Note: Convictions for certain offences will result in the suspension of all recreational hunting licences for a period of 1 to 3 years, and may result in a suspension for as long as 5 or more years. This is in addition to the assessment of a fine, an order and/or imprisonment.
It is unlawful to
- ● apply on draws or obtain recreational licences in Alberta if:
i) your hunting privileges are under a licence suspension/cancellation in Alberta (or elsewhere) or
ii) if you fail to pay your fine after being convicted of a provincial hunting or provincial sportfishing offence.
● carry or use another person's licence or tag or allow another person to use your licence or tag.
● fail to carry a hunting licence when the hunter is hunting under the authority of that licence or when the hunter is transporting game taken under it.
● fail to produce a licence when requested to do so by a wildlife officer.
● * For hunters that carry licences electronically (instead of paper), the AlbertaRelm APP is the only acceptable means of doing so. Tags cannot be carried electronically; they are a component part of many licences and must also be carried when required and produced to an officer upon request.
- harass, injure or kill any wildlife with a vehicle, aircraft or boat.
- hunt any wildlife with or from an aircraft, or communicate, for the purpose of hunting, the signs or whereabouts of wildlife seen during a flight on an aircraft, including the use of unmanned aerial vehicles.
- transport dead wildlife taken by others without an accompanying bill of lading (click here for downloadable pdf ) signed by the licence or permit holder and providing the following details:
- the kind and number of the licence under which the wildlife was killed or possessed,
- a description of the wildlife,
- the points of origin and destination, and
- the date on which the wildlife is to be transported.
- set out, use or employ any of the following items for the purpose of hunting any wildlife:
- an arrow equipped with an explosive head,
- a firearm that is capable of firing more than one bullet during one pressure of the trigger or a firearm that can be altered to operate as such,
- a light,
- a shotgun of a gauge greater than 10,
- a device designed to deaden the sound of the report of a firearm,
- recorded wildlife calls or sounds, or an electronically operated calling device except; 1) when hunting migratory game birds with the use of calls or sounds that mimic snow geese, or 2) using electronic calls to hunt crows, magpies, coyote, red fox and wolf (using sounds that mimic these animals, rabbits, hares, or rodents).
- a pistol or revolver unless
– the person is a licenced trapper (holding a federal authorization) who is dispatching an animal caught in a trap, or
– it is an air powered pistol or revolver that discharges a projectile at less than 500 feet per second (often used for hunting small game).
- live wildlife,
- a swivel set or spring gun, or
- a poisonous substance or an immobilizing drug.
- abandon, destroy or allow flesh suitable for human consumption of any game bird or big game animal (except cougar or bear), to become unfit for human consumption.
- have a loaded firearm (live ammunition in breech, chamber or magazine) in or on, or discharge a weapon from
- a boat unless the boat is propelled by muscular power or is at anchor and the person is hunting, or
- any kind of aircraft or vehicle whether it is moving or stationary.
Note: Ammunition may be carried in a magazine that is not attached to the firearm. Click here for contact information regarding federal firearms legislation.
- discharge a weapon within 183 m (200 yards) or cause a projectile from a weapon to pass within 183 m (200 yards) of any occupied building. Owners, occupants, or persons authorized by the owner or occupant are excepted, subject to local bylaws.
- discharge a firearm from or cause a projectile from a firearm to pass along or across:
a) a provincial highway (this designation applies to all former primary and secondary highways),
b) a road that is paved, oiled, graded or regularly maintained, unless
- the road is held under any active disposition under the Public Lands Act or under an order under the Surface Rights Act, or
- the person is hunting game birds with a shotgun under the authority of a licence.
Note: if there is no identifiable ditch or fence to mark the outside edge of the roadway, then the roadway extends 20 feet from the edge of the traveled portion.
- hunt any wildlife while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- hunt any wildlife or discharge a firearm between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise. (See sunrise/sunset table)
- alter, destroy or remove any sign or notice that has been posted under the authority of the Wildlife Act, Petty Trespass Act or the Migratory Birds Regulations.
- hunt any wildlife or discharge any firearm on or over occupied land or enter on to such land for the purpose of doing so without the consent of the owner or occupant of the land.
NOTE: There is an additional requirement affecting access for guided hunts (Click here for information on Hunting Privileges on Occupied, Private & Public Land, or scroll down for more information).
- possess a firearm of a calibre larger than .22 in a helicopter over WMUs 400-446.
- hunt with a firearm if you are under 18 years of age and not accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or by a person 18 years of age or older who has the written permission of the parent or legal guardian. Click here for Canadian Firearms Centre contact information.
- disturb traps, sets or trapping cabins.
- feed black bears, grizzly bears, cougars, wolves and coyotes, unless while legally hunting where baiting is permitted.
- hunt big game with any weapon other than:
- a bow or cross-bow, and arrow or bolt, that are lawful for hunting big game (see page 42),
- a rifle and ammunition that are lawful for hunting big game,
- a muzzle-loading firearm .44 calibre or greater, or
- a shotgun and ammunition that are lawful for hunting big game.
- a bow or cross-bow, and arrow or bolt, that are lawful for hunting big game (see page 42),
- set out, use or employ any of the following items for the purpose of hunting big game:
- ammunition of less than .23 calibre,
- ammunition that contains non-expanding bullets,
- an auto-loading firearm that has the capacity to hold more than 5 cartridges in the magazine,
- a shotgun having a gauge of .410 or less,
- a shotgun in a bird sanctuary,
- bait, except as permitted for the hunting of black bears (click here for more information on Black Bear baiting),
- a rifle or shotgun in WMUs 212, 247, 248 or 410 (persons hunting under the authority of a Strathcona White-tailed Deer Licence, a Foothills Deer Licence, or an Antlerless Moose Special Licence in Strathcona County may hunt with a bow and arrow, cross-bow, muzzle loader or shotgun),
- a trap,
- a cross-bow and arrow that is not authorized (click here to view Hunting with a Cross-bow)
- discharge a weapon at a big game animal while it is swimming.
