White-tailed deer hunting
What to do before, during and after 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 area is located, and the applicable hunting dates.
- Purchase your white-tailed deer hunting licence.
- Be aware of the rules applicable to the use of saline and urine.
- Where necessary, sign and submit the licence sharing agreement.
- Review the rules applicable to the handling, use and transportation of your weapon.
- Read and make sure you understand all the general rules and special rules.
Comply with the rules respecting:
- The baiting period for white-tailed deer.
- The hunting licence, including:
- Bag limits.
- Wearing a bib.
- The times when hunting is permitted.
- The types of weapons and ammunition that may be used, and how they must be handled and transported.
- The restrictions applicable to certain hunting gear and materials (urine, sound amplifiers, etc.).
- Identification of your game animalbefore making the kill (antlered, antlerless, calf, etc.).
- Firing from a public road.
- The safety and handling of your weapon, and firing safely (do not endanger other hunters).
After the kill
- If necessary, follow the rules for locating an injured game animal.
- In the event that an animal is illegally killed (by accident or by mistake), follow the applicable rules.
- When you have found the animal, attach the required transportation coupons. If the animal is an antlerless white-tailed deer authorized by a licence obtained in a random draw, punch the licence in the circle provided. The coupon must be punched before midnight on the day of harvest.
- Transport your weapon in accordance with the rules (empty, in a closed case, etc.).
- When removing the animal from the kill site, make sure you comply with cutting instructions, where applicable.
- Take the necessary steps (evisceration, storage and transportation) to ensure that the animal’s flesh is not abandoned or wasted.
- Gather and eliminate your garbage properly (empty cartridges, waste materials from meals, etc.).
- Register your game within 48 hours of leaving the hunting site.
- If the animal was killed in an enhanced surveillance area (ESA) for CWD, you must comply with the restrictions on the transportation of certain anatomical parts of the animal and submit to mandatory sampling.
- Leave the transportation coupon on the carcass until it is cut up or placed in storage.
Bag limits for the white-tailed deer
The white-tailed deer bag limit is now 2 deer per hunter per year, except in zone 20 (Anticosti Island), coming from two different zones.
Some rules apply:
- The regular licence and additional licence each allow you to harvest one deer in any zone other than zone 20.
- Your first deer must come from a zone or part of a zone other than zone 20 (Anticosti Island).
- Once you have killed the first deer, you must then kill the second in a different zone from the zone in which you hunted (excluding zone 20). This requirement does not apply to parts of zones 5 west, 8 east and 8 south, where you may harvest both deer in the same part of the zone.
Deer hunting on Anticosti Island
The bag limit in zone 20 (Anticosti Island) is 4 deer per stay with a maximum of 2 deer with antlers. Special provisions are in force in the island’s wildlife reserves and outfitters with exclusive rights regarding the sharing of antlerless deer hunting licences and group hunting of white-tailed deer.
White-tailed deer baiting periods
The use of bait is permitted from September 1 to November 30 only. There is an exception to this rule for saline substances (e.g. salt licks), which are still permitted year-round.
Identifying the sex and age of white-tailed deer
The following indications serve as a guide. If in doubt, refrain from shooting.
Adult females have a body that is longer than tall, rectangular in shape. They have a long neck and an elongated nose.
Fawns have a body almost as long as tall, square in shape. They have a short neck while their nose and head are more compact. Their eyes look large compared to their head.
Antler restriction pilot project (ARPP)
Antler restriction (AR) seeks to protect young bucks that are primarily one and a half years old from hunting in order to potentially allow them time to develop their body mass and antlers, and in an effort to enhance the quality of the hunting experience. Antler restriction limits male deer hunting to deer whose antlers display certain characteristics and is usually based on the number of points.
An antler restriction pilot project (ARPP) concerning white-tailed deer was carried out in zones 6 North and 6 South (PDF 798 Kb). Its purpose was to assess the biological and socio-economic consequences of the ARPP in Québec.
The work on this five-year experiment was completed in the spring of 2022. A summary report (PDF 23 Mb) was produced to inform the clientele of the key outcomes of the pilot project and the resulting conclusions. Decisions on the follow-up to be given to the project will be made in the coming months after consultation with Indigenous communities,wildlife partners and the clientele. Until then, the ARPP standard remains in effect in zones 6 North and 6 South.
The ARPP standard requires an adult male deer to have at least three points of 2.5 cm or more on one side of the antlers in order to be shot. All points that are more than 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the base to the end are counted.
This restriction on antlers applies to all hunting periods in zones 6 North and 6 South regardless of the hunting gear (crossbow, bow, firearm, shotgun or muzzle-loading firearm).
Refer to the white-tailed deer hunting seasons for all the details.
Last update: April 28, 2023