Fisheries and Land Resources
Children, Seniors and Social Development
October 27, 2017
Provincial Government Taking Action to Increase Access to Hunting
The Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, today announced transformative changes to the provincial Wildlife Act and Regulations that support inclusion, improve access, and increase participation in hunting throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
Changes include lowering the minimum hunting age, updating the Program for Hunters and Anglers with a Disability and earlier application dates for the provincial big game draw.
Minister Byrne was joined at today’s announcement in Corner Brook by representatives of several provincial hunting and trapping organizations and the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities - Newfoundland and Labrador.
The minimum age requirement to shoot small game, coyotes and other furbearers has been lowered from 16 to 12 and the minimum age requirement to shoot big game has been lowered from 18 to 16. The new age requirements take effect immediately, and youth hunters are only permitted to use a firearm under supervision of a qualified adult.
Several changes to the Program for Hunters and Anglers with a Disability have been made. These include:
- A designated hunter can remain within 800 metres or line of sight, whichever is greater, of the person with a disability. This regulation takes effect immediately;
- Restructuring the Problem Moose Policy for the 2018-19 hunting season to give priority access to big game for persons with disabilities not able to complete the Firearm Safety-Hunter Education Program; and
- Development of a new policy to provide persons with disabilities priority access to moose put down by conservation officers for humane or public safety reasons.
Earlier big game draw application dates will also be in effect for the 2018-19 big game hunting season to provide hunters and trappers with greater lead time to adequately plan for hunting and trapping activities.
Additional information on all changes to the Wildlife Act and Regulations can be found in the backgrounder below.
These changes to Provincial Wildlife Regulations support the Provincial Government’s commitment to provide all residents of the province with the opportunity to share in the experience and benefits of hunting.
“We have the need to remove barriers to hunting and trapping. These new regulations now provide several options for persons with disabilities in Newfoundland and Labrador to participate in hunting and have access to big game. The amendments also align our minimum hunting age requirements with other jurisdictions in Canada while encouraging greater interest in hunting and responsible firearm use among youth hunters.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources
“Achieving full inclusion in our province is a goal for this government. We are committed to providing the opportunity for all citizens to take part in activities which are an inherent part of our culture such as recreational hunting. I am pleased that the Wildlife Regulations have been changed to provide for a more inclusive society.”
Honourable Lisa Dempster
Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development and Minister Responsible for the Status of Persons with Disabilities
“My main objective when I began this lobby was to share and teach the sport and honorable traditions of hunting to my son, the same as all other Canadian parents and their youth. By enacting this change, we will begin to see a positive change with respect to ethics, responsibility, conservation, and public safety in our outdoor world. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the current government and past and present ministers for listening and finally making this a reality. This is a great day for the outdoor youth of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
President, Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Hunters and Anglers
"We are pleased to see inclusive amendments being made to better engage hunters with disabilities to full participation in such an important and culturally specific activity in our province. We hope to see more persons with disabilities who have not been given the opportunity to hunt previously now able to take part, thanks to these changes. We applaud the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for their continued work towards building more inclusive communities."
Executive Director, Coalition of Persons with Disabilities - Newfoundland and Labrador
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Fisheries and Land Resources (Wildlife) - www.flr.gov.nl.ca/wildlife/
Coalition of Persons with Disabilities – Newfoundland and Labrador – www.codnl.ca
Fisheries and Land Resources
Children, Seniors and Social Development
Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Hunters and Anglers
Newfoundland and Labrador Coalition of Persons with Disabilities in Newfoundland and Labrador
New Wildlife Regulations for Youth Hunting and Trapping
Summary of Amendments to Provincial Wildlife Regulations for Youth
Youth at age 12 and under 16 may be issued a licence to shoot small game, coyotes, fur bearing animals and wild birds permitted to be harvested under the authority of a Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit during an open season, provided the youth is accompanied and supervised by a designated adult.
Youth at age 16 and under 18 may obtain a licence to shoot big game during the open season, provided the youth is accompanied and supervised by a designated adult.
Youth participating in the small game and big game hunts must adhere to the following regulations:
- A youth must carry written consent of a parent or person who has custody of the youth;
- A youth must be accompanied by a designated adult;
- A designated adult who is not the parent or person who has custody of the youth must be designated in writing;
- Youth must complete required hunter and firearms training courses and trapper education courses; and
- Youth and designated adult must possess Outdoor Identification Card or equivalent document.