- discharge an arrow from a bow or cross-bow at big game, from, along or across a highway or road specified in Item 9 above in the General section on this page.
- be accompanied by a dog while hunting big game except;
- in WMUs 400 – 446 where a pack dog may accompany a hunter if leashed, or within 50 m of the hunter and if under direct command and control. The dog is prohibited from tracking, scenting, pursuing or chasing big game, or
- when hunting cougar under the authority of a cougar licence, from December 1 to the last day of March (the winter season).
- possess the carcass of a male elk, male antelope or male non-trophy sheep unless the complete skull plate, with horns or antlers intact, is also retained with the carcass until it is delivered to
- the usual residence of the person who killed it, and the animal is butchered, cut and packaged for consumption, or
- a premises in respect of which there is a Food Establishment Permit issued under the Public Health Act or a Licence for the Operation of an Abattoir issued under the Meat Inspection Act.
- possess the carcass of a calf moose taken under authority of a Calf Moose Special Licence unless its head is also retained with the carcass until it is delivered to
- the usual residence of the person who killed it, and the animal is butchered, cut and packaged for consumption, or
- a premises in respect of which there is a Food Establishment Permit issued under the Public Health Act or a Licence for the Operation of an Abattoir issued under the Meat Inspection Act.
- allow the skin of any bear or cougar to be wasted, destroyed, spoiled or abandoned. Click here for exception for salvaging skin - Access for Control of Livestock Predation.
- remove the distinctive evidence of sex and species from the carcass of any big game until
- the carcass is delivered 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, or
- the carcass is cut up and packaged for consumption at:
– the usual residence of the person who killed the animal, or
– the usual residence (a residence that is neither a business premises nor attached to such premises) of a resident of Alberta and that resident is in attendance.
- remove the tag from the carcass of a big game animal until authorized (click here to view Tagging).
- a black bear under the age of one year,
- a female black bear accompanied by a cub under the age of one year,
- a female cougar accompanied by a kitten with spotted fur, or
- a cougar kitten with spotted fur.
- transport big game hunters, except those requiring medical aid, or big game by helicopter over WMUs 400-446.
- land or take off in a fixed-wing aircraft that is carrying big game, big game hunters or firearms of a calibre larger than .22 at or from any location in WMUs 400-446 except those locations where aircraft routinely land and take off.
- hunt big game within 6 hours of having disembarked from an aircraft, except for a jet or turbo-propelled aircraft.
- hunt big game on Sundays
- in WMUs 102-160,
- in WMUs 624, 728, 730 and 936.
- in WMUs 102-160,
- be within 50 yards of a vehicle when discharging a weapon at an antelope.
- possess, before it has been transported to the usual residence of the person who killed it or is prepared for immediate cooking, a game bird which does not bear evidence of sex and species. Evidence of sex and species consists of one completely feathered wing attached to the carcass of the game bird, except for wild turkey for which evidence of sex and species consists of the complete head and beard attached to the carcass (click here to view Wild Turkey Tagging Instructions).
- hunt a migratory game bird using
- a firearm loaded with a single bullet
- shot, other than non-toxic shot,
- a cross-bow
- a shotgun that is of a larger size than 10 guage.
- hunt any game bird using
- a shotgun in which the magazine and chamber combined will hold more than three rounds of ammunition,
- a trap, or
Note: see item 12 (below) for additional restrictions for hunting Merriam's turkey.
- have more than one shotgun, for personal use, at any time while hunting migratory game birds unless each shotgun, in excess of one, is unloaded and disassembled or unloaded and cased.
- hunt game birds in WMU 410 with other than a bow and arrow or falconry bird.
- hunt game birds in WMU 212, 247 or 248 with other than a bow and arrow, a cross-bow, shotgun or falconry bird.
- exceed the daily or possession limit for any game bird (click here to view Game Bird Bag Limits).
- hunt game birds within 400 m (1/4 mi.) of a baited lure area operated under the Crop Damage Control Program.
- transport migratory game birds belonging to others unless the carcasses have a label showing
- the signature, name and address of the owner,
- the licence number under which the bird was taken, and
- the date the birds were taken.
- fail to make every effort possible to immediately retrieve a migratory game bird that a person has killed or wounded. A hunter must have adequate means to retrieve any migratory bird that he or she may kill, cripple or injure.
- hunt wild turkey using
- a weapon other than a shotgun, cross-bow or a bow and arrow,
- a shotgun with a bore diameter smaller than 20 gauge, or
- shot size smaller than No. 6 shot or larger than No. 2 shot.
- remove the tag from a wild turkey until authorized (click here to view Wild Turkey Tagging Instructions).
- to hunt or guide for migratory game birds within 6 hours after flying over any portion of the same WMU, unless;
- it is a direct jet or turbo prop commercial flight,
- a direct flight solely to transport hunters to a hunting destination,
- it is a round trip no shorter than 12 hours in duration undertaken with direct flights to one or more locations outside the WMU.
