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, 2022 to March 31, 2024
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, 2022 to March 31, 2024. 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 as well as our section on news releases released prior to October 20, 2022 .
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:
- 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);
- register your non-restricted firearms;
- 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.
In order to practice hunting, a person must have completed and passed appropriate training for the weapon used. The training fully covers weapons safety as well as hunter responsibilities. Successful completion of the courses is essential for the acquisition of a firearm and for obtaining most hunting licences. The hunter is thus trained to act prudently.
Minimum age to hunt
There is no minimum age for snaring hares, hunting some frog species or hunting with a bird of prey. However, you must be of required age to use these hunting weapons:
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.
The right to hunt and share the land
Access and hunting on public land is a right for all. You cannot claim a territory to hunt on a ZEC or any other public land. As a hunter, you do not have exclusive use or priority over 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:
- intimidating, threatening or 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!
Have you been the victim or witness of acts that do not respect this right to hunt and move freely? Find out how to report them.
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: December 8, 2023