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MESSAGE FROM THE HONOURABLE JASON NIXON

Our hunting heritage runs deep in Alberta. Like you, I treasure the opportunity to spend time with friends and family during our hunting trips and to have the opportunity to harvest some of Alberta’s healthy wildlife populations. In my role as the Minister responsible for the province’s wildlife, my focus is on sustaining healthy populations to ensure we continue to offer a one-of-a-kind hunting experience while also encouraging our young people to participate in conservation.

This year, you’ll notice that we have lowered the age limit to hunt game birds to ten from twelve. We have also added an opportunity for young people to partner with an adult on black bear hunts. These changes will help introduce more young Albertans to hunting and its important role in the conservation of a vast array of species in Alberta.

We need your assistance in implementing another major change this year. Reporting your harvest is now mandatory. Hunters will be required to submit their harvest reports following the 2019 season prior to applying for a special licence draw opportunity in spring 2020. I encourage hunters to report their harvest soon after their hunts to avoid delays in 2020 draw applications. Hunters who do not submit harvest reports will be subject to a $15.00 survey charge. Our department will use data on hunter effort and harvest, combined with aerial surveys and other studies, to set more precise targets for resident allocations.

I want to emphasize that we support committed hunters like you who deeply value conservation and the hunter ethic. As of May 2020, it will become mandatory to purchase your wildlife certificate prior to entering special licence hunting draws. We believe this will reduce some wait times by offering an incentive for draw applicants to actively hunt during the upcoming year, rather than just increasing their priority.

Hunting and fishing are important parts of our provincial culture. Besides being valuable tools for wildlife management, they bring Albertans together to participate in activities that have been practiced on the land for thousands of years. Responsible hunters in our province have always conducted themselves in a way that demonstrates respect for hunting traditions, other hunters, landowners and the general public, as well as our wildlife resources and the environment.

I wish you all the best and a safe and successful hunting season.

Sincerely,
Jason Nixon
Minister of Environment and Parks



IMPORTANT CHANGES FOR 2019

GENERAL

  • For the 2019 hunting season Alberta Environment and Parks has implemented regulation requiring mandatory harvest and effort reporting on all special hunting licences purchased. Failure to submit a harvest and effort report for a special licence purchased for the 2019 season will result in future restrictions on the eligibility to apply for future special licence draws (2020) and the requirement of a survey fee to restore that privilege.
  • It will soon be easier to complete Harvest and Effort reporting! You can either sign into your AlbertaRelm account or starting this fall, download the convenient AlbertaRelm APP!
  • Download the AlbertaRelm APP and easily store your licences electronically! Please remember that the onus is on the hunter to produce the electronic or paper licence when requested by an officer during field compliance checks.
  • Hunters are not eligible to hold a resident hunting licence in Alberta while holding a resident hunting licence in another jurisdiction.
  • Replacement tag fees have been raised to $11.00 per licence.
  • The minimum age to hunt game birds in Alberta has been reduced to 10 year olds.
  • A person who kills or finds wildlife fitted with a tracking or monitoring device must submit a report to Fish and Wildlife. Please contact your local Fish and Wildlife office.

BIG GAME

  • Antlered Mule Deer in WMU 432 will require a Special Licence.
  • Antlerless Mule Deer season in WMUs 318, 324 and 326 have been closed.
  • Antlerless Moose season in WMUs 318 and 324 have been closed.
  • Non-trophy Sheep season in WMU 430 A has been closed.
  • A Non-trophy Sheep season in WMU 418 C has been opened.
  • Goat Hunting Area “O” has been closed.
  • Antlered Elk in WMUs 426, 432 and 434 will require a Special Licence.
  • The Antlered Elk season dates have changed in WMUs 326, 328, 330 and 429. The Archery-only season is September 1 – October 31 and the General (rifle) season is November 1 – 30.
  • The Antlerless White-tailed deer season dates have changed in WMUs 326, 328, 330 and 429. The Archery-only season is September 1 – October 31 and the General (rifle) season is November 1 – 30.
  • A fall cougar season (use of dogs prohibited) has been created in WMUs 412 – 418.
  • The fall cougar season (use of dogs prohibited) for WMUs 412 – 446 dates have changed and will be August 25 – November 30.
  • Black bear season dates have been changed in multiple WMUs. Please review new season dates here.
  • A youth licence for Black Bear has been created.
  • When registering a bighorn sheep, the hunter must deliver the complete unaltered skull with horns, eyes intact and the cape and lower jaw removed to a designated Fish and Wildlife office. A list of designated offices can be found here. Please call ahead to arrange an appointment to complete the registration process. Please visit mywildalberta.ca for additional information regarding the registration process for bighorn sheep.
  • It is now mandatory to submit heads from deer harvested in WMUs 128, 140, 244 and 226 for CWD testing. It is also mandatory to submit heads from harvested mule deer in WMUs 130, 132, 134 and 136 for CWD testing.
  • A new Road Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary has been created on Highway 40 near Cadomin. A location description of the new corridor can be found on page 36.

PROPOSED CHANGES
Alberta Environment and Parks is considering the following changes for 2020.

  • l Beginning in spring of 2020, in order to reduce draw wait times and encourage draw applicants to actively hunt in the upcoming season, hunters must purchase a Wildlife Certificate prior to applying for a special licence draw. Currently, approximately 25% of draw applicants do not purchase their Wildlife Certificates for the year of application, which, depending on the type of draw, may increase draw wait times.

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