One of the best parts about living in Ontario is our incredible natural resources. We are blessed with some of the most beautiful and expansive wilderness in North America. With the variety of animals, from white-tailed deer, to moose, to black bears, Ontario is a hunter’s dream! And with the spring hunting season on the horizon, many hunters are starting to make their plans to head out and enjoy the great outdoors.
What follows is only a very light overview of what awaits you this spring. Think of this as a starting guide! There are many, many rules and regulations that govern the hunting of animals in Ontario, depending on the animal, the area, and the firearm or crossbow you are using. We strongly recommend reading the 2017 Hunting Regulations from Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in full before making any plans this upcoming season. The current edition is valid until Spring 2018, with the full 2018 regulations coming out at some point in April or May.
Application Periods for 2018 Big Game Draws
The Big Game Draws begin during the spring season and continue through to the fall. Don’t forget to enter!
Antlerless Deer March 1 to July 3; Results available August 8
Moose April 18 to May 31; Results available August 1
Elk May 1 to June 11; Results available August 2
Controlled Deer August 1 to August 31; Results available October 10
Open Season for residence and non-residents of Ontario begins on April 25th and runs until May 31st. You must have a wild turkey license, an Outdoors Card, and a small game licence tag to hunt wild turkeys. You may only hunt one bearded wild turkey per licence, with a max of two licences per hunters. Two birds may not be taken on the same day.
Two big changes to wild turkey hunting occured in 2017: First, a wild turkey hunter education course is no longer required to hunt wild turkeys in Ontario; second, shot size number 7 can now be used for wild turkey hunting, along with shot size 4, 5, and 6.
The Black Bear Pilot Program has been extended to 2020. The Black Bear spring open season begins May 1st, 2018 and runs until June 15th. You must purchase a resident bear hunting licence tag and complete the Mandatory Questionnaire for Resident Black Bear Hunters before hunting. It is illegal to shoot or interfere with black bears in their dens, damage or destroy their dens, or shoot cubs or female bears accompanied by cubs during the spring season.
Wolf and Coyote
Open season for wolf and coyote runs all year in certain areas/WMUs (please check the 2017 Regulation Summary for specifics). Wolves and coyotes may only be hunted under the authority of a valid small game licence along with wolf/coyote game seals. You may purchase a maximum of two wolf/coyote seals each calendar year.
Remember, you need an Ontario Outdoors Card prior to purchasing a hunting licence or licensing tag. You cannot apply for, purchase, or possess more than one licence tag each for moose, elk, deer, or black bear. Black bear is the only one you need to worry about this spring hunting season.
These are just the broad strokes of the spring hunting season. If you would like more details, you can download this free official Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Hunting Regulation Summary 2017 for more information about hunting in Ontario.
If you’d like to learn more about GTA Guns Auctions, or any of our other services, you can simply visit our website or contact us about any questions you may have. And be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!