Federal regulations prohibit the use of lead shot or cross-bows for hunting waterfowl.
All birds are protected except the following: Starlings, Crows, Pigeons, House (English) Sparrows, Magpies, Blackbirds, Common Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Ravens (hunted on private land by residents) and any other birds for which an open season has been declared by the regulations as indicated in the summary.
Falconers are permitted to hunt upland game birds and migratory birds, by means of falconry, in all areas of the province except in national parks and those restricted areas identified within this website (click here).
To hunt any game birds by means of falconry, Recreational Falconry Permit holders must possess all the same hunting licence(s) as those who would hunt game birds with firearms are required to possess (click here for more information).
The open season to hunt upland game birds by means of falconry is from August 15, 2012 to March 31, 2013 (Sundays included). Migratory game birds may be hunted by means of falconry during the designated open season for migratory birds (Sundays included). (click here for WMU seasons and dates).
SAGE GROUSE ARE PROTECTED!
Sage grouse are listed as an endangered species in Alberta. If you hunt upland game birds within the range of sage grouse, be sure your target is not a sage grouse.
Hunters wishing to hunt game birds with a bow and arrow, other than a cross-bow, require a Bowhunting Permit in addition to the other applicable licences.
SPECIAL HUNTING AREAS
In WMUs 212 and 248 the hunting of game birds is only permitted with bows and arrows, cross-bows, shotguns or a falconry bird. Cross-bows cannot be used to hunt migratory birds.
In WMU 410 the hunting of game birds is permitted only with bows and arrows or a falconry bird.
SNOW GOOSE AND SWAN IDENTIFICATION
ALBERTA'S PHEASANT RELEASE PROGRAM
Upland Birds Alberta (UBA) has been provided a grant by the Government of Alberta to coordinate this year’s pheasant release program. UBA anticipates expanding the geographic distribution of release sites for 2012. Releases will occur between October 15 and season’s end, including in those zones where the regular pheasant season opens on September 1.
As the season nears, go to mywildalberta.com for more details on release site locations. Alternately, release site information may be located at afga.org, ab-conservation.com, or pheasantsforevercalgary.com.
During the open season for male pheasants, the hunting of game birds, including pheasants, is not permitted in the following designated release sites after 2:00 p.m. on any day, except Saturdays.
152 Millicent Buck for Wildlife Project (NE19 and 30-20-13-W4)
206 Buffalo Lake Buck for Wildlife Project (9 and SW10-40-21-W4)
210 Bigelow Buck for Wildlife Project (3, E9, SW10 & LSD 12 and 13 of 10-34-25-W4)
WATERFOWLER HERITAGE DAYS
The first Saturday and Sunday in September are designated as Waterfowler Heritage Days in Alberta. Youth (age 12-17) may hunt waterfowl on these dates without a licence (provincial or federal) provided they are qualified to do so (see Licensing requirements for first-time hunters) and are accompanied by an adult migratory game bird hunting permit holder. The adult permit holder may not have in their possession or use a firearm, or accompany more than 2 minors at one time. The youth can only hunt waterfowl species for which there will be an open season in that WMU. Regular bag limits and possession limits apply.
MERRIAM'S TURKEY DRAW
Merriam’s Turkey Special Licences are issued through a draw. Licences will be valid in all of WMU 300-308, 400 and 402. The season is from May 1 to May 31, 2013 with a bag limit of one bearded Merriam’s turkey per special licence holder. Hunters interested in this hunt must have applied in the draw by June 25, 2012.
Each Merriam’s turkey harvested must be tagged
- immediately after the bird is killed, and
- in the manner described below with the paper tag supplied with each licence. All instructions on the back of the paper tag must be followed.
Merriam’s Turkey Tagging Instructions
Tagging Instructions: (A) place wire through the nares, or (B) through the patagium between the tendon and the bones of the wing.
Tags must remain affixed until the carcass is delivered to
- the usual residence of the person who killed it, and is butchered, cut and packaged for consumption, or
- to a premises in respect of which there is a Food Establishment Permit issued under the Public Health Act or Licence for the Operation of an Abattoir issued under the Meat Inspection Act.
Please refer to items 2, 12 and 13 of Prohibitions, Game Bird section for additional requirements concerning weapons and evidence of sex and species for Merriam’s turkey.
Description of Birds and General Behaviour
|Beards L-R: old male, second-year male,
first-year male, old hen
Adult males weigh 6.5 to 9 kilograms (14 to 20 pounds) and adult females weigh 3.5 to 4.5 kilograms (8 to 10 pounds). The plumage is an iridescent bronze colour but reflected sunlight can give the appearance of green, blue, red and purple shades. The wings and tail feathers are barred with alternating light and dark bands. Females appear lighter brown because their body feathers are white or buff tipped while males have black tips.
The head and neck of the gobbler (male) have several features which are lacking in the female. The male has a fleshy growth (wattle) which hangs from the under side of the throat or chin. Males also exhibit fatty growths (caruncles) located on the side and back of the neck and on the lower throat. A fleshy projection above the bill of males (snood, or dew bill) will also distinguish males from females. Another primary difference between males and females is the presence of a pronounced “beard” on the lower neck of the male. This beard consists of a group of coarse feathers resembling a bristly, black rope and may be up to 25 centimetres (10 inches) long. The beard is usually absent or very small in females.
The non-feathered area of the head and neck of the male may appear to be red, white or blue depending on the turkey's activity. In the spring, when strutting or threatened, a male may exhibit a bright red head; and when frightened, the head may be pale blue. Females exhibit a less colourful grey-brown to grey-blue head.
Smaller and blacker than tom. Scattering of short, black, velvety, hair-like feathers.
Bald with narrow band of feathers up back of neck. Colours bright reddish-blue in spring.
|Common Characteristics to Differentiate Males and Females
||Very rare, short
||Regularly, up to 25cm (10”) long
||Frequently, especially in spring
||Bright turquoise blue, bright red, bright blue, sometimes grayish white
|Hen - White tip
||Tom - Black tip
|It is unlawful to hunt any wildlife or discharge a firearm between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise.
| Sunrise/Sunset Table (Mountain Daylight Time)
|May 01, 2013
|May 05, 2013
|May 10, 2013
|May 15, 2013
|May 20, 2013
|May 25, 2013
|May 30, 2013
ATTENTION TURKEY HUNTERS
The Fish and Wildlife Division will be conducting a hunter harvest survey after the fall hunting season to obtain information required for turkey management. Your cooperation and assistance in collecting and providing the necessary information is required. We request that you keep track of the number of days hunted in each WMU.