Shani Dion-Thibaudeau

By Shani Dion-Thibaudeau

October 4, 2021

Leisure

Fall Hunting 101

Article revised on 14 October 2021

For many outdoor enthusiasts in Quebec, fall means with hunting season. However, not everyone can hunt! Hunting with a firearm, crossbow or bow requires in-depth knowledge of the weapon, and a licence.

Here are a few basics for small and big game hunting in fall.

Even though hunting occurs year-round based on the type of game and the 28 hunting zones, hunters take to the woods most often in the fall.

Age

Quebec residents aged 12 and older can hunt with a licence. To learn how to hunt, adults or children can get an introductory licence which grants them the same privileges and obligations as a regular hunter but they must be accompanied by a resident at least 25 years of age or older.

Hunter’s certificate

A hunter’s certificate is issued to individuals aged 12 or over who successfully completed a firearms and hunter safety education certificate for the hunting weapon (training course for the weapon they intend to use, i.e. a firearm, crossbow or bow). These courses can be taken at any time during the year, except from the end of September to mid-November. Get more information regarding this certificate from the ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP).

Hunting licence

Once you have a hunter’s certificate attesting that you can handle your weapon, you must obtain a hunting licence. There are three types of licences:

  1. Small game (e.g.  partridge, hare, pheasant)
  2. Big game (e.g. moose, deer, bear)
  3. Migratory game birds (e.g. goose, Canada geese, duck)

The first two fall under provincial jurisdiction. They can be obtained from authorized ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs sales agents, or sports and apparel stores, hardware stores, convenience stores or from any other authorized agent ( ZEC or an outfitting establishments). The third falls under federal jurisdiction and is issued by Environment Canada.

Note that migratory bird hunters must hold two licences: the small game licence and the migratory game bird licence.

How much does it cost?

For the 2021-2022 season, a Quebec resident can expect to pay between $18.99 and $77.09 for a licence, depending on the hunting and game types. A non-resident hunter must pay between $61.22 and $524.10.

Hunting without a licence

Once you have your licence and equipment, you need to find your hunting zone and follow regulations. Hunting without a licence or violating the zone’s hunting rules can lead to fines varying from $250 to $2,200, depending on the violation.

Safety first

At all times, you are responsible for your firearm and ammunition:

  • Keep them out of sight while being transported or stored.
  • Store the ammunition separately.
  • Make sure your gun is not loaded and properly locked. Use a safety device, such as a safety cable or a lockable case.
  • Always handle your gun as if it were loaded.
  • Load your gun only when you are ready to shoot.
  • Before handing a gun to someone, unload it.

To learn more about hunting in Quebec, here are a few handy links:

Licence

Hunting zones

Hunting as a family

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