- it is a direct jet or turbo prop commercial flight,
Alberta Export Permit
All big game (including bison hunted under a Bison Special Licence), game birds, and furbearing animals require a provincial export permit ($20.00 plus GST) when they are to be conveyed beyond the borders of Alberta, except under the following conditions:
1. Hunters who lawfully harvest game birds, coyotes, white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose, elk, pronghorn antelope or black bear* under the authority of a hunting licence or a right that is protected under Canadian Constitution, may export those species without an Alberta export permit if
- in the case of upland game birds, the bird has been processed as a mounted specimen, or
- the shipment is accompanied by the hunter who killed the animal, and
- the appropriate licence is carried by the hunter who killed the animal being exported.
* Alberta prohibits the export of gall bladder and paws of black bear. You may export red meat, hide with claws attached, head or skull with teeth attached, but no other parts. See CITES Export Permit below.
2. Coyote that have been lawfully hunted by residents do not require a provincial export permit.
Note: United States migratory bird hunting regulations state that it is unlawful for a person to import into the United States migratory game birds belonging to another person. Evidence of sex and species must remain attached to the bird until the final U.S. destination is reached. For further information on the export of wildlife contact a Fish and Wildlife office.
Commercial Export of Wildlife to the U.S.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (US FWS) regulates commercial shipments of wildlife that enter or leave the U.S. In particular, taxidermists and outfitter-guides may experience difficulties transporting wildlife to the U.S. unless such businesses are licenced with the US FWS for transporting commercial shipments of wildlife across the U.S. border. For more details, contact the US FWS at 1-703-358-1949 or view information at: http://www.fws.gov/le/
CITES Export Permit - for more information (1-800-668-6767)
Persons exporting cougar, wood bison or wolf to points outside Canada must obtain a federal export permit issued in accordance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). In addition, provincial export permits must be obtained for exporting these species, except for tanned wolf skin. All black bear require CITES export permits, except for those exported by United States hunters as noted on this page. Black bears do not require the provincial export permit if they are exported as described in the Alberta Export Permit section.
U.S. Black Bear Hunters – A CITES export permit is no longer required for U.S. hunters to take their black bear hunting trophy home in a fresh, frozen or salted condition at the conclusion of their hunt. The trophy must be part of the accompanying baggage of the hunter who killed the animal. This exemption does not apply to taxidermized trophies. All provincial export requirements still apply (see Alberta Export Permit section) and the trophy and documentation must be presented to Customs at the border when the hunters exit. Only the following parts of black bear may be exported: red meat, the hide with claws still attached, the head or skull with teeth attached, but no other parts. Alberta prohibits the export of the gall bladder or paws of black bear. Note that the CITES permit exemption for fresh black bear trophies applies only to U.S. hunters returning home and not to other hunters. An individual must not sell or dispose of the black bear within 90 days after the date on which the CITES exemption is claimed.
Other circumstances for Black Bear: Claws of black bear may not be exported from Alberta if they are separated from the whole skin. Partial skins of black bear that are processed (tanned or otherwise permanently preserved), black bear skulls with teeth attached (when not being accompanied by the hunter returning home as described above) or taxidermized black bear skins may still be exported but only under a provincial export permit with a CITES permit. A black bear skin that is not part of a returning hunter’s baggage may still be shipped but requires both provincial and CITES export permits.
The selling, buying, bartering, soliciting or trading in wildlife or wildlife parts, or offering to do so, is regulated under the Wildlife Act and Regulations. Many transactions are strictly prohibited, while others are regulated. For further information, please contact a Fish and Wildlife office.
When conducting wildlife transactions over the internet, recognize that wildlife laws vary in many jurisdictions; wildlife (such as a naturally shed antler) that is legal to sell within Alberta may not be legal to sell to persons in the U.S.
When driving or walking, hunters often find dead wildlife that they would like to keep. In most cases it is unlawful to possess such wildlife or parts of wildlife without first obtaining a permit. Contact a Fish and Wildlife office to apply for such a permit before taking possession of the wildlife.
Access to Public and Private Lands
Except under authority of a Game Bird Shooting Ground Licence, it is unlawful to directly or indirectly buy or sell, trade or barter, or offer to buy or sell access to any land for the purpose of hunting any big game, furbearing animals or game birds.
Hunting on privately owned lands without permission is a problem in Alberta. It generates anti-hunting sentiment among landowners and results in the prosecution of more than 200 hunters each year. Hunters should leave gates as they find them, avoid damaging facilities or property, avoid disturbing livestock and establish friendly relations with landholders.
Although there is a moral obligation to pursue wounded game and a legal requirement to ensure game is retrieved and not wasted or abandoned, these obligations do not override the legal requirement to get permission to enter private land.
Access to Public Lands
Hunters are reminded that the privilege to access public lands is contingent upon courtesy and responsible conduct. It is the hunter’s responsibility to know, understand and abide by access conditions that apply when using and enjoying these areas.
In addition to privately owned land, permission is always required before entering or crossing:
- Indian reserves (from appropriate band council),
- Métis settlements (from appropriate Métis settlement association)
- Public land under agricultural or grazing lease (from leaseholder)
While recreational ‘foot’ access is generally accepted on public land, hunters should be aware that:
- Off-highway vehicle (OHV) access is prohibited in most provincial parks and provincial recreation areas.
- Off-highway vehicle access may be limited or prohibited within counties, municipal districts or within special public land management areas such as Public Land Use Zones (PLUZs).
- Some PLUZs have designated OHV trail networks (i.e. Ghost Pluz). In these areas, hunters are required to operate OHVs only on designated trails even when retrieving game.
- Special conditions, such as extreme fire hazard, may warrant additional temporary access limitations.
Regardless of intent or mode of travel, all recreationists are expected and encouraged to respect, take pride, and play a stewardship role in maintaining the quality and character of Alberta’s natural resources.
