Hunting regulations for migratory birds: Quebec 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
801-1550 D'Estimauville Avenue
Québec, Quebec G1J 0C3
Tel.: 1-800-668-6767
Fax: 418-649-6591
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 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.

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 the 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 before the season opens for other hunters. 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 seasons

As per subsections 15.1(1) and 15.1(2) of the Migratory Birds Regulations, in Quebec, non-toxic shot must be used to hunt all migratory game birds, except for woodcock. Non-toxic shot must also be used to hunt Mourning Dove. Within National Wildlife Areas, the possession of lead shot is prohibited for all hunting, including the hunting of migratory birds and upland game birds. For those birds still hunted with lead shot, remove the lead shot before cooking to reduce your exposure to contaminants. As well, remove the skin and fat from fish-eating birds before cooking them.

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.

Open seasons table

Open seasons and waterfowler heritage days in Quebec (No open season for Harlequin Ducks or rails)
Area Waterfowler Heritage day

Ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks), Geese, Woodcock and Snipe, as well as Coots, Gallinules and Mourning Dove
Open Seasons

Ducks (other than Eiders, Harlequin and Long-tailed Duck), Geese (other than Canada Geese, Cackling Geese and Snow Geese) and Snipe
Open Seasons

Canada Geese and Cackling Geese
Open Seasons

Eiders and
Long-tailed Ducks
Open Seasons

Coots and
Gallinules
Open Seasons

Woodcock and
Mourning Doves
District A N/A Sept. 1 to
Dec. 16, 2018
Sept. 1 to
Dec. 16, 2018
Sept. 1 to
Dec. 16, 2018
No open season Sept. 1 to
Dec. 16, 2018 d
District B Sept. 8, 2018 d Sept. 15 to
Dec. 29, 2018
Sept. 15 to
Dec. 29, 2018
Oct. 1, 2018, to
Jan. 14, 2019 b
No open season Sept. 8 to
Dec. 22, 2018 d
Districts C, D and E Sept. 8, 2018 d Sept. 15 to
Dec. 29, 2018 c
Sept. 1 to Sept. 14, 2018 a
Sept. 15 to Dec. 16, 2018
Sept. 15 to
Dec. 29, 2018
No open season Sept. 15, 2018, to
Dec. 29, 2018 d
District F Sept. 15, 2018 Sept. 22, 2018 to
Jan. 5, 2019 c
Sept. 6 to Sept.21, 2018 a
Sept. 22 to Dec. 21, 2018
Sept. 22, 2018, to
Jan. 5, 2019
Sept. 22, 2018, to
Jan. 5, 2019
Sept. 15, 2018, to
Dec 29, 2018
District G Sept. 22, 2018 d Sept. 29 to
Dec. 26, 2018
Sept. 29 to
Dec. 26, 2018
Nov. 1, 2018, to
Feb. 14, 2019
No open season Sept. 29 to
Dec. 26, 2018 d

a In Districts C, D, E and F, hunting for Canada Geese and Cackling Geese is allowed only on farmland.

b In District B, in the portion of the North Shore west of the Natashquan River, for Eiders and Long-tailed Ducks, the hunting seasons are the periods beginning on October 1, 2018 and ending on October 24, 2018 and beginning on November 15, 2018 and ending on February 5, 2019.

c In District E, the hunting season for Barrow’s Goldeneye and Common Goldeneye closes on October 21, 2018, in Provincial Hunting Zone 21 and 100 metres beyond this zone. In District F, the open hunting season for Barrow’s Goldeneye and Common Goldeneye closes on October 21, 2018, between Pointe Jureux (St. Irénée) and Gros Cap à l’Aigle (St. Fidèle) from routes 362 and 138 to 2 kilometres within Provincial Hunting Zone 21.

d Hunting for Mourning Dove is allowed only in District F.

Hunting districts

Hunting districts of Quebec
Long description

Map showing the 7 Hunting Districts, Districts A-G, in the province of Quebec. The main urban centres in each District are identified. They are: In District A - Chibougamau; In District B - Sept-îles; In district C - Val d'Or; in District D - Saguenay; in District E - Matane; in District F - Mont-Laurier, Montreal, Sherbrooke and Quebec; District G - the Magdalen Islands.

Bag and possession limits table

Bag and possession limits in Quebec
Limits Ducks Geese (other than Snow Geese) Snow Geese Coots and Gallinules Woodcock Mourning Doves Snipe
Daily bag 6 e, f, g 5 h, g 20 g 4 g 8 i, g 8 g 10 g
Possession 18 j, g 20 g, k No limit 12 g 24 g 24 g 30 g

e In the portion of District F that is south of Route 148 and is west of Highway 15, not more than 2 may be American Black Ducks.

f Not more than 1 may be Blue-winged Teal and not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye.

g Not more than 3 birds may be taken or possessed during Waterfowler Heritage Days, with the additional species restrictions described in notes e, f and j applying within that total.

h Up to 5 additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily between September 1 and September 25, 2018.

i For non-residents of Canada, not more than 4 woodcocks may be taken daily.

j Not more than 2 may be Blue-winged Teal and not more than 1 may be Barrow’s Goldeneye.

k No possession limit for Canada Geese.

Overabundant species

The Migratory Birds Regulations also provide for special conservation harvest periods when hunters may take overabundant species. See the table below for details.

Measures in Quebec concerning overabundant species
Area Period during which Snow Geese may be killed Additional hunting method or equipment
District A Sept. 1 to Dec. 16, 2018
May 1 to June 30, 2019
Recorded bird calls o, p
Recorded bird calls o
District B Sept. 15 to Dec. 29, 2018 Recorded bird calls o, p
Districts C and  D Sept. 1 to Sept. 14,  2018 l,  and Sept. 15  to Dec. 29, 2018
Mar. 1 to May 31,  2019l
Recorded bird calls o, p
Recorded bird calls o
District E Sept. 1 to Sept. 14,  2018 l, and Sept. 15 to Dec. 29, 2018
Mar. 1 to May 31, 2019 l
Recorded bird calls o,p ; bait crop area q
Recorded bird calls o; bait q
District F Sept. 6 to Sept. 21, 2018 l,  and Sept. 22, 2018 to Jan. 5, 2019
Mar. 1 to May 31,  2019 l, m, n
Recorded bird calls o, p; bait crop area q
Recorded bird calls o; bait q
District G Sept. 29 to Dec. 26,  2018 Recorded bird calls o, p

l Hunting and hunting equipment are allowed only on farmland.

m In District F, no person shall hunt south of the St. Lawrence River and north of the road right-of-way of Route 132 between the western limit of the Montmagny municipality and the eastern limit of Cap-Saint-Ignace municipality, other than in lots 4 598 472, 2 611 981 and 2 611 982 of the cadastre of Quebec (all located in Montmagny municipality).

n In District F, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, no person shall hunt north of the St. Lawrence River and south of a line located at 1000 m north of Highway 40 between Montée St-Laurent and the Maskinongé River. On the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, no person shall hunt south of the St. Lawrence River and north of the railroad right-of-way located near Route 132 between the Nicolet River in the east and Lacerte Road in the west.

o “Recorded bird calls” refers to bird calls of a species referred to in the heading of column 2.

p Any species of migratory bird for which it is open season may be taken while hunting Snow Geese with recorded Snow Geese calls.

q Hunting with bait or in a bait crop area is permitted if the Regional Director has given consent in writing pursuant to section 23.3.

Note: The 2018 federal permit is also valid for the 2019 spring special conservation harvest for Snow Geese.

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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