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Regulation changes good news for Canadian hunters

Regulation changes good news for Canadian hunters

Delta Waterfowl has always focused on duck numbers, but more recently, our focus in Canada has been on the numbers of waterfowl hunters, too. While several factors drive hunter recruitment and retention, regulations play an important role.

Delta recognizes the staff at the Canadian Wildlife Service for dedication to not only to population monitoring, but also for modifying regulations to help ensure the future of hunting. Delta staff and chapters will continue to work with CWS to explore additional ways to improve regulations.

Here is a summary of relevant changes across Canada for the 2013 season.

With Saskatchewan and Labrador coming out with their own Waterfowler Heritage Days, this completes the county’s sweep of the special youth hunting season since its inception in 2000. Another big step is the introduction of a mourning dove season in central and southern Ontario, the second jurisdiction in the country to do so. Extended waterfowl season lengths have been established for many jurisdictions, especially in the Maritimes.
Western Canada
Based on research findings, electronic calls are now permitted in any spring or fall snow goose season (spring seasons open in Saskatchewan and Manitoba) along with any decoy combination. Specific to Alberta, a new restriction on bag limits for goldeneyes is set at 2 per day for non-residents. A youth season in Saskatchewan will provide opportunities to recruit hunters on Sept. 1 to 2, as well as October 12 to 14. In Manitoba, the opener for Canadian residents now coincides with the youth season (Sept. 1) and non-residents can hunt snow geese all day throughout the season.

Ontario
The big news in Ontario is the opening of a mourning dove season for central and southern districts. Black duck restrictions have been relaxed so that they can be hunted for the entire season and the bag limits have been increased. Possession limits have been removed for Canada geese and snow geese. Snow goose hunters can now use electronic calls and any decoy combination for both spring and fall seasons.

Quebec
Seasons for ducks and geese have been extended in many hunting districts, along with an increased black duck limit. Possession limits have been removed for Canada geese and snow geese. The spring snow goose season has been expanded to include the municipality of Montmagny. Snow goose hunters can now use electronic calls and any decoy combination for both spring and fall seasons.

Maritimes
Good news for the Maritime Provinces, as the season length has been extended for much of the region and includes the Christmas holidays, a time when families are together and have time off. Black duck bag limits have been increased for the early portion of the season for New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. In addition, possession limits for most ducks have been increased from twice to three times the daily bag for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland (excluding Labrador) and Prince Edward Island. On top of a new early Canada goose season in Prince Edward Island, the restriction on farmland only hunting no longer applies for that season in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Barrow’s goldeneye limits have been reduced to one bird per season.

A full summary of regulations is available on Environment Canada’s website

By Jim Fisher, director of conservation for Delta Waterfowl,based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Photos by Fred Greenslade

Delta Waterfowl Foundation is a leading North American conservation organization, tracing its origins to the birth of the wildlife conservation movement in 1911. The Foundation supports research, provides leadership and offers science-based solutions to efficiently conserve waterfowl and secure the future of waterfowl hunting. Delta Waterfowl is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Bismarck, N.D.