MESSAGE FROM THE MINISTER
Hunting has played an important role in the culture and economy of our province for generations ─ and it is a tradition that Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development wants to see continue. Our goal is to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and sustainable hunting experience. Annual updates to regulations provide Albertans with the information they need to make this goal a reality.
Interest in hunting continues to grow – and it’s easy to see why. Alberta is a destination of choice for hunters around the world. Our province offers an exceptional range of game opportunities, many beautiful landscapes, and support for the sport.
For more than 100 years, Alberta has protected and conserved wildlife resources through the proper management of hunting activities. Perhaps more than ever, vigilance and innovation are needed to make sure this tradition lasts through the next century – and beyond.
I encourage Alberta’s hunters to pass on their knowledge to the next generation, and I commend the many fish and game clubs throughout the province committed to educating newcomers about responsible stewardship of our province’s natural resources.
Above all, I encourage all Albertans to be careful in the field and respectful of the land. Be sure to get permission for access where required, and become familiar with the regulations in this guide. Best wishes for a very enjoyable and successful experience. Good hunting to you!
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
IMPORTANT CHANGES FOR 2012
- During 2012, SRD may conduct prescribed fire operations in WMUs 420, 422, 429 and 434 anytime during the year. Localized area or trail closures may be in effect as part of these operations. For futher information please contact 403-845-8250, or go on-line to: http://srd.alberta.ca/Wildfire/PrescribedFires/Default.aspx.
- As of 2011 additional road corridor wildlife sanctuaries were created (see Restricted Areas).
- An archery and Antlerless Mule Deer Special Licence hunting season has been created in WMUs 250, 503 and 506.
- Hunting on Saturday and Sunday in WMU 248 during the Strathcona white-tailed deer season is now permitted.
- The antlerless white-tailed deer season in WMUs 318 and 320 has been extended to November 1-30. Hunters must use a Resident White-tailed Deer (General) Licence to hunt antlerless white-tailed deer during this season.
- An Antlered and Antlerless Moose Special Licence hunting season has been created in WMU 152.
- The hunting of antlered moose in WMUs 337 and 338 during the archery season will now require an Antlered Moose Special Licence.
- The hunting of antlerless moose in WMU 337 during the archery season will now require an Antlerless Moose Special Licence.
- The hunting of antlered elk (6-point or larger) in WMUs 416, 417, 418, 420, 422, 428 and 430 during the archery season will now require a Antlered Elk Special Licence.
- An archery and Antlerless Elk Special Licence hunting season for antlerless elk has been created in WMU 544.
- An archery and general hunting season for antlered elk (3-point or larger) has been created in WMU 544.
- It is now mandatory to submit heads from all hunter harvested deer in WMUs 160, 204 and 230.
- The primitive weapon season (October 15-31) has been discontinued in WMUs 150, 151, 162, 163, 200, 234, 236, 256 and 500. This includes primitive weapons seasons for white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose.
- The extended hunting season (December 1 – 20) for white-tailed deer and mule deer in WMUs 150, 151, 162, 163, 200, 202, 232, 234, 236, 256 and 500 has been discontinued.
- The Supplemental Antlerless Mule Deer Licence is no longer valid. An Antlerless Mule Deer Special Licence hunting season has been created in WMUs 200, 234, 236, 256 and 500.
- The Supplemental Antlerless White-tailed Deer Licence is no longer valid in WMUs 200 - 208, 214, 216, 220 - 238, 244, 246, 254, 256, 334, 342 and 522.
- The Quota Deer (Chronic Wasting Deer) Licence for landowners is being discontinued.
- Supplemental Antlerless White-tailed Deer Licence is now valid in WMU 506.
- The fall black bear season in WMUs 300-314, 326-342, 429 and 841 has been extended to September 1 – November 30.
- The black bear baiting closure in WMU 544 has been eliminated.
- Subject to cougar registration a cougar can be retained by a landowner (click here for more information).
- The southern boundary of WMUs 330 and 332 has been changed to follow Highway 22 to the junctions with Highway 12.
- Electronic snow goose calls are now permitted to be used with any combination of decoys (i.e. no longer restricted to snow goose decoys).
- Changes to the opening dates for Pheasant hunting in some WMUs.
- Change to the opening date for Migratory bird hunting in WMU 841.
- Waterfowler Heritage Days are now offered throughout Alberta.
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
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.
- is a Canadian citizen or is admitted to permanent residence in Canada, or
- has lived in Canada for the 12-month period immediately preceding the relevant date; or
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.
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
It's Important to Provide Your Email Address
By providing your email address you will:
- receive early notification of your draw results.
- receive important information from Fish and Wildlife throughout the year.
- be able to participate in the annual Game Harvest Survey.
- receive the latest information quickly and efficiently.
- receive personal notification of your Chronic Wasting Disease test results.
Visit albertarelm.com to provide/correct your email address.
Notice to Hunters
The Fish and Wildlife Division of Alberta Sustainable Resource Development frequently conducts vehicle checks to assist in the management of Alberta's fish and wildlife resources and to ensure compliance with existing legislation.