Know Before you Go: checklist for a safe and sustainable hunting season

As summer draws to a close, thousands of Albertans get more and more excited about the start of a different season – hunting season. For many people, hunting is a time-honoured tradition passed down through generations – but others are new to the sport, and might be intimidated by a seemingly complex set of rules and regulations. If you’re in this boat, don’t be daunted – just follow these steps and tips.

Getting ready – follow these simple steps to make sure you’re prepared for the hunt you want to go on:

  • Register for your Wildlife Identification Number (WIN). This number is needed to apply for hunting and sportfishing licences in Alberta. It is valid for five years and costs $8; you can apply for a WIN at any licensed vendor or online right here. After you apply, you’ll receive a plastic card with your WIN number within four weeks. Something to remember: beginning in 2014, all first-time WIN applicants will need to include the number confirming they have completed and passed the AHEIA education course.
  • Familiarize yourself with the regulations for the area where you plan to fish or hunt, as well as your eligibility to hold an Alberta hunting licence – some licences are not available to non-residents or non-Canadians.
  • Register for hunting draws – usually at the beginning of June. Alberta’s draw system is designed to give all hunters an equal opportunity to hunt each species while preventing over-hunting. If you win a draw for a certain species, you will then purchase your licence for that species.
  • Buy your licence. Licences in Alberta are species-specific and cost differs according to what kind of animal you are hunting and whether you are from Alberta, elsewhere in Canada, or somewhere international – here is the full list of prices. You can buy your licence from a vendor or online.
Photo of a pheasant in mid-flight.

Even if the animals you’re hunting aren’t dangerous, the surroundings could be – stay alert. Photo credit: Dori.

Heading out – tips for a safe and sustainable hunt:

Be safe: 

Be responsible: 

Be lawful: 

  • Be sure before you shoot. You must be 100% sure to only shoot animals that your licence allows for. Ignorance is not an excuse if you make a mistake.
  • Ensure that you have the capacity to pack the animal out of the bush. Any wastage of the animal is strictly prohibited and may result in fines of up to $0 – $50,000.   Photo_MyWildAlberta_Avatar

We’ll be back next week to talk about some common questions we receive from hunters – starting with the requirements for hunting on leased land. For more information about hunting in the meantime, visit the My Wild Alberta website – or follow on Facebook for instant updates.

One thought on “Know Before you Go: checklist for a safe and sustainable hunting season

  1. Pingback: Know before you go: 4 easy steps to accessing agricultural lease land | Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

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