The following regulations regarding youth hunting have not changed:
- Youth age 16 and under 18 may continue to be issued a licence to shoot small game, coyote, fur bearing animals and wild birds permitted to be harvested under the authority of a Migratory Game Bird Permit during the open season without consent to purchase a licence;
- Youth age 16 and under 18 may obtain their own Federal Minor’s Firearm Possession Licence to use firearms; and
- A youth at 16 and 17 who holds a valid small game, coyote, trapping licence or Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit noted in this category and who does not possess a Minors Firearms Possession Licence are required to be accompanied and supervised by a fully licensed adult.
Requirements for Designated Adults
A designated adult accompanying a youth for hunting activity must meet the following criteria:
- Must be over the age of 18;
- Must not prohibited from carrying, transporting, possessing or using a firearm or from being a designated adult; and
- Must be eligible for the same type of licence under which the youth is hunting, taking or killing an animal by shooting.
While accompanying a youth hunter, a designated adult shall adhere to the following:
- Remain at arm’s length of the youth; and be able to take control of the firearm if necessary;
- Not accompany and supervise more than two youths at one time;
- Carry evidence of his or her eligibility to hold the same type of licence as the youth hunter (e.g. possess an Outdoor Identification Card or similar document); and
- If a designated adult is not the parent of the youth hunter a designation in writing is required from the parent or adult who has custody of the youth. The designation in writing must be carried by the youth or designated adult.
Applying for a Youth Hunting Licence
Small Game Licence
- A licence to shoot small game or coyotes shall not be issued to a youth age 12 and under 16 without written consent of a parent or person who has custody of the youth and must be presented to local vendor outlets at the time of purchase;
- The consent must be carried by the youth or the designated adult while hunting small game, coyotes or while hunting under the authority of a Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit; and
- Small Game Licences for snaring only will continue to be provided to youth under 16 years of age and shall be marked “not valid for shooting.”
Big Game Licence
- Licence applications for big game black bear on the Island may be obtained up until the close of the hunting season and can be issued to a youth age 16 and under 18;
- A written consent of parent of person who has custody of the youth must be carried by the youth or designated adult;
- In Labrador, a licence to shoot black bear shall not be issued to a youth age 16 and under 18 without written consent of a parent; and
- Big Game Licence Applications for Moose/Caribou issued through the draw process will be mailed automatically to a youth who turns age 16 before August 31 and once he or she completes required hunter and firearm training courses.
General Trapper Licences
- A licence to shoot fur bearing animals shall not be issued to a youth age 12 and under 16 without written consent of a parent or person who has custody of the youth;
- A written consent of a parent of person who has custody of the youth must be carried by the youth or designated adult; and
- Trapper Licence Applications may be processed up until the close of the trapping seasons.
- A written consent of a parent of person who has custody of the youth must be carried by the youth or designated adult. A copy of the Consent/Designate Adult Form can be obtained at Forestry and Wildlife offices or by email request at firstname.lastname@example.org; and
- Consent documents will be incorporated into future application and online processes managed by the Wildlife Division.
Updated Program for Hunters and Anglers with a Disability
- Effective immediately, the current requirement for a designated hunter to remain in line of sight of the person with a disability has been amended to require the designated hunter to remain within 800 metres, or line of sight, whichever is greater of the person with a disability;
- The distance requirement is based on the location of the persons involved in the hunt, not the animal;
- For the 2018-19 hunting season the Problem Moose Policy will be updated to give priority access to persons with a disability who cannot participate in hunting. The Problem Moose Policy manages and allocates animals dispatched to protect commercial agriculture crop investments;
- The Provincial Government will also be developing a policy to allow access for persons with a disability to animals put down by conservation officers due to injury or concern for public safety. This initiative would only allocate animals that are alive when encountered by officers; and
- To receive an animal from either of the program options listed above the persons with disabilities must contact their local Department of Fisheries and Land Resources – Forestry and Wildlife Office to have their name included on the priority list for dispatched animals.
New Target Dates for the Big Game Draw
The Department of Fisheries and Land Resources will be shifting the timeline associated with the big game draw process for the 2018-19 hunting season.
The new timeline will be as follows:
- December 10, 2017 – Deadline for new applicants wishing to participate in the 2018-19 big game draw process (including youth hunters and hunters with disabilities) to have completed the required Firearms Safety/Hunter Education Training Course;
- February 19, 2018 - Big game applications mail out;
- March 30, 2018 - Application submission deadline; and
- May 1, 2018 – Big game draw result notifications released
2017 10 27 10:45 a.m.