For more information regarding access to Agricultural Leased Land and Provincial Grazing Reserves, Alberta.ca/AgriculturalPublicLand
For more information, please contact your local Alberta Forestry and Parks office by dialing 310-0000 or visit https://www.alberta.ca/public-land-use.aspx.
Section 38 of the Wildlife Act specifies that no person shall hunt wildlife or discharge firearms on or over occupied lands, or enter onto such lands for the purpose of doing so without the consent of the owner or occupant.
The Wildlife Act defines "occupied lands" as follows:
- privately owned lands under cultivation or enclosed by a fence of any kind and not exceeding one section in area on which the owner or occupant actually resides, and
- any other privately owned land that is within 1.6 km (1 mi.) of the section referred to in clause (a) and that is owned or leased by the same owner or occupant.
The occupied lands described in the above legislation do not need to be posted with signs to receive protection under Section 38 of the Wildlife Act.
The black area in the map (right) shows an example of nine square miles of land that could contain land falling within the definition of "occupied lands."
Petty Trespass Act
Amendments to the Petty Trespass Act came into force June 1, 2004. While it is still possible for a landowner to prohibit entry onto his or her land by giving oral or written notice or by posting signs prohibiting entry, the amendments now set out certain kinds of property where entry is prohibited without any notice required. These lands include those privately owned lands (and leased public lands not associated with grazing or cultivation – these are addressed at aep.alberta.ca) that are under cultivation, fenced or enclosed by a natural boundary or enclosed in a manner that indicates the landholder’s intention to keep people off the premises or animals on the premises. Importantly, hunters or others who access those lands must have permission before entering.
Federal Criminal Code
The Criminal Code (Section 41) provides that a person in peaceable possession of real property can require a trespasser to vacate the property.
Access for Guiding
A Hunter Host, Big Game Designated Guide or Bird Game Designated Guide, when guiding on any privately held land, requires permission authorizing access from the landholder for conducting those guiding services on that land. Such a guide or host is required to carry on his person the landholder's name, address (or legal land location of landholder's residence) and telephone number.
Access for Control of Livestock Predation
Black Bear and Coyote*
Any person who is (a) the owner or occupant of privately owned land, or (b) authorized to keep livestock on public land, or (c) a resident authorized by a person described in (a) or a resident authorized in writing by a person described in (b) may, without a licence, hunt (but not trap) black bear or coyote on such lands, at all times of the year.
Any person who is (a) the owner or occupant of privately owned land, or (b) authorized to keep livestock on public land, or (c) a resident authorized by a person described in (a) or a resident authorized in writing by a person described in (b) may, without a licence and at all times of the year, hunt (but not trap) timber wolf on such lands, and on any lands within 8 km (5 mi.) of the above lands, provided he or she also has the right of access to these latter lands.
Any person who is the owner or occupant of privately owned land may at any time of year, hunt (but not trap) cougar on such lands without a licence. Hunting with dogs is prohibited under this authority. Under this authority, registration is required within one week of the kill by bringing the skin and skull (or intact carcass) to a Fish and Wildlife office. A premolar tooth will be retained for aging.
* It is not legally necessary to salvage pelts of furbearing animals (includes coyote and wolf) or black bear taken in accordance with regulations authorizing the control of problem wildlife set out in this part. The skin and skull of cougar taken on privately-owned land as described must be submitted at time of registration as noted, but the cougar pelt does not need to be further salvaged. Click here for information about seasons for coyote and wolf.
Alberta’s Parks Division provides hunting opportunities on over 85% of the land base managed as a Provincial Park or Protected Area. In protected areas where hunting is allowed some activities are restricted in order to protect sensitive areas and species or to address public safety or wildlife management issues. Section 15 of the Provincial Parks (General) Regulation prohibits dogs off leash in Provincial Parks, Wildland Provincial Parks and Provincial Recreation Areas. Dogs need to be controlled via a restraining leash not greater than 2m long. For detailed information on hunting in Provincial Parks and protected areas contact your local Alberta Environment and Parks office or visit www.albertaparks.ca.
|Classification of Protected Area||Hunting||Exceptions||OHV (including snowmobile) Use|
|Provincial Parks||No||Castle Provincial Park,
Elk seasons in Cypress Hills, Game birds over water in Winagami Lake Provincial Park
|Provincial Recreation Areas (PRA)||No||Big game and game bird seasons in Blue Rapids, Cooking Lake-Blackfoot, Evan Thomas (Marmot Basin area), Fickle Lake, Lakeland, North Bruderheim, Redwater, Saskatoon Mountain, Sulphur Gates, and Wapiabi PRAs||Lakeland PRA - Yes on designated trails only.
North Bruderhein PRA
|Wildland Parks||Yes||Bison hunting is not permitted in Wildland Parks outside the special bison season in Hay Zama or other permitted harvest within Caribou Mountains. Access and other management conditions may apply.||On designated trails in a select number of Wildland Parks. For a complete listing visit albertaparks.ca|
|Willmore Wilderness Park||Yes||No||No|
|Heritage Rangelands||Yes||Entry is subject to grazing lease access conditions||Subject to grazing lease access conditions|
|Natural Areas||Yes||Access and other management conditions may apply. For a complete listing visit .albertaparks.ca||Dependant on access conditions. For a complete listing visit albertaparks.ca|
Ecological Reserves preserve and protect natural heritage in an undisturbed state for scientific research and education. The primary intent of this class of protected area is strict preservation of natural ecosystems, habitats, features and associated biodiversity. Hunting is prohibited in Ecological Reserves.
