Fisheries and Land Resources
September 5, 2018

New Regulations Increase Access to Hunting as Big Game Season Begins in Most of Province

As big game hunting season is set to begin in most areas of the province, hunters are reminded of changes to the Wildlife Act and Regulations that support inclusion, improve access and increase participation in hunting throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

Big game hunting season for moose, caribou, black bear, wolf and coyote begins in Labrador and in the western region of the island on September 8. Hunting season starts on October 6 in the eastern portion of the island. Bow hunting began August 25 for areas opening on September 8, 2018, and begins September 22 for areas opening on October 6.

Effective this season, the minimum age requirement to shoot small game, coyotes and other furbearers has been lowered from 16 to 12. The minimum age requirement to shoot big game has been lowered from 18 to 16. Youth hunters are only permitted to use a firearm under supervision of a qualified adult. In total, 491 youth applied for licences this year, and 66 were successful based on the priority pool application process.

The Hunters and Anglers with a Disability program has been revised. Effective this season, a designated hunter can remain within 800 metres or line of sight, whichever is greater, of the person with a disability.

Hunters are reminded to exercise caution and safe firearm handling practices. Information and details about big and small game season dates as well as laws and regulations governing hunting and firearm usage is available in the 2018-19 Hunting and Trapping Guide. Residents interested in becoming eligible to apply for next year’s big game licence draw must complete the Canadian Firearms Safety and Hunter Education Course before November 30, 2018. Courses are offered at College of the North Atlantic.

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. Additional information on changes to the Wildlife Act and Regulations can be found in the backgrounder below.

Quote
“Regulations announced in October 2017 have been enacted to provide more 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 fostering greater interest in hunting and responsible firearm use among youth hunters. All hunters must be mindful of safe hunting practices and firearm use as they enjoy another season of big game hunting.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

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Learn More

2018-19 Hunting and Trapping Guide

Youth Hunting and Trapping Licences

Hunters and Anglers with a Disability program

Canadian Firearms Safety and Hunter Education Course Requirements

News Release - Provincial Government Taking Action to Increase Access to Hunting

Fish and Wildlife Enforcement

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Media contact
Linda Skinner
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2284, 632-8167
lindaskinner@gov.nl.ca

BACKGROUNDER

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.

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.

Updated Program for Hunters and Anglers with a Disability

  • Effective immediately, the 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 additional information contact your nearest Forestry and Wildlife District Office.

2018 09 05                              10:30 a.m.