Fisheries and Land Resources
September 13, 2019

Safe and Responsible Hunting Encouraged as Provincial Big Game Hunting Season Set to Begin

Hunters throughout Newfoundland and Labrador are being encouraged to engage in safe and responsible hunting and familiarize themselves with federal and provincial hunting regulations as the 2019-2020 big game hunt is set to commence in certain parts of the province.

The big game hunting season for moose and caribou opens for central and western areas of the island, including the Northern Peninsula, on Saturday, September 14.  Big game hunting for the eastern portion of the island commences Saturday, October 5. In Labrador moose hunting season opens on Saturday, September 14.  There is no caribou hunting permitted in Labrador at present.  Bow hunting began August 31 for areas opening on September 14, and begins September 21 for areas opening on October 5.

Hunters are strongly encouraged to review the 2019-2020 Hunting and Trapping Guide for important information about firearm safety, hunting regulations and starting dates for all hunting activity. The guide is available online at the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources website  and on mobile devices. Information on new initiatives for 2019-20 big game hunting season can be found in the backgrounder.

“The kick off to the big game hunting season is an annual tradition met with enthusiasm by thousands of eager hunters throughout the province. To ensure this tradition remains an enjoyable experience I am hopeful all participants practice safe and responsible hunting while encouraging each other to become responsible stewards of our wildlife resources. Educating ourselves about wildlife and conservation matters will foster greater interest and respect of hunting and trapping activities.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources 

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Learn more
2019-20 Hunting and Trapping Guide

Hunting Code of Ethics

Program for Hunters and Anglers with a Disability

Follow us on Twitter:  @GovNL external link and @FLR_GovNL external link

Media contact
Craig Renouf
Fisheries and Land Resources
637-2923, 640-6922 


New Initiatives for 2019-20

Re-introduction of caribou on Grey Islands
A maximum of 15 caribou from the St. Anthony herd have been relocated to Grey Islands to re-establish a resident caribou population. 

Youth Hunter Program Big Game Licence Draw Priority Pool
Youth applicants (age 16-17) were entered into the big game draw at a higher priority pool (pool 5). This initiative will foster more youth participation by increasing the likelihood of receiving a licence to enable youth hunters to participate in supervised hunting. 

Changes to provincial Wildlife Act and Regulations
Announced in October 2017, changes to the provincial Wildlife Act and Regulations support inclusion, improve access, and increase participation in hunting throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Changes included 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. 

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. Youth hunters are only permitted to use a firearm under supervision of a qualified adult.

Changes to the Program for Hunters and Anglers with a Disability include:

  • A designated hunter can remain within 800 metres or line of sight, whichever is greater, of the person with a disability;
  • 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.

2019 09 13                              2:30 p.m.