Hunting Regulations in Ontario

A moose walks through tall grass in front of lush forest

The sport of hunting has laws that govern it, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) enforce these laws/regulations. These rules and regulations keep our resource numbers healthy and our hunters safe. And it keeps Ontario the number one province for hunting in Canada! 

The MNRF manages fish and game through the authority of the “Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997” and its regulations. MNRF Officers are tasked with ensuring that all hunters comply with all areas of this act and associated regulations.  

Common Hunting Regulations 

  • Do not shoot from, along or across a public road. It is illegal to shoot from, down or across a public road while hunting, no exceptions. 
  • Do not carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle. In Ontario, you must store your gun unloaded and in a locked container while it’s in a vehicle.  
  • No night hunting. In Ontario, you can only hunt from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset. It is a good idea to check when sunrise and sunset will be prior to heading out so you can plan accordingly.  
  • You must unload and encase firearms in your possession during the period from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise. 
  • Hunters must wear hunter orange. 
  • Do not fire a gun from a vehicle. 

Other Hunting Regulations 

  • No illegal harvesting of an animal. Always ensure you are following the proper seasons for hunting based on the Ontario Hunting Regulations and ensure you are hunting only permitted species for that season. And obviously no hunting of endangered animals. 
  • No carrying another person’s game seal. Always remember that when you are hunting, you cannot carry another person’s tag or seal. 
  • You must carry your licence and Outdoors Card with you while hunting. Please note that you must also have on your person the validation tag and any game seals/tags. 
  • Be sure to properly seal/tag the dispatched animal. For example, notch the seal/tag, attach the seal/tag properly, and don’t transfer game seals to another person. Each seal/tag has detailed instructions on its use. Follow the instructions and you will have no issues. 
  • No trespassing! You must have permission to hunt on privately owned lands. If you have wounded an animal and it runs onto private property, the hunter must secure permissions prior to following the animal onto private property. 
  • No hunting where you are not allowed. One example of this is when your validation tag notes a Wildlife Management Unit, but you hunt in another WMU. This is illegal. You can find a WMU map here. 
  • Retain the evidence of gender when moose hunting. Since tags are for a gender, you must keep the sex organs attached to the carcass. 

Always remember that there are specific licences, seasons, rules and regulations for hunting each type of game in Ontario. 

You can find out more about hunting regulations by downloading the Ontario Hunting Regulations

Some things to do may not be available due to COVID-19.

For the most up-to-date information on where and when it is safe to travel please visit: covid-19.ontario.ca