Hunting and fishing have been around since the dawn of time. People hunt and fish for tradition, to experience nature, for survival, or for sport. For whatever reason, there are safety guidelines and regulations that must be followed. This will ensure that activities are controlled and can be used to help manage Ontario's wildlife. Revenue generated by licenses provides funding for important fish and wildlife programs.
The provincial government also regulates fishing and hunting through the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.
There are two types of Outdoors Card:
No it is not. An Outdoors Card is a plastic, wallet sized identification card to which your Ontario fishing and hunting licence tags are affixed. The cost is $6 for the card and it is valid for three calendar years. You can buy your outdoors card online or call 1-800-387-7011 from anywhere in Canada and the application will be mailed to you.
The Ministry of Natural Resources website allows you to renew your Outdoors Card online, change your address and report a lost card. It is important to keep your Outdoors Card and license tags up to date to avoid penalty.
There are many different types of hunting licenses.
You are required to obtain a Hunting License Verification Certificate in order to apply for one of the many hunting license options. This requires that you take a course and pass a series of examinations. You also need a Firearms Acquisition Certificate from a Firearms Safety Course. Some places offer a 'one stop' program that allows you to get both of these certificates in one program, such as the Ontario Hunter Education Program.
There are many different types of fishing licenses.
Download the current Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary. You can choose from the complete summary or only the section for your division, as shown on the map. The Regulations Summary is also available at your local Canadian Tire Store and other bait and tackle outlets.
The fishing industry has a long history in Canada. Fishing brings money to the economy and is a great way to pass time for the very young to very old.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Fish Ontario website provides all the information any fishing enthusiast needs. From obtaining your first fishing license to fish facts to renewing your Outdoors Card online, this website covers it all, including the Fish ON-Line tool.
Learn more about fish and fish habitat with The Fish Habitat Primer.
It is important to be aware of and follow bait and gear restrictions when fishing.
For example, the use of live bait is not allowed in certain waterbodies (check the Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary for your division), and anglers must not release live bait into waters other than the waterbody where the bait was originally captured. Doing so can lead to the establishment of exotic species. For more information on invasive species, visit Stop the Invasion!
Gear restrictions may include:
The Guide to Eating Ontario Sport Fish provides consumption advice and guidelines. This advice is based on health protection guidelines developed by Health Canada. The Ministry of the Environment, in co-operation with the Ministry of Natural Resources, publishes this guide every other year.
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) began in 1928. Protecting and enhancing our natural resources has always been the primary goal of the OFAH.
Its first efforts resulted in:
Their website provides links and information regarding conservation and wildlife issues that concern anglers and hunters. Current programs include:
Hunting waterfowl has been a pastime enjoyed in Muskoka for many generations. It is an important recreational activity as it attracts tourists to the area and contributes to the economic growth of our communities. A good indicator of watershed health is the abundance and diversity of wildlife it can support.
Ducks Unlimited Canada is dedicated to conserving, restoring and managing wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people and are essential for maintaining watershed health.
Ducks Unlimited Canada was founded more than 60 years ago by sportsmen who recognized that conserving wetlands helps to ensure the future of waterfowl populations. Today, Ducks Unlimited Canada is strongly supported by both hunters and non-hunters who recognize the many benefits associated with the habitat conservation program.
It is illegal to use or possess lead fishing sinkers or jigs in Canada's national parks and wildlife areas. For more information on gear restrictions in national parks, consult the Parks Canada website.
With few exceptions, hunting with non-toxic shot is required nationally for migratory game birds as stated in the Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations. When a hunter shoots his gun, thousands of pellets go into the air and only a small number actually make contact with the bird. The other pellets fall into the water, where they can build up in the bottom sediments and surface soils.
It is recommended to not use lead products because lead is a threat to lake system health and to waterfowl. Many waterfowl species mistaken lead sinkers, jigs and pellets for sand or gravel and ingest them. This results in lead poisoning, which continues through the food web without dissipation.