunters can hunt without having a Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit or Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp
  • young hunters must comply with all safety and licensing requirements found in the Firearms Act and provincial hunting regulations
  • young hunters must be accompanied by a licensed mentor (who is not a minor)
  • adults acting as mentors:
    • must have a valid Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit and Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp
    • may not hunt or carry a firearm
    • may accompany no more than two young hunters
  • only young hunters are allowed to hunt when Waterfowler Heritage Days fall outside of the regular open seasons

Shot

  • Non-toxic shot must be used to hunt all migratory game birds, except for Band-tailed Pigeons and Mourning Doves
  • In National Wildlife Areas, the possession of lead shot is prohibited for all types of hunting, including the hunting of migratory birds and upland game birds
  • Hunters should consult provincial or territorial regulations for additional restrictions

To reduce your exposure to contaminants in meat, make sure, before cooking it, to:

  • remove the shot from birds hunted with lead shot
  • remove the skin and fat from fish-eating birds

Crime stoppers

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.

Open seasons and Waterfowler heritage days in British Columbia

Open seasons and Waterfowler heritage days in British Columbia
District Waterfowler Heritage Days Open seasons in British Columbia Open seasons in British Columbia Open seasons in British Columbia Open seasons in British Columbia Open seasons in British Columbia Open seasons in British Columbia
N/A Ducks and geese Ducks, coots and snipe Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese Other geese Brant Band-tailed Pigeons Mourning Doves and Eurasian Collared- Doves
No. 1 Oct. 5 and Oct. 6 Oct. 12 to Jan. 24 Oct.12 to Jan. 24 Oct. 12, to Jan. 24 (a); Sept. 7 to Sept. 15 (b), (c), (d); oct. 12 to Nov. 24 (b), (c), (d); Dec. 21 to Jan. 12 (b),(c),(d); and Feb. 11 to Mar. 10 (b), (c), (d) No open season Sept. 15 to Sept. 30 No open season
No. 2 Oct. 5 and Oct. 6 (e), (f) Oct. 12 to Jan. 24 (c) (e) Oct. 12 to Jan. 5(e) and Feb. 21 to Mar. 10 (e) Oct. 12 to Jan. 24(e), (g); Sept. 7 to Sept. 15(c), (d), (e);  Oct. 12 to Nov. 24 (c), (d), (e); Dec. 21 to Jan. 12 (c), (d),(e); and Feb. 11 to Mar. 10 (c), (d), (e) Mar. 1 to Mar. 10 (c), (h) Sept. 15 to Sept. 30 (e) No open season
No. 3 Sept. 7 and Sept. 8 Sept. 10 to Dec. 23 Sept. 10 to Dec. 23 Sept. 10 to Dec. 23 (g); Sept. 10 to Sept. 20 (d); Oct. 1 to Dec. 23 (d); and Mar. 1 to Mar. 10 (d) No open season Sept. 15 to Sept. 30 (i) Sept. 1 to Sept. 30
No. 4 Sept. 7 and Sept. 8 Sept. 10 to Dec. 23 Sept. 10 to Dec. 23 Sept. 10 to Dec. 23 No open season No open season Sept. 1 to Sept. 30
No. 5 Sept. 7 and Sept. 8 Sept. 15 to Dec. 25 Sept. 15 to Dec. 25 Sept. 15 to Dec. 25 No open season No open season No open season
No. 6 Sept. 7 and Sept. 8 Sept. 1 to Sept. 6 and Sept. 9 to Nov. 30 (j); Oct. 1 to Jan. 13 (k) Sept. 1 to Sept. 6 and Sept. 9 to Nov. 30 (j); Oct. 1 to Jan. 13 (k) Sept. 1 to Sept. 6 and Sept. 9 to Nov. 30 (j); Oct. 1 to Jan. 13 (k) No open season No open season No open season
No. 7 Sept. 1 and Sept. 2 (l); Sept. 14 and Sept. 15(m) Sept. 3 to Nov. 30, 2019 (l); Sept. 1 to Sept. 13 and Sept. 16 to Nov. 30 (m) Sept. 3 to Nov. 30(l); Sept. 1 to Sept. 13 and Sept. 16 to Nov. 30 (m) Sept. 3 to Nov. 30, 2019 (l); Sept. 1 to Sept. 13 and Sept. 16 to Nov. 30 (m) No open season No open season No open season
No. 8 Sept. 7 and Sept. 8 Sept. 12 to Dec. 25 Sept. 12 to Dec. 25 Sept. 12 to Dec. 25 (g); Sept. 20 to Nov. 28 (d); Dec. 20 to Jan. 5 (d); and Feb. 22 to Mar. 10 (d) No open season No open season Sept. 1 to Sept. 30

(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 in British Columbia

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 (a), (b), (c), (d) 5 (i) 5 (k), 10 (l) 3 (m) 10 10 5 5 (n)
Possession 24 (e), ( f), (g), (h) 15 ( j) 15 (k), 30 (l) 9 (m) 30 30 15 15 (n)

(a) Not more than 4 may be Northern Pintails.

(b) Not more than 4 may be Canvasbacks

(c) Not more than 2 may be Goldeneyes.

(d) Not more than 2 may be Harlequin Ducks.

(e) Not more than 12 may be Northern Pintails.

(f) Not more than 12 may be Canvasbacks.

(g) Not more than 6 may be Goldeneyes.

(h) Not more than 6 may be Harlequin Ducks.

(i) 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.

(j) 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.

(k) For White-fronted Geese only.

(l) Any combination of Canada Geese and Cackling Geese.

(m) PMU 2-4.

(n) Any combination of Mourning Doves and Eurasian Collared-Doves.

For more information

The information presented here is a summary of the law. If there is a discrepancy between the law and this summary, the law prevails.

Please consult:

You can also address your questions to:

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

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

Report migratory bird bands

Call 1-800-327-band (2263) to leave a message or go to the Report a bird with a Federal Band or Color Marker website.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
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