Waterfowl

When the frosty chill of Autumn starts creeping in and birds begin heading south for their annual migration, hunters everywhere excitedly begin preparations for an epic waterfowl season. Anyone who has been on a duck hunt knows that these excursions take a mental and physical toll: often it takes days of scouting and glassing before you find the right spot.
But just as these hunters will tell you about their struggles, they’ll also tell you how intensely rewarding the experience can be, with many bringing home big numbers to share with friends and family. Our mission is to help celebrate the tried-and-true tradition of waterfowl hunting and make it easier for newcomers to be initiated into this storied pastime. Enjoy helpful tips from the pros, instructional guides, and strategic advice to help you learn the ropes and master the season.

WATERFOWL HUNT: CHECKLIST

Preparations:

  • Hunting License
  • Boating License
  • Scout Land, Meet any Landowners
  • Dog Training & Testing (If using a retriever dog)
  • Sight in Gun Clay Target Practice (you’re shooting at a moving target)
  • Gun Test & Cleaning

After the Hunt:

  • Processing Equipment
  • Shears
  • Plastic Bags (for storage)
  • Gutting Gloves

Equipment

  • Shotshell Ammo (lead free!)
  • Shotgun
  • Gun Case (Floating Gun case if you are hunting over water)
  • Blind
  • Waterproof Gloves
  • Calls/Whistles
  • Flashlight/Headlamp
  • Bird/Wing Identification Book
  • Gun Cleaning Kit
  • Waterproof Waterfowl Camo Clothing including Hat and Gloves
  • Binoculars
  • Bug spray for early season hunts
  • Decoys
  • PFD (for Water Hunt)
  • GPS device
  • Waders (for Water Hunt)
  • Waterproof Boots
  • Facepaint

LICENSES & DATES BY PROVINCE

Migratory birds are regulated by the Government of Canada. Season dates within a province will vary by zone, and by sub-species.
Please refer to the linked resource for detailed information on hunting in your area.

To hunt migratory game birds in Canada, you must possess:

A valid Migratory Game Bird hunting Permit
A Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp affixed to or printed on the permit

These documents, as issued by the federal government, are valid in all provinces and territories.

The information presented above is meant as a quick reference and does not represent all areas of residence, species and other regulatory requirements. Dates are subject to change based on management zone, animal class and hunter specifications. Please refer to the dates posted on each province’s/territory’s website, available by clicking on the province/territory name and referring to the 'Guide ref.' page numbers column.