In Ontario, the money from hunter licence fees contributes to monitoring and protecting wildlife.
Hunting is an important activity for people around the world. For many it is still an important method of food gathering. For others, hunting is a recreational activity that provides an opportunity to further friendships and family ties. For most hunters it is also a chance to experience nature and relax in the outdoors while making an important contribution to conservation.
Strict laws regulate when, where, what and how a person can hunt. In Ontario, each gun hunter must pass both the Canadian Firearms Safety Course exam and the Ontario Hunter Education Course exam. These education programs and regulations contribute to a safe recreational activity. Stay on top of new or changing regulations by visiting our Information Resources for Hunters page.
Hunting and Wildlife Populations
Legal hunting does not endanger wildlife populations. In fact, it can play an important role in maintaining an abundant population within the carrying capacity of its habitat. Those species that are hunted are managed sustainably. This management is based on sound science and long-term monitoring. The pressures on our wildlife populations today include habitat fragmentation and destruction, pollution, invasive species and unsustainable use.
The Importance of Hunting
Hunters contribute a great deal of time, money, and effort to wildlife management. Hunters are involved in a variety of volunteer programs that help maintain and enhance wildlife and their habitat. In Ontario, the money from hunter licence fees contributes to monitoring and protecting wildlife. The funds raised with the Waterfowl Stamp on the federal Migratory Bird Hunting Permit support habitat protection programs that benefit all wildlife that depend on wetlands.
If you decide hunting in Ontario is for you, your first step is to complete Ontario's Hunter Education Program. The program covers topics such as firearm safety, hunting laws and wildlife identification. The program is administered by the MNR in partnership with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. Learn more about the Ontario Hunter Education Program on this website provided by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.
Outdoors Card and Licences
To hunt in Ontario, most residents need a hunting version Outdoors Card and the applicable licence tags or licences.
Ontario recognizes two types of resident hunters: gun hunters and non-gun hunters.
- Gun Hunting - The Class H1 Outdoors Card allows hunting with all the methods permitted under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (guns, archery and falconry). To qualify for a H1 Outdoors Card, the applicant must provide proof of passing both the Ontario Hunter Education Course exam and the Canadian Firearms Safety Course exam.
- Non-Gun Hunting - The Class H2 Outdoors Card allows hunting with all the methods permitted under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act except guns (primarily archery and falconry). To qualify for a H2 Outdoors Card, the applicant must provide proof of passing the Ontario Hunter Education Course exam.
Hunter Apprenticeship Safety Program
Ontario's Hunter Apprenticeship Safety Program offers practical training for new hunters. Under this program hunters can safely develop their hunting skills under the supervision of a qualified Mentor - a licensed and experienced hunter. Two classes of Ontario Hunter Apprenticeship Safety Cards are available - one for gun hunters and one for non-gun hunters.
Know the Regulations
Hunting regulations are in place to ensure your safety and the well-being of others, wildlife and the environment. Each spring, Ontario publishes a summary of the hunting regulations.
Hunters can get a copy of the Hunting Regulations Summary online. Each hunter has a responsibility to read and understand the regulations before hunting.