Wilderness Areas preserve and protect natural heritage, where visitors are provided with opportunities for non-consumptive, nature based outdoor recreation. Hunting is prohibited in Wilderness Areas.
Provincial Parks and Recreation Areas
Provincial Parks preserve natural heritage; they support outdoor recreation, heritage tourism and natural heritage appreciation activities that depend upon and are compatible with environmental protection. Provincial Recreation Areas support outdoor recreation and tourism: they often provide access to lakes, rivers, reservoirs and adjacent crown land.
In general, hunting or discharging a firearm (or bow) is prohibited in Provincial Parks and Provincial Recreation Areas. Hunting is permitted in Castle Provincial Park and there are elk seasons in Cypress Hills Provincial Park. In addition, there are big game and game bird seasons in Blue Rapids, Fickle Lake, Wapiabi, Cooking Lake-Blackfoot, the northwest corner of Evan-Thomas, Sulphur Gates, and Lakeland Provincial Recreation Areas. Firearms discharge permits are required to hunt in all Provincial Parks and Provincial Recreation Areas other than Lakeland Provincial Recreation Area, Blue Rapids Provincial Recreation Area, Fickle Lake Provincial Recreation Area, and Wapiabi Provincial Recreation Area. Orientation sessions may also be required before hunting is permitted in a Provincial Park or Provincial Recreation Area. For more information on firearm discharge permits and orientation sessions for hunting in Provincial Parks or Provincial Recreation Areas please visit www.albertaparks.ca
If not in the process of hunting in a Provincial Park or Provincial Recreation Area that has an open season, all firearms must be unloaded, encased or dismantled.
Wildland Provincial Parks
Wildland Provincial Parks preserve and protect natural heritage and provide opportunities for backcountry recreation. Hunting is permitted in Wildland Provincial Parks. However, bison hunting is not permitted in Wildland Provincial Parks outside the special bison season in the Hay-Zama Wildland Park for holders of a Bison Special Licence. Additional bison harvest opportunities may be available in some specified areas, such as Caribou Mountains Wildland Park, to achieve conservation and management objectives. Special access restrictions apply to all motorized vehicles.
Willmore Wilderness Park
Willmore Wilderness Park was established under its own legislation in 1959 and is similar in intent to Wildland Parks. Hunting is permitted in Willmore Wilderness Park; however, off-highway vehicle (and snowmobile) use is not permitted. Hunters are advised that the adjacent staging areas have different hunting and firearm storage regulations than Willmore Wilderness Park. Further information and maps are available at the Hinton Parks Division office at 780-865-8395.
Heritage Rangelands preserve and protect natural features that are representative of Alberta’s prairies and grazing is used to maintain the grassland ecology. Two heritage rangelands have been established in Alberta - Black Creek Heritage Rangeland in the Whaleback area and OH Ranch Heritage Rangeland near Longview. These lands are cooperatively managed with Alberta Environment and Parks and grazing lease holders. Hunting is permitted, however entry is subject to grazing lease access conditions. For access conditions please visit aep.alberta.ca, select Recreation and Public Use, then select Recreation on Agricultural Public Land.
Natural Areas preserve and protect sites of local significance and provide opportunities for recreation and nature appreciation activities. Hunting is permitted in Natural Areas, however, there are some sites with special management and safety considerations that restrict hunting and access, e.g. Wagner Natural Area, Riverlot 56, Sherwood Park Natural Area. For more information please visit www.albertaparks.ca. To find access conditions for Natural Areas that are subject to a grazing lease please visit https://www.alberta.ca/public-land-use.aspx. Go to Recreation and Public Use.
Kananaskis Country is a multi-use area comprised of both protected areas and public land; hunters must be aware of what type of land they are accessing. Access to some areas may be affected when roads and recreational trails are temporarily closed. Information and maps are available from Visitor Information Centres with in Kananaskis Country. For more information please visit albertaparks.ca.
Hunters - Please be Aware:
Baiting of all wildlife, including bears, wolves and coyotes, is not permitted in all Provincial Parks, Provincial Recreation Areas and Wildland Provincial Parks. There are two exceptions: 1) A limited number of Registered Fur Management Area (RFMA) holders (registered trappers) and 2) A limited number of hunting guides who were historically authorized to conduct commercial guiding activities that used baits in an area prior to the area being established as a Wildland Provincial Park. Both exceptions are managed through permits and approvals issued by Alberta Forestry and Parks. For more information contact your local Parks Division office.
Found Dead Wildlife in Parks
In Provincial Parks, Wildland Provincial Parks and Provincial Recreation Areas it may be unlawful to remove dead wildlife that you find. For more information please contact your local Parks Division office. To obtain a permit to possess found dead wildlife, contact your local Fish and Wildlife office.
Hanging and Storage of Big Game
Unless authorized by a Conservation Officer it is unlawful to dress, hang, or store big game in a Provincial Park or Provincial Recreation Area. Where these activities are permitted, please follow safe storage practices in order to prevent human-wildlife conflicts.
Be Respectful of Others
Provincial Parks and protected areas are multiple use sites and are used by a wide range of recreational users year round. When hunting in these locations, respect other users and recognize that there may be hiking, cycling, camping, picnicking or other activities going on in close proximity. Please use caution when transporting firearms and avoid the use of firearms for target shooting and sighting-in of rifles.
For more information on hunting in Provincial Parks and protected areas please visit albertaparks.ca or contact your local Parks office.
Northwest Region: 780-538-5350
Northeast Region: 780-623-5235
West Central Region: 780-960-8170
East Central Region: 403-340-7691
Kananaskis Country: 403-678-5508
South Region: 403-382-4097
Alberta has a variety of restricted areas. Please read the following sections carefully to determine how the various designations affect hunting opportunities.
