Hunting regulations for migratory birds: Newfoundland and Labrador 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 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 Government of Canada website, or you may contact:

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

Tel.: 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. The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Nunatsiavut Government, 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.

Waterfowl and snipe hunting zones

Long description

“Coastal” refers to that portion of the coast lying within 100 metres of the mean ordinary high-water mark, including the coastal portions of offshore islands and the adjacent marine coastal waters.

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 day provides 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
  • only young hunters may hunt when Waterfowler Heritage Days fall outside of the regular open season

Murre (Turr) hunters: All hunters must purchase and be in possession of a Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit and a Habitat Conservation Stamp while hunting murres. This hunt is only open to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. Murres are the only migratory bird that can be legally hunted from a power boat. 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 and is required to hold a Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, non-toxic shot must be used to hunt migratory birds, except for murres (turrs). For those birds still hunted with lead shot, remove the lead shot before cooking whenever possible in order to reduce your exposure to contaminants.

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.

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.

Island of Newfoundland tables: open seasons, bag and possession limits

Open seasons and waterfowler heritage day on the island of Newfoundland (no open season for Harlequin Ducks I)
Area Waterfowler heritage day

Ducks, including mergansers (other than Long-tailed Ducks, Harlequin Ducks I, eiders and scoters), geese and snipe
Open seasons on the Island of Newfoundland

Ducks, including mergansers (other than Long-tailed Ducks, Harlequin Ducks I, eiders and scoters), geese and snipe
Open seasons on the Island of Newfoundland

Long-tailed Ducks, eiders and scoters
Northwestern Coastal Zone Sept. 8, 2018 Sept. 15 to Dec. 29, 2018 Nov. 1, 2018, to
Feb. 14, 2019
Southwestern, Southern, Avalon-Burin, Northeastern and Northern Coastal Zones Sept. 8, 2018 Sept. 15 to Dec. 29, 2018 Nov. 25, 2018, to
Mar. 10, 2019
All Inland Zones Sept. 8, 2018 Sept. 15 to Dec. 29, 2018 No open season

I Harlequin Ducks are also known locally as Lords and Ladies, White-eyed Divers or Squeakers.

Bag and possession limits on the island of Newfoundland
Limits Ducks (other than mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Harlequin Ducks II, eiders and scoters) Mergansers Long-tailed Ducks, eiders and scoters Geese Snipe
Daily bag 6 a 6 6 5 10
Possession 18 b 12 12 10 20

II Harlequin Ducks are also known locally as Lords and Ladies, White-eyed Divers or Squeakers.

a Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye and, during the period beginning on November 30 and ending on December 29, 2018, not more than 4 may be American Black Ducks.

b Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye.

Labrador tables: open seasons, bag and possession limits

Open seasons and Waterfowler heritage day in Labrador (no open season for Harlequin Ducks III)
Area Waterfowler heritage day

Ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks III and eiders), geese and snipe
Open seasons in Labrador

Ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks III and eiders), geese and snipe
Open seasons in Labrador

Eiders
Northern Labrador Zone Sept. 1, 2018 Sept. 1 to Dec. 15, 2018 Sept. 29, 2018, to
Jan. 12, 2019
Western Labrador Zone Sept. 1, 2018 Sept. 1 to Dec. 15, 2018 No open season
Southern Labrador Zone Sept. 1, 2018 Sept. 1 to Dec. 15, 2018 Nov. 1, 2018, to
Feb. 14, 2019
Central Labrador Zone Sept. 1, 2018 Sept. 1 to Dec. 15, 2018 Oct. 27 to Nov. 24, 2018, and Jan. 5 to
Feb. 28, 2019

III Harlequin Ducks are also known locally as Lords and Ladies, White-eyed Divers or Squeakers.

Bag and possession limits in Labrador
Limits Ducks (other than mergansers, Harlequin Ducks  IV, eiders and scoters) Mergansers, scoters and eiders Geese Snipe
Daily bag 6 c 6 5 10
Possession 18 d 12 10 20

IV Harlequin Ducks are also known locally as Lords and Ladies, White-eyed Divers or Squeakers.

c Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye.

d Not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye.

Murre/Turr hunting zones

Murres/Turrs tables: open seasons, bag and possession limits

Open seasons in Newfoundland and Labrador (Murres/Turrs)
Area Murres
Zone No. 1 Sept. 1 to Dec. 16, 2018
Zone No. 2 Oct. 6, 2018, to Jan. 20, 2019
Zone No. 3 Nov. 25, 2018, to Mar. 10, 2019
Zone No. 4 Nov. 3, 2018, to Jan. 10, 2019, and Feb. 2 to Mar. 10, 2019
Bag and possession limits in Newfoundland and Labrador (Murres/Turrs)
Limits Murres
Daily bag 20
Possession 40

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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