Hunting in Ontario

Turkey hunter in camoflauge

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.

Regulating Hunting

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.

Hunter Education

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.

 

Residents must:

 

• Be at least 16 years of age.  Residents may obtain a licence at 15, but they must first get consent in writing from both parents, one parent (if not living with both parents) or a legal guardian.

 

• Have passed the Ontario Hunter Education Course exam.

 

• Have passed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course exam if hunting with a gun.

 

• Have a valid hunting version Outdoors Card.

 

• Have all applicable licences, licence tags, e-licences, game seals and validation tags for the species being hunted.

 

• Observe all applicable provincial and federal hunting regulations.

 

 

Note:  With written permission from a parent or legal guardian, applicants aged 12-15 years may enroll in the Hunter Apprenticeship Safety Program and hunt with a licensed Mentor, provided that the young person has passed the Ontario Hunter Education Course Exam and all other requirements of this program are observed.

 

Non-residents must:

 

• Be at least 16 years of age.

 

• Present one of the fives types of hunting accreditation recognized in Ontario.

 

• Have all applicable licences, game seals and validation tags or certificates for the species being hunted.

 

• Comply with federal firearms regulations.

 

• Be the registered guest of a tourist outfitter and/or hunt with a guide, where required.

 

• Observe all applicable provincial and federal hunting regulations.