Sanctuaries are intended to provide secure habitat for wildlife and thus allow populations to either increase or remain at desired levels. They include areas of high quality habitat, often where populations of some wildlife species have been significantly lowered or dispersed because of disturbance at some time in the past. Sanctuary status allows these areas to realize their potential to support wildlife and to act as core areas of production for animals that will disperse to surrounding areas. It also increases the opportunities for Albertans to view wildlife.
NOTE: Privately owned lands within wildlife sanctuaries are excluded from the sanctuaries.
Road Corridor Wildlife Sanctuaries
It is unlawful to hunt within 365 m (400 yards) of the centre-line of the road in a designated road corridor wildlife sanctuary (a corridor 730 m or 800 yards wide). No person shall possess a weapon in these sanctuaries unless the weapon, if it is a firearm, is unloaded and either dismantled, encased, or completely enclosed by another suitable covering. If crossing a road corridor wildlife sanctuary on horseback or on foot, a firearm must be unloaded and the person must be travelling in a direct route to leave the sanctuary.
There are 11 road corridor wildlife sanctuaries, shown in green on the WMU map (Printed copies of regulations, which contains the WMU map, will be available at licence issuer locations for the beginning of the fall hunting season). Eight are located in the Mountain and Foothills regions and three in the Boreal Region. Descriptions of the Road Corridor Wildlife Sanctuaries are as follows:
Mountain and Foothills
- Highwood – within 365 m (400 yards) of the centre-line of
(a) Highway 40 between the southern boundary of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and Secondary Road 541,
(b) Secondary Road 541 between Highway 40 and the eastern boundary of the Rocky Mountain Forest Reserve;
- Harold Creek – within 365 m (400 yards) of the centre-line of that portion of the road locally known as the Harold Creek Road between the eastern boundary of the Rocky Mountain Forest Reserve and Secondary Road 734;
- Ya Ha Tinda – within 365 m (400 yards) of the centre-line of the road locally known as the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch Road between the Red Deer River Provincial Recreation Area and the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch headquarters building;
- Forestry Trunk Road – within 365 m (400 yards) of the centre-line of Provincial Highway 734 between its intersection with the road locally known as the Lynx Creek Road in section 26, township 36, range 14, west of the 5th meridian and the Seven Mile Provincial Recreation Area;
- Cutoff Creek – within 365 m (400 yards) of the centre-line of the road locally known as the Cutoff Creek Road between Provincial Highway 734 and the Cutoff Creek Equestrian Staging Forest Recreation Area;
- North Ram – within 365 m (400 yards) of the centre-line of that portion of Secondary Road 734 that is in Township 38, Range 15, West of the 5th Meridian and north of the North Ram River;
- Onion Creek Road – within 365 m (400 yards) of the centre-line of the road locally known as the Onion Creek Road in section 9, township 36, range 14, west of the 5th meridian to its intersection with Provincial Highway 734
- Kootenay Plains – within 365 m (400 yards) of the centre-line of that portion of Highway 11 between Allstones Creek and the eastern boundary of Banff National Park;
- Nordegg – within 365 m (400 yards) of the centre-line of Provincial Road 734 where it intersects the North Saskatchewan River in section 34, township 39, range 15, west of the 5th meridian to where it crosses Shunda Creek and within 365 m (400 yards) of the centre-line of Provincial Highway 11 from where it intersects Provincial Highway 734 to where it crosses Shunda Creek
- Highway 40/Little Smoky/Simonette – within 365 m (400 yards) of the centre-line of that portion of Highway 40 between the Berland River and the Muskeg River.
- Highway 40 Cadomin - within 1 kilometre (1094 yards)
(a) west of the centre-line of Provincial Highway 40 between the intersection of Provincial Highway 40 and the northern boundary of the southwest quarter of section 8, township 48, range 24, west of the 5th meridian at its northerly extent and the intersection of Provincial Highway 40 and the northern boundary of section 5, township 48, range 24, west of the 5th meridian, and
(b) of the centre-line of Provincial Highway 40 between the intersection of Provincial Highway 40 and the northern boundary of section 5, township 48, range 24, west of the 5th meridian at its northerly extent and the intersection of Provincial Highway 40 and the eastern boundary of section 24, township 47, range 24, west of the 5th meridian at its southeasterly extent.
- Whitemud Hills – within 365 m (400 yards) of the centre-line of the Peace River Pulp Road locally known as the Whitemud Hills Haul Road from Highway 35 to the western boundary of Section 14, Township 85, Range 2, West of the 6th Meridian;
- Sulphur Lake – within 365 m (400 yards) of the centre-line of the Peace River Pulp Road locally known as the Sulphur Lake Haul Road from the southeast corner of Township 88, Range 1, West of the 6th Meridian to its junction with the road locally known as the Canfor East Road in Township 89, Range 3, West of the 6th Meridian;
- Peace River Pulp Mill – within 365 m (400 yards) of the centre‑line of the road locally known as the Peace River Pulp Resource Road from its intersection with secondary road 986 in the south‑east quarter of section 17, township 85, range 19, west of the 5th meridian northerly to the centre of the north‑east quarter of section 23, township 90, range 20, west of the 5th meridian (gate at Whiskey Jack Creek).
No person shall approach within 800 metres (0.5 mile) of any of the following seasonal sanctuaries between April 15 and September 15.
