Small game hunting

Small game hunting licence

The small game species that can be hunted are the following birds and mammals:

  • American crow
  • Arctic hare
  • Brown-headed cowbird
  • Chukar*
  • Common grackle
  • Coyote
  • Crossed fox
  • Eastern cottontail
  • European starling
  • Francolin*
  • Grey partridge
  • Guinea fowl*
  • House sparrow
  • Northern bobwhite*
  • Pheasant*
  • Quail*
  • Raccoon
  • Red fox
  • Red partridge*
  • Red-winged blackbird
  • Rock dove*
  • Rock ptarmigan*
  • Ruffed grouse
  • Sharp-tailed grouse
  • Silver fox
  • Snowshoe hare
  • Spruce grouse
  • Willow ptarmigan
  • Wolf
  • Woodchuck

* These species may be kept in captivity without a licence, and released into nature for hunting purposes.

Migratory birds

Some migratory birds are considered small game under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.


Amphibians are not considered to be small game. You must obtain a frog hunting licence to hunt all these species. Only leopard frogs, green frogs and American bullfrogs may be hunted.

What to do before, during and after small game hunting

Before hunting

  • Choose the site at which you wish to hunt and obtain the necessary permission if you will be hunting on private land that does not belong to you.
  • Identify the hunting zone in which your site is located, and the applicable hunting dates.
  • Purchase the small game hunting licence required for the type of hunting you wish to do (hunting, snaring only, or hunting with a bird of prey.
  • If you will be hunting migratory birds, you must obtain the federal migratory bird hunting licence and the provincial small game hunting licence, and you must carry both of them with you.
  • Review the rules applicable to the handling, use and transportation of your weapon.
  • Read and make sure you understand the general rules and specific rules.

During hunting

Comply with the rules respecting:

After the kill

  • Transport your weapon in accordance with the rules (empty, in a closed case, etc.).
  • Take the necessary steps (evisceration, storage and transportation) to ensure that the animal’s flesh is not abandoned or wasted. Follow the recommendations for handling wild game meat This hyperlink will open in a new window. (in French only).
  • For migratory birds, you must transport the game with the head or fully feathered wings (attached to the bird) to make the identification easier.
  • Collect and eliminate waste properly (empty cartridges, waste from meals, etc.).
  • If you have to declare your catches in a ZEC or wildlife reserve, make sure to identify your small game, especially the ruffed grouse and spruce grouse (PDF 773 Kb) (in French only).
  • Hunters are encouraged to follow recommendations to reduce the risk of exposure to avian influenza This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Bag limits for small game

All grouse and grey partridge: bag limit of five per day, and a total possession limit of 15.

Ptarmigan: bag limit of 10 per day, and a total possession limit of 30.

Cottontail rabbits and hares: bag limit of five per day in zone 8, and bag limit of 2 hares per day on Île du Havre Aubert (Îles de la Madeleine, zone 21). There is no daily bag limit for these two species in other hunting zones. Snaring of eastern cottontail rabbits and hares is prohibited in zone 8, on Île d'Orléans (zone 27) and in the Îles de la Madeleine (zone 21).

Other species: no bag limit or possession limit.

Migratoriy birds: For information on bag limits and possession limits, and on all rules governing migratory birds, please see the Canadian Government’s Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations This hyperlink will open in a new window. or call 1 800 668-6767.

Regulatory Information

Last update: March 19, 2024


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