Hunting in Quebec
Hunting is part of Québec’s history, and has become a way of reconnecting with nature and escaping the daily grind. Whether for the challenge, to observe wildlife or to obtain good quality meat, hunting is within everyone’s reach.
Hunting is strictly regulated to ensure sound management and responsible development of wildlife.
Current Regulations – April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022
The regulations governing sport hunting in Québec are updated and published every two years on April 1. They set out the information that all hunters must know, including hunting seasons, bag limits, permitted weapons, licences, basic rules and so on.
The regulations currently in force cover the period from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022. The new rules introduced since the regulations were last published are set out on the Main New Measures page. If changes are made during the year, they are published in a press release. You can access the press releases at any time on the News page .
What to know before you hunt
Québec’s territory is divided into 28 hunting zones, several of which are divided into subzones according to the species that are present.
Regardless of whether you hunt on public or private land, you must comply with the rules applicable to your hunting zone and, if you are in a specific area such as an outfitting operation, ZEC, wildlife reserve and so on, you must also comply with the additional rules applicable to that area.
To hunt in Québec you must therefore know your hunting zone, and you must also:
- be the age required for the type of hunting you wish to do;
- have a hunter’s certificate (or trapper’s certificate) for the weapon used (unless you are using an introductory licence);
- have a hunting licence (or hunt using another licence);
- comply with the rules applicable to the type of game you are hunting;
- comply with the authorized hunting seasons and bag limits;
- comply with the general rules and special rules applicable to the sport of hunting.
Refer to the menu at the top of this page for details on the rules to be followed.
Minimum age to hunt
You must also have attained the statutory age for the weapon you are using:
Firearms: you must be at least 12 years of age and, if you are under 18 years of age, you must be accompanied by an adult hunter. The adult hunter must comply with the basic rules for accompanying young hunters and with certain requirements imposed by federal firearms legislation.
Crossbow or bow: you must be at least 12 years of age and be accompanied by an adult if you are under 16 years of age. The accompanying adult must comply with certain basic rules.
Snare: there is no minimum age for snaring hares, hunting certain frog species or hunting using a bird of prey.
The right to hunt and share the land
Although hunting is a legal right, as a hunter you do not have exclusive or priority use of public land to the detriment of other outdoor enthusiasts.
The right to hunt does not give you the right to access private land without the landowner’s permission. Landowners can use their property as they wish, and may choose whether or not to grant access when asked. Make sure you obtain all the necessary permissions before circulating or hunting on private land.
Alternatively, you cannot knowingly obstruct a person who is hunting legally and who has permission to be on the land. This may include:
- preventing a hunter from accessing a hunting site to which he or she has legal access;
- damaging a hunter’s lookout or blind;
- disturbing or frightening an animal by means of human, animal or other presence, or by means of a noise or odour;
- destroying the effectiveness of a bait, lure or device used to hunt an animal.
All users must behave in an ethical way and share the land in a spirit of harmony. Please be courteous!
Use of weapons
Some municipalities may restrict hunting, while others may regulate the firing of weapons in their territories.
Before hunting, make sure you obtain all the necessary information from the municipality in which you wish to hunt.
Introduction to hunting
When the new hunting season starts, you go into the forest to live in the moment, observe wildlife and practise your favourite outdoor leisure activity. Why not take advantage of this time of relaxation to invite your children, spouse, friends or relatives to learn about hunting?
In doing this, you will pass on your expertise, forge closer relationships and share unforgettable outdoor experiences. You can also sit at the table with them and enjoy the delicious products of your hunt.
Like you, the Québec Government is anxious to prepare a new generating of hunters, and has introduced a series of measures to facilitate access to hunting:
- an introductory licence for adults and young people who do not have hunter’s certificates;
- the notion of family for young people and students aged 18 to 24;
- rules applicable to families, and the ability to share a licence to hunt large game with a young person or a student aged 18 to 24;
- organization of the white-tailed deer hunting weekend for new hunters .
Information on theses programs
Last update: February 25, 2021
The information published on this website has been simplified and provides a summary of the main regulatory provisions. It does not replace in any way the official texts of laws and regulations. For more detailed information on a specific rule, refer to the Regulation respecting hunting in Québec , the Regulation respecting hunting activities or the Act respecting the conservation and development of wildlife , which are all available on LégisQuébec.