- The island known as Pelican Island in Newell Lake in Township 17, Range 15, W4M;
- The unnamed island in Namur Lake in Sections 35 and 36, Township 97, Range 17, W4M;
- The unnamed island in Beaverhill Lake in Section 5, Township 52, Range 17, W4M;
- The unnamed island in the unnamed lake in Section 8, 9, 16 and 17, Township 95, Range 17, W4M;
- The unnamed island in Scope Reservoir in LSD 2 and 3, Section 10, Township 13, Range 14, W4M;
No person shall enter the following seasonal sanctuaries between April 15 and September 15:
- That portion of the unnamed island in Lower Therien Lake in the NW Quarter of Section 14, Township 57, Range 10, W4M;
- That portion of Lower Therien Lake in Section 2, 3, 10 and 11, Township 57, Range 10, W4M;
- The unnamed islands in the Slave River in the SW Quarter of Section 30, Township 126, Range 10, W4M, and the SE Quarter of Section 25, Township 126, Range 11, W4M;
- The island known as Bird Island in Buffalo Lake in Section 30, Township 40, Range 20, W4M;
- The unnamed island in Joseph Lake in Section 12, Township 50, Range 22, W4M.
No Person shall enter the following seasonal sanctuaries between May 1 and August 15:
- The following lands to the extent that, at any given time, they are not covered by any of the waters of Muriel Lake.
a) within township 59, range 5 west of the fourth meridian, the east half of legal subdivisions 9 and 16 of section 19; legal subdivisions 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 of section 20; legal subdivisions 13 and 14 of section 21; legal subdivisions 2, 3 and 4 of section 28; legal subdivisions 10 and 11 of section 29; the southeast quarter and the southwest quarter of section 29;
b) within township 60, range 5, west of the fourth meridian, the east half of legal subdivisions 5, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of section 1; legal subdivisions 8, 9, 15 and 16 of section 2, the southeast quarter and the northeast quarter of section 11; legal subdivisions 3 and 4 of section 12.
- All areas within legal subdivisions 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 of section 35, township 68, range 15, west of the fourth meridian and legal subdivisions 9 and 16 of section 34, township 68, range 15, west of the fourth meridian.
In general, only a member of a Métis Settlement Association, formed under the Métis Settlements Act, may hunt or trap wildlife on a Métis Settlement. Hunting by non-members may be authorized under settlement by-laws.
Forest Recreation Areas
It is unlawful to discharge a firearm within a forest recreation area. It is also unlawful to "dress" a big game animal within a forest recreation area.
Hunting is prohibited in national parks, and hunters should be especially careful about their locations when hunting near park boundaries. Firearms are prohibited in national parks except on through highways and in town sites, where they must be unloaded and encased. '
Bison Protection Areas
Except for the special seasons provided in WMUs 536 and 539, all bison hunting is prohibited in designated Bison Protection Areas. Bison Protection Areas are located in (*or portions of) the following WMUs:
|Bison Protected Areas|
|524*, 536, 537*, 539||Northwest Bison Protection Area|
|540*||Wabasca Bison Protection Area|
|416*, 418*||Upper Red Deer River Special Bison Area|
For more information and detailed map/description of the Bison Protection Areas, please contact the Peace River Fish and Wildlife Office.
Other Restricted Areas
Except for the special seasons provided in WMUs 728, 730 and 732, hunting is not permitted in the following areas:
- Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (WMU 726),
- Canadian Forces Base Wainwright (WMUs 728 and 730),
- Canadian Forces Base Suffield (WMU 732),
- Ghost River Wilderness Area (WMU 734),
- Greene Valley Wildlife Management Unit (WMU 926),
- Siffleur Wilderness Area (WMU 736),
- White Goat Wilderness Area (WMU 738), and
- within 91 m (100 yards) of Highway 1 or Highway 1A in WMU 410.
BIG GAME HUNTING
The hunting of big game is not permitted in the following areas:
- the Gregg River Resources Coal Mineral Surface Lease in WMU 438, and
- the Cardinal River Coal Mineral Surface Lease in WMU 438.
Saskatoon Mountain Primitive Weapons Area
Only shotguns, muzzle loaders and archery equipment may be used to hunt big game in this area in WMU 357, located 20 km west of Grande Prairie on the north side of Highway 43 (see Wildlife Management Unit Map - Printed copies of regulations, which contains the WMU map, will be available at licence issuer locations for the beginning of the fall hunting season). For more detailed map/description of area, please contact the Grande Prairie Fish and Wildlife office.
Restricted Areas for Trophy and Non-trophy Sheep
It is unlawful to hunt trophy or non-trophy sheep within the following areas:
- 0.8 km (0.5 mi.) of Highway 1A between the western boundary of the Stoney Indian Reserve and Canmore,
- 0.8 km (0.5 mi.) of Highway 3,
- 1.6 km (1 mi.) of the Sheep River from the eastern boundary of WMU 406 upstream to Dyson Creek,
- 1.6 km (1.0 mi.) of the Inland Cement Rock Quarry near Cadomin,
- 1.6 km (1.0 mi.) of the intersection of Whitehorse Creek and the main forestry trunk road south of Cadomin,
- 1.6 km (1.0 mi.) of where Highway 16 intersects the eastern boundary of Jasper National Park,
- 3.2 km (2.0 mi.) of the intersection of the Forestry Trunk Road and the South Ram River in Section 18, Township 36, Range 13, West of the Fifth Meridian.
