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Hunting is an indelible part of the fabric of Alberta’s cultural life and its history. It is both an important recreational activity, and for many, a way of life.

This is why it is crucial to ensure that the province’s wildlife management strategies meet the needs of both current hunters, and the long-term goals of sustainability and environmental stewardship.

These 2018 regulations are informed by conversations with hunters, guided by Indigenous wisdom, and based on the best available scientific data.

This year, we are opening up additional opportunities to hunt cougar, which will allow managers to evaluate these populations going forward. These are exciting opportunities for hunters that will contribute to the management of a healthy and sustainable cougar population. We are very excited to announce for the first time, reduced hunting licence fees for Alberta seniors! This fall, Alberta hunters aged 65 and over will notice significant price reductions on their wildlife certificates, game bird and white-tailed deer licences. Alberta seniors are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to reinvigorate their hunting passion and to pass along their hunting knowledge to potential new hunters.

Regulations have been updated to allow the use of only approved weapons, such as rifles, shotguns, and archery equipment for hunting big game in Alberta, preventing potentially inhumane and unsafe activities.

Some wildlife management unit boundaries – particularly 248/250 and 523/936 – have been altered to address public safety concerns, while maintaining hunting opportunities.

Three wildlife management units have been added to the list of those in which it is mandatory to submit heads from harvested deer for testing for chronic wasting disease. This will enhance the ability of our wildlife managers to track the distribution and prevalence of the disease in deer populations.

Alberta continues to be one of the best places in North America for hunters to participate in this important cultural activity. Your responsible hunting practices today will ensure that we continue to enjoy hunting opportunities tomorrow – and for generations to come.

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


Shannon Phillips
Minister of Environment and Parks



  • All lands previously within WMU 926 have been transferred to WMU 523.
  • Lands previously in Strathcona County and within WMU 250 have been transferred to WMU 248 due to public safety concerns.
  • Within the Town of Canmore, under Municipal bylaws, the discharge of weapons, including archery, is prohibited in specific areas due to public safety concerns. This includes the area locally known as Larch Island.
  • The process for obtaining an undersubscribed special licence has been simplified by eliminating the need to purchase an application before buying the licence. Undersubscribed licences must now be purchased; online customers need to have tags in hand to purchase undersubscribed licences (refer to page 10 for instructions on how to obtain tags).
  • Hunters aged 65 and older are now eligible for pricing discounts that were formerly reserved for youth hunters. This includes a Wildlife Certificate and game bird licence for $8.30 and a white-tailed deer licence for $8.25. All other licence pricing remains the same.
  • According to Parks Act General Regulations, a hunter is required to have a discharge permit to hunt within a Provincial Park. This regulation applies to all Provincial Parks in Alberta where hunting is allowed for the 2018 hunting season. This includes Castle Provincial Park located in WMU 400. More information can be found at activities/hunting/firearms-discharge-permits/.


  • The Bison hunt has been suspended for the 2018-19 hunting season.
  • WMU changes to Supplemental Antlerless White-tailed Deer Licence (see page 20).
  • WMUs 250, 252 and 260 have been added to the list of mandatory deer head submissions for Chronic Wasting Disease Testing.
  • Antlered Mule Deer in WMU 316 will require a special licence, and the new season dates are November 1- 30.
  • Fall Black Bear Seasons now closes October 31.
  • Hunting extended from Monday through Saturday for the Either Sex Elk Special Licences in WMUs 116, 118, 119 and 624.

Alberta Environment and Parks is considering the following changes for 2019

  • Requiring submission of Game Harvest Reports.
  • Requiring a Wildlife Certificate to apply on hunting draws.
  • Extending of the Landowner Antlerless Elk Special Licence to be valid for all open seasons for which the licence is valid.
  • Merging WMU 212 Elk draws (draw code 40) with the Antlerless Elk draw (draw code 19). All existing conditions would still be required.
  • For the 2019 game bird season there will no longer be term licences for non-resident and non-resident aliens.


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