Summary of Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations: Newfoundland and Labrador, August 2022 to July 2023

Summary

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

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

These two documents are issued by the federal government and are valid in all provinces and territories.

Waterfowl and Snipe hunting zones

Bird Hunting zone, see long description
Waterfowl and Snipe hunting zones
Long description

Northwestern Coastal zone bounded by a line drawn due west from Cape St. Gregory, and from there northward and eastward along the coast, ending in a boundary line drawn due northeast through Cape Bauld.

Northern Coastal zone bounded by a line drawn due northeast from Cape Bauld, and from there southward along the east coast, ending in a boundary line drawn due northeast through Cape St. John.

Southern Coastal zone bounded by a line drawn due west through Cape Ray, and from there southward and eastward along the coast, ending at a line drawn due south through Cape Rosey.

Southwestern Coastal zone bounded by a line drawn due west from Cape St. Gregory, and from there southward along the coast, ending in a boundary line drawn due west through Cape Ray.

Northeastern Coastal zone bounded by a line drawn due northeast through Cape Bonavista, and from there in a generally westerly direction along the coast, ending at a boundary line drawn due northeast through Cape St. John.

Avalon-Burin Coastal zone bounded by a straight line drawn due south from Cape Rosey, and from there in a generally easterly and northerly direction along the coast, ending at a boundary line drawn due northeast from Cape Bonavista.

Newfoundland Inland zone means the portion of the Island of Newfoundland, and of the adjacent offshore islands, that is not within the portions described above.

“Coastal” refers to the portion of the coast of the Island of Newfoundland, and of the adjacent offshore islands, lying less than 100 m from the mean ordinary high-water mark and the adjacent marine coastal waters.

Northern Labrador zone means the portion of Labrador lying north of latitude 54°24′N and east of longitude 65°W.

Western Labrador zone means the portion of Labrador lying west of longitude 65°W.

Southern Labrador zone means the portion of Labrador lying south of latitude 53°06′N (Boulter Rock) and east of longitude 57°06′40″W.

Central Labrador zone means the portion of Labrador that is not within the portions described above.

For more information on hunting districts, contact the Provincial Ministry of Fisheries and Land Resources.

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.

New! It is no longer required to sign the Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit (both physical and electronic forms). This allows you to carry your permit in a digital format, such as on a mobile device. If you choose to carry your permit on your mobile device, it must be in the PDF format provided by the e-permitting system (a photograph or screenshot of your permit is not valid). It is also your responsibility to be able to show the permit to a game officer immediately upon request.

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.

Important updates

The format of the Summary has changed. The Migratory Birds Regulations have been modernized. Many important clarifications and changes have been made to the regulations regarding migratory game bird hunting, including: the concept of possession, gifting of harvested birds, labelling requirements, hunting methods and equipment, and the introduction of new permits.

New! Youth Migratory Game Bird Hunting (MGBH) permit

Waterfowler Heritage Days have been abolished and replaced with a MGBH permit for youth, which is referred to as the Youth MGBH permit.

Hunters who are minors (less than 18 years old) may now hunt with a Youth MGBH permit. The Youth MGBH permit, as well as the Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation stamp, can be obtained through our online purchasing system, free of charge.

The Youth MGBH permit provides young hunters with the opportunity to practice their skills under the supervision of an adult mentor (in possession of a MGBH Permit) throughout the full Open season and the special conservation season, and provides Youth MGBH Permit holders with their own daily bag and possession limits.

Mentors must possess their own MGBH permit, must have held such a permit in a previous year, and may accompany no more than two youth hunters. Mentors may carry a firearm, and may hunt. For more information on the new rules pertaining to hunting migratory game birds in the modernized Migratory Birds Regulations, 2022, please consult the Migratory Game Bird Hunting web page.

Murre (Turr) hunters

This hunt is only open to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. Murres are the only migratory bird that can be legally hunted from a boat that is moving due to its motor. Any occupant of a boat who shoots or retrieves Murres, or anyone who operates a boat to pursue Murres, is hunting as defined in the Migratory Birds Regulations, 2022, and is required to hold a Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit and a Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp.

Enforcement

The Environmental Violations Administrative Monetary Penalties 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.

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 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 fine regime, consult the About the Environmental Enforcement Act web page.

Game officers

Image of badge

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.

Shot

  • Non-toxic shot must be used to hunt all migratory game birds, except for Murres (Turrs)
  • Within National Wildlife Areas that allow hunting, 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

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

Species at Risk

Barrow’s Goldeneye is listed in the Species at Risk Act as a species of special concern, and the daily bag and possession limit is 1 bird.

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) or “Échec au crime” in the province of Quebec at 1-800-711-1800. Your call is anonymous, and you may be eligible for a cash reward.

