White-tailed deer hunting

What to do before, during and after hunting

Before hunting

During hunting

Comply with the rules respecting:

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 for hunting 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 is a management tool that seeks to modify the age structure of a deer population. It consists of limiting the hunt for young bucks that are one and a half years old, which are highly represented in the harvest. This restriction gives them time to develop their body mass and their antlers.

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 Quebec.

The work on this five-year experiment was completed in the spring of 2022. A thorough report will be presented to the partners, and decisions on what will happen next with the project will be made in the coming months. 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.

A mid-term report This hyperlink will open in a new window. (in French only) of the work carried out as part of this project has been published.

If you have any questions about the pilot project, you can send an email to RTLB@mffp.gouv.qc.ca.

Regulatory Information

Last update: January 18, 2023


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 theRegulation respecting hunting in Québec This hyperlink will open in a new window., the Regulation respecting hunting activities This hyperlink will open in a new window. or the Act respecting the conservation and development of wildlife This hyperlink will open in a new window., which are all available on LégisQuébec.


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