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MESSAGE FROM THE HONOURABLE SHANNON PHILLIPS

It is my pleasure to present the 2016 Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations. This annual publication underlines our government’s commitment to the long-term management of wildlife in Alberta.

With our province’s growing population and the high demand for unique hunting opportunities, it is important that our wildlife management goals are sustainable. New opportunities presented this hunting season take into consideration the importance of wildlife conservation. Specifically, population abundance of elk and cougar throughout much of the province supports increased hunting opportunities.

Hunting has been an important part of Alberta’s heritage and continues to be important to the province’s wildlife management process. Our responsible hunting practices today will ensure that we continue to enjoy hunting opportunities tomorrow — and for generations to come.

Thank you for taking the time to review this year’s hunting guide. I wish Alberta’s hunting community all the best and a safe and successful season ahead.

Sincerely,

Shannon Phillips
Minister of Environment and Parks




IMPORTANT CHANGES FOR 2016

GENERAL
  • An Antlered Moose Special Licence hunting season has been created in WMU 248. The season will allow primitive weapons and will only apply in portions of WMU 248 which lies within Strathcona County and Leduc County.
  • Antlered and Antlerless elk hunting seasons have been created in WMUs 128, 142, 156, 158, 160 and 210.
  • Additional Antlerless Elk Special Licence hunting seasons have been created in WMUs 505, 507, 508 and 510.
  • Additional cougar hunting opportunities have been created. The fall “boot ” hunting season has been extended in numerous WMU. Details for season dates and WMUs can be found here.
  • Hunting seasons for ruffed grouse, spruce grouse and gray partridge has been extended throughout much of Alberta. Specific season dates can be found here.

DEFINITIONS

The following definitions will help you understand these regulations:

Antlered - a white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose or elk having an antler exceeding 10.2 cm (4 in.) in length.

Antlerless - a white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose or elk that is not "antlered" (as defined above).

Bait - any substance that consists of a food attractant, including mineral and any representation of a food attractant.

Big Game Designated Guide - a person designated by the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society to commercially guide big game hunters in Alberta. A Designated Guide may guide not more than two Non-resident (Canadian) and Non-resident alien big game hunters at a time in any part of Alberta, provided that each Non-resident (Canadian) or Non-resident Alien has contracted the hunt through an Outfitter-guide. The two-hunter limit does not include Resident hunters.

Big Game Outfitter-guide - a person who is the holder of a valid Outfitter-guide Permit, and who provides outfitting and guiding services to big game hunters in Alberta.

  • Class S Outfitter-guide - an Outfitter-guide who holds Non-resident (Canadian)/Non-resident Alien allocations for Trophy Sheep Special Licences. A Class S Outfitter-guide may also hold allocations for other big game special licences.
  • Class T Outfitter-guide - an Outfitter-guide who holds allocations valid for Non-resident (Canadian) and Non-resident Alien big game special licences other than those for trophy sheep.

Bird Game Designated Guide - a person designated by the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society to commercially guide game bird hunters in Alberta.

Bird Game Outfitter-guide - a person who is the holder of a valid Bird Game Outfitter-guide Permit issued by the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society, and who provides outfitting and guiding services to non-resident and non-resident alien game bird hunters in Alberta.

Either Sex Special Elk - authorizes the hunting of any age, size, or gender of elk in a specific WMU.

Green Area - forest lands not available for agricultural development other than grazing. In general, the Green Area is public land outside the parkland and prairie regions, or roughly in the northern half of the province and within a strip running along the Rocky Mountains and foothills.

Hunter Host - an adult resident who is the holder of a valid Hunter Host Licence. To obtain this licence, the adult must hold a valid WiN and be eligible to hold recreational hunting licences. A Hunter Host may not provide services for gain or reward, or accept a fee for services, directly or indirectly.
The licence authorizes the holder (usually a relative or friend of the hunters to be hosted) to host a maximum of two non-residents (Canadian) or non-resident aliens* named on the host's licence to hunt wolf, coyote and big game throughout the province.
* Non-resident alien hunters are referred to Outfitting and Guiding Requirements for additional conditions and restrictions.

Loaded Firearm - A firearm in or on a vehicle, aircraft or boat is considered loaded if it has live ammunition in the breech, chamber or magazine. Cartridges are permitted in a magazine that is not attached to the firearm.

Non-resident (Canadian) - a person who is not a Resident (see below), but who makes his or her home and is ordinarily present in Canada, and who has lived in Canada for the 12-month period immediately preceding the relevant date.

Non-resident Alien - a person who is neither a Resident (see below) nor a Non-resident (see above).

OHV (Off-Highway Vehicle) - any motorized vehicle designed for cross-country travel on land, water, snow, ice, marsh or swamp land, or on other natural terrain.
[Exceptions: motor boats, as well as four-wheel-drive vehicles and motorcycles registered in accordance with the Traffic Safety Act.] Among OHVs, include the following kinds of vehicles when they are designed for cross-country travel as described above:

  • four-wheel drive or low pressure tire vehicles,
  • motorcycles and related two-wheel vehicles,
  • amphibious machines,
  • all-terrain vehicles,
  • miniature motor vehicles,
  • snow vehicles,
  • minibikes, or
  • any other means of transportation that is propelled by any power other than muscular power or wind.

Partner Licence - a licence issued to an eligible hunter that allows him or her to hunt a specific species in a specified WMU and season under the direct authority of a Special Licence held by another hunter successful in a draw.

Resident - a person who either

  • has his or her only or primary residence in Alberta and
    1. is a Canadian citizen or is admitted to permanent residence in Canada, or
    2. has lived in Canada for the 12-month period immediately preceding the relevant date; or
  • is on full-time service with the Armed Forces of Canada and would, if an election were held under the Elections Act (Canada), be eligible to vote in Alberta under that Act.

Special Licence - a licence obtained through a draw process, or for Non-resident and Non-resident Alien hunters, through an Outfitter-guide. It permits hunting of a specific type or class of game only in specific areas during a specified season. Click here for details.

Weapon - a firearm or any other device that propels a projectile by means of an explosion, spring, air, gas, string, wire or elastic material or any combination of those things.

White Geese - snow and Ross' geese.

WMU - Wildlife Management Unit, a geographical area prescribed in legislation.

WIN - Wildlife Identification Number, a permanent registration number issued to each hunter and angler.

Month Abbreviations
The following defines the month abbreviations used in this guide:
A – August  S – September  O – October
N – November  D – December
J – January  F – February  M – March
Ap – April  Ma – May  Ju – June