Open season and daily bag and possession limits for migratory game birds in Newfoundland and Labrador

Table I:
Northwestern Coastal Newfoundland Zone
Species Open season Daily bag limit Possession limit

Long-tailed Ducks, Eiders and Scoters, combined

November 1 to February 14

6

12

Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, combined

October 10 to January 23

6

12

Ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Eiders and Scoters), combined

September 17 to December 31

6 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye) from September 17 to November 29

6 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye and not more than 4 may be American Black Ducks) from November 30 to December 31

18 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye)

All Geese, combined

September 17 to December 31

5

10

Snipe

September 17 to December 31

10

20

Table I:
Avalon-Burin Coastal Newfoundland Zone, Northeastern Coastal Newfoundland Zone, Northern Coastal Newfoundland Zone, Southern Coastal
Species Open season Daily bag limit Possession limit

Long-tailed Ducks, Eiders and Scoters, combined

November 25 to March 10

6

12

Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, combined

October 10 to January 23

6

12

Ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Eiders and Scoters), combined

September 17 to December 31

6 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye) from September 17 to November 29

6 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye and not more than 4 may be American Black Ducks), from November 30 to December 31

18 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye)

All Geese, combined

September 17 to December 31

5

10

Snipe

September 17 to December 31

10

20

Table I:
Inland Newfoundland Zone
Species Open season Daily bag limit Possession limit

Long-tailed Ducks, Eiders and Scoters, combined

No Open season

N/A

N/A

Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, combined

October 10 to January 23

6

12

Ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Eiders and Scoters), combined

September 17 to December 31

6 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye) from September 17 to November 29

6 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye and not more than 4 may be American Black Ducks) from November 30 to December 31

18 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye)

All Geese, combined

September 17 to December 31

5

10

Snipe

September 17 to December 31

10

20

Table I:
Northern Labrador Zone
Species Open season Daily bag limit Possession limit

All Eiders and Scoters, combined

September 3 to September 23, for Scoters only

September 24 to December 17

December 18 to January 8, for Eiders only

6

12

Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, combined

September 3 to December 17

6

12

Ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Eiders and Scoters), combined

September 3 to December 17

6 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye)

18 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye)

All Geese, combined

September 3 to December 17

5

10

Snipe

September 3 to December 17

10

20

Table I:
Western Labrador Zone
Species Open season Daily bag limit Possession limit

All Eiders, combined

No Open season

N/A

N/A

All Scoters, combined

September 3 to December 17

6

12

Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, combined

September 3 to December 17

6

12

Ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Eiders and Scoters), combined

September 3 to December 17

6 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye)

18 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye)

All Geese, combined

September 3 to December 17

5

10

Snipe

September 3 to December 17

10

20

Table I:
Southern Labrador Zone
Species Open season Daily bag limit Possession limit

All Eiders and Scoters, combined

September 3 to October 31, for Scoters only

November 1 to December 17

December 18 to February 14, for Eiders only

6

12

Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, combined

September 3 to December 17

6

12

Ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Eiders and Scoters), combined

September 3 to December 17

6 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye)

18 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye)

All Geese, combined

September 3 to December 17

5

10

Snipe

September 3 to December 17

10

20

Table I:
Central Labrador Zone
Species Open season Daily bag limit Possession limit

All Eiders and Scoters, combined

September 3 to October 28, for Scoters only

October 29 to November 26

November 27 to December 17, for Scoters only

January 7 to February 28, for Eiders only

6

12

Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, combined

September 3 to December 17

6

12

Ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Eiders and Scoters), combined

September 3 to December 17

6 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye)

18 (not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye)

All Geese, combined

September 3 to December 17

5

10

Snipe

September 3 to December 17

10

20

Open seasons in Newfoundland and Labrador (Murres/Turrs)

Bird Hunting zone, see long description
Murre/Turr hunting zones
Long description

Zone No. 1 means all coastal waters in the Northern Labrador Zone and the Central Labrador Zone as defined in Table II of this Part.

Zone No. 2 means all coastal waters in the Southern Labrador Zone as defined in Table II of this Part, and those portions of the Northwestern Coastal Zone, Northern Coastal Zone and Northeastern Coastal Zone of Newfoundland as defined in Table I of this Part, bounded by a due northeast line from Deadman’s Point (49°21′N, 53°41′W) and a due west line from Cape St. Gregory (49°24′N, 58°14′W).

Zone No. 3 means those portions of the Southwestern Coastal Zone and Avalon-Burin Coastal Zone of Newfoundland as defined in Table I of this Part, bounded by a due west line from Cape St. Gregory (49°24′N, 58°14′W) and a due east line from Western Bay Head (47°53′N, 53°03′W), excluding the portion of the Avalon-Burin Coastal Zone of Newfoundland bounded by a due east line from Cape Race (46°39′N, 53°04′W) and a due east line from Cape Spear (47°31′20″N, 52°37′40″W).

Zone No. 4 means those portions of the Avalon-Burin Coastal Zone and the Northeastern Coastal Zone of Newfoundland as defined in Table I of this Part, bounded by a due east line drawn from Cape Race (46°39′N, 53°04′W) and a due northeast line from Deadman’s Point (49°21′N, 53°41′W), excluding that portion of the Avalon-Burin Coastal Zone of Newfoundland bounded by a due east line from Cape Spear (47°31′20″N, 52°37′40″W) and by a due east line from Western Bay Head (47°53′N, 53°03′W).

Table II:
Murre/Turr hunting zones
Species Open season Daily bag limit Possession limit

Murres Zone 1

September 1 to December 16

20

40

Murres Zone 2

October 6 to January 20

20

40

Murres Zone 3

November 25 to March 10

20

40

Murres Zone 4

November 3 to January 10

February 2 to March 10

20

40

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.

For more information, consult:

You may also direct your questions to:

Environment and Climate Change Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service
6 Bruce Street
Mount Pearl NL A1N 4T3

Tel.: 1-800-668-6767
enviroinfo@ec.gc.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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