GAME BIRD HUNTING
Game Bird Sanctuaries
Hunting game birds and carrying shotguns are prohibited in game bird sanctuaries except with a special permit. Descriptions of these sanctuaries are available from the Alberta King's Printer in Edmonton (click here for details). Game bird sanctuaries are located in the following WMUs:
|102||Pakowki Lake||242||Miquelon Lake|
|148||Many Island Lake||357||Saskatoon Lake*|
|212||Inglewood*||503||Lac La Biche|
|220||Red Deer*||530||Richardson Lake*|
|238||Birch Lake||523||Kimiwan Lake|
|*These areas are designated as a Federal Migratory Bird Sanctuary.|
The use of vehicles, including off-highway vehicles (OHVs), is controlled by various regulations. Refer to the Wildlife Management Unit Map for more information (Printed copies of regulations, which contains the WMU map, will be available at licence issuer locations for the beginning of the fall hunting season).
Vehicle Use and Restrictions
The ‘footprint’ of vehicles is much greater than the average foot. Noise, erosion, soil compaction, habitat disturbance and vegetation impacts generally increase with vehicle use. Hunters are requested to minimize the impacts of vehicles where they are permitted and abide by limitations to vehicle use where applicable. All off highway vehicles (OHVs) operated on public land must be registered, insured and have a visible licence plate. Vehicles must also have a headlight, tail light, muffler and spark arrestor.
Public Land Use Zones (PLUZ)
Several areas in the province are designated as PLUZs to allow for the management of recreational interests and pressures on local ecology. On and off highway vehicle restrictions apply in all PLUZs and may limit vehicle type, trail access and seasons open to vehicle use. WMU and PLUZ boundaries may overlap and all – or portions of – WMUs may have vehicle access restrictions. Please refer to PLUZ maps available at your local Alberta Forestry and Parks office or visit https://www.alberta.ca/public-land-use-zones.aspx.
|Public Land Use Zone (PLUZ)||Off-Highway Vehicles||Associated WMUs|
|Allison Chinook||Seasonal access on designated trails only||402|
|Athabasca Ranch||Seasonal access only||344|
|Brule Lake||Designated corridors only||438|
|Castle||Seasonal access on designated trails only||400|
|Cataract Creek Snow Vehicle||Snowmobiles only with additional conditions||404|
|Coal Branch||Seasonal access on designated trails only||436-438|
|Dormer / Sheep||Designated trails only||416|
|Ghost||Designated trails only||316, 412, 414, 416|
|Job / Cline||Seasonal access on designated trails only||426, 430, 432, 434|
|Kiska / Willson||Designated trails only with some seasonal restrictions||326, 328, 416-418, 420, 422, 426, 428-430|
|Livingstone||Designated trails only||302, 303, 306, 308, 400, 402|
|Permitted with conditions||406|
|Porcupine||Designated trails only||304, 305, 308|
|Sibbald Snow Vehicle||Snowmobiles only with additional conditions||406|
|Blackstone / Wapiti||NOT PERMITTED||430, 434|
|Holmes Crossing||NOT PERMITTED||507|
|Kananaskis Country||NOT PERMITTED||404, 406, 408|
|Panther Corners||NOT PERMITTED||416, 418|
|Whitecourst Sandhills X-Country Ski||NOT PERMITTED||507|
Wildland Provincial Parks
Hunting is allowed in the Wildland Provincial parks shown on the WMU map (Printed copies of regulations, which contains the WMU map, will be available at licence issuer locations for the beginning of the fall hunting season). However, special access restrictions apply to all motorized vehicles. For example, Bob Creek Wildland Provincial Park provides a network of designated trails on which only specific OHVs (quads and snowmobiles) may be operated from May 1 to December 15. For more detailed information, contact Alberta Forestry and Parks or visit albertaparks.ca.
Hunting with Motorized Vehicles
It is unlawful to
- discharge a weapon at antelope from within 46 m (50 yards) of a vehicle;
- use motorized travel within Willmore Wilderness Park; and
- carry a weapon (see definition) on an OHV between 1 hour before sunrise and the following noon during an open season for big game* on public land in the following WMUs: 400-446. This does not apply to a person who is traveling on a direct route to or from a location accessible by vehicles designed for highway travel and his or her isolated campsite, and the weapons and ammunition are carried out of view in separate locked containers (and remain locked during the trip).
Also, the restriction does not apply in a WMU when the only big game season open is a spring black bear season or a cougar season.
* this restriction applies to all hunters (including bird game hunters).
Use of Aircraft
The use of aircraft for the purpose of hunting and hunting after flight is controlled by various regulations which are summarized under the “general” and “big game” prohibitions area within this Guide. For further clarity, it is unlawful to:
- Use any aircraft for the purpose of hunting wildlife, including unmanned aerial vehicles.
- Hunt big game within 6 hours* of having disembarked from an aircraft, except for a jet or turbo-propeller driven aircraft (regardless of the purpose of the flight).
- Communicate, for the purpose of hunting, the whereabouts or signs of wildlife from knowledge gained from a manned or unmanned aircraft flight to anyone at any time during or after the flight.
- To hunt, guide or outfit for migratory game birds within 48 hours of flying within the same WMU (excluding jet and turbo prop flights).
*NOTE: Hunting big game after the 6 hour timeframe as indicated in #2 above does not negate the potential application of #1 above.
A number of forested areas throughout Alberta have designated recreation trails. These areas allow a variety of activities including hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Trail users and backcountry travellers should be aware of current land use restrictions. For more information on recreation trails, contact the Information Centre in Edmonton (click here for details).
When accessing Alberta’s public land whether motorized or non-motorized, hunters are reminded to respect the land.
Many trails on Crown lands are created and maintained by trappers. To avoid interference with trapline operations, recreationists are urged to avoid motorized use of trails marked with signs indicating “Active Trapline,” especially during trapping seasons of November through February.