Hunting regulations summary for migratory birds: British Columbia, August 2020 to July 2021

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 zones
  • Long description

    1. Provincial Management Units (PMUs) Nos. 1-1 to 1-15 inclusive

    2. PMUs Nos. 2-2 to 2-19 inclusive

    3. PMUs Nos. 3-12 to 3-20, 3-26 to 3-44 inclusive

    4. PMUs Nos. 4-1 to 4-9, and 4-14 to 4-40 inclusive

    5. PMUs Nos. 5-1 to 5-15 inclusive

    6. PMUs Nos. 6-1 to 6-30 inclusive

    7. PMUs Nos. 7-2 to 7-58 inclusive

    8. PMUs Nos. 8-1 to 8-15 inclusive, and 8-21 to 8-26 inclusive

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

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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 hunters, 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

The following rules are in effect during Waterfowler Heritage Days:

  • 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
  • Within National Wildlife Areas that allow hunting, 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.

Waterfowler Heritage Days and Open Seasons in British Columbia

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

Oct. 3 and Oct. 4

Oct. 10 to Jan. 22

Oct.10 to Jan. 22

Oct. 10, to Jan. 22 (a);

Sept. 5 to Sept. 13 (b), (c), (d);

Oct. 10 to Nov. 22 (b), (c), (d);

Dec. 19 to Jan. 10 (b),(c),(d);

and Feb. 10 to Mar. 10 (b), (c), (d)

No open

season

Sept. 15 to

Sept. 30

No open

season

No. 2

Oct. 3 and Oct. 4

(e), (f)

Oct. 10 to

Jan. 22 (c) (e)

Oct. 10 to

Jan. 3(e) and

Feb. 20 to Mar. 10

(e)

Oct. 10 to Jan. 22(e), (g);

Sept. 5 to Sept. 13(c), (d), (e);

Oct. 10 to Nov. 22 (c), (d), (e);

Dec. 19 to Jan. 10 (c), (d),(e);

and Feb. 10 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. 5 and

Sept. 6

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. 5 and

Sept. 6

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. 12 and

Sept. 13

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. 5 and

Sept. 6

Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, except during Waterfowler Heritage Days (j);

Oct. 1 to

Jan. 13 (k)

Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, except during Waterfowler Heritage Days (j);

Oct. 1 to

Jan. 13 (k)

Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, except during Waterfowler Heritage Days (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. 12 and Sept. 13(m)

Sept. 3 to Nov. 30 (l);

Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, except during Waterfowler Heritage Days (m)

Sept. 3 to Nov. 30(l);

Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, except during Waterfowler Heritage Days (m)

Sept. 3 to Nov. 30 (l);

Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, except during Waterfowler Heritage Days (m)

No open

season

No open

season

No open

season

No. 8

Sept. 5 and

Sept. 6

Sept. 23 to Jan. 5

Sept. 23 to Jan. 5

Sept. 23 to Jan. 5 (g);

Sept. 20 to Nov. 28 (d);

Dec. 20 to Jan. 5 (d);

and Feb. 21 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
Limit Ducks White Geese (Snow and Ross’s Geese) Dark Geese (Canada, Cackling 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 may also direct 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
Tel.: 1-800-668-6767
ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca

Report your 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.

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