BowhuntingWorldAnnual15-2Bowhunting World has once again talked with legions of game wardens and wildlife biologists to compile our annual Bowhunting North America Guide. A guide designed to help you, the serious bowhunter, this in-depth feature gives you the goods on basic archery seasons, bow and projectile regulations and information about the most popular or unique bowhunting species for each province. In addition, we’ve included lots of unit/region specific ink that should help you with the final stages of your hunt planning. As we caution every year, be sure to consult provincial/territorial websites and land managers/game wardens/biologists for the latest information. You can view the detailed U.S. state-by-state report via our digital issue or by picking up a copy of the Bowhunting World Annual 2015 issue at your favorite newsstand.

Please Note: A U.S. Customs Declaration Form is required for all game entering the United States. U.S. hunters should obtain these at U.S. Customs and complete them in the presence of a customs official upon re-entry to the United States. For information on possible restrictions on the importation of hunter-harvested big game, please review the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service guidelines.

In addition to any other permit, federal CITES permits may be required to export out of Canada or import into Canada certain trophies, hides, or specimens. For information regarding CITES permits, call (855) 869-8670 or visit their website.

Alberta

The Fish and Wildlife Division estimates the provincial whitetail population at about 232,000 (32,707 harvested in 2014), with highest densities found primarily in the wooded river flats and coulees of the prairie, or in aspen groves in the parkland and southern boreal zones. Although the province does not boast the densest populations, the animals’ body size make up for it. Archery-only zones and early archery seasons give bowhunters an advantage.

The provincial mule deer population is estimated at about 138,000 animals (12,436 harvested in 2014, down slightly from the 12,932 harvested in 2013). They are found throughout the province, but are most plentiful in southern and western Alberta. Ongoing CWD monitoring requires hunters to submit heads from harvested deer in certain units.

Black bears are common in open forests throughout the mixed-wood, foothill, and montane life zones. They occur in about 74 percent of the province, primarily along the western edge, with highest densities in the Cold Lake, Fort McMurray, and Sheep River areas. Partial clearing of forests for roads, trails, and other developments has improved bear habitat and consequently their numbers have increased in recent years. The current population is estimated to be about 36,000 animals, 2,445 of which were harvested in 2014.

Moose (7,748 harvested in 2014) are common throughout most eco-regions, and are increasing in the prairie and central parkland eco-regions. In recent years, their numbers have been increasing in the parkland. The Fish and Wildlife Division estimates that the province holds about 122,000 moose.

Pronghorn are at the northern extreme of their range in Alberta, and populations have always fluctuated widely between 6,000 and 32,000 over the last 30 years. In response, the Fish and Wildlife Division has kept the number of licences for adult does low and limited trophy antelope and antelope archery seasons to trophy animals only. In 2014 resident hunters harvested an estimated 797, greater than the 677 pronghorn in 2013.

Alberta’s estimated elk population stands at 37,000 animals (7,846 harvested in 2014). Elk populations and distribution are increasing in the central parkland area of Alberta. In response to increasing elk numbers there are many new elk hunting seasons. Elk populations are decreasing in the west central Alberta, so hunting licences have been reduced in some areas.

Alberta’s provincial mammal, the bighorn sheep, has a population of approximately 6,000 animals and 2012 had a trophy ram harvest of 145 animals.

All new first-time hunters who have qualified for obtaining recreational hunting licences by successfully completing the Alberta Conservation and Hunter Education course, will be required to provide on their WIN application form, their hunter certificate number that is issued to each course graduate, in order to be eligible to purchase a hunting licence. The WIN can be purchased for $8 and is valid for five years. Non-resident and non-resident alien hunters (12 years of age or older) accompanied by a Hunter Host or a Designated Guide are exempt. For questions about the WIN or the licensing system, please contact the RELM Call Centre, toll-free in North America, at (888) 944-5494.

Non-resident Canadian and foreign hunters much be accompanied by a licenced guide or hunter host. All game requires provincial export permit under certain conditions. Check regs for further details.

A Wildlife Certificate (res. and Canadian non-res $28.22, non-res. alien $68.22) and Bowhunting Permit (res. $9.20, Canadian non-res. $16.45, non-res. alien $23.20—not required for crossbows) are required in addition to the fees below.

WHITETAIL
Season: Archery late August-late November (earliest opening and latest closing dates; varies by region).
Limit: 8 (with multiple tags).
Fees: Whitetail licence res. $39.95, Canadian non-res. $132.24, non-res. foreign $203.84 antlered whitetail licence.
MULE DEER
Season: Late August-late November.
Limit: 8 (with multiple tags).
Fees: Same as whitetails.
BLACK BEAR
Season: Fall archery late August-late November. Spring archery Apr. 1-May 31 (varies by region).
Limit: 1-2 (varies by region).
Fees: Bear Licence res. $20.65, Canadian non-res. $83.90 Non-res. foreign $105.02.
Note: Spring black bear licences can be used for the following fall of the same calendar year.
ELK
Season: Archery late August-late November (dates vary by region—closed on Prairie).
Limit: 1.
Fees: Elk licence res. $39.95. Canadian non-res. $154.66, non-res. alien $291.43.
MOOSE
Season: Archery late August-late November (dates vary by region).
Limit: 1.
Fees: Moose licence res. $44.95, Canadian non-res. $164.60 moose tag, non-res. alien $310.30.
BIGHORN SHEEP
Season: Archery early September-late October.
Limit: 1.
Fees: Sheep permit res. $29.95 non-trophy or $59.95 trophy (full curl depending on region); Canadian non-res. $366.45 (trophy only); non-res. alien $366.45 (trophy only).
PRONGHORN
Season: Archery early September-late September.
Limit: 1.
Fees: Pronghorn permit res. $59.95, Canadian non-res. $213.10 (trophy only), non-res. alien $253.02 (trophy only—cannot hunt during archery-only season).
COUGAR
Season: Nov. 1-Feb. 28. (Some archery-only WMUs available.)
Limit: 1.
Fees: Lion permit res. $20.31 lion permit, non-res. Canadian $135.31 lion permit, non-res. alien $254.97 lion permit.

Min. draw weight: 40 lbs. at 28 inches draw.
Broadheads: Barbless. Minimum 7/8 inch width. Arrow minimum length 24 inches.
Crossbows: Legal for all seasons except archery-only; legal in archery seasons with handicapped permit. Minimum 100-lb. draw weight. Bolts must be tipped with broadhead as described above. Bowhunting permits are not required for crossbows.
Hunter ed: Required for resident first-time hunters. See regs for non-resident exemptions.
Bowhunting organizations: Alberta Bowhunters Association.
Info/licences: Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Dev., 9920 108 St., Edmonton, AB T5K 2M4; (780) 310-3773.

British Columbia

With its wide array of climates and species, no one will be bored in British Columbia. If you want cervids they’ve got moose, elk, caribou, and two species of deer. You will find 70 percent of the province’s 140,000 to 235,000 moose in the northern half, most abundant in the central and sub-boreal interior and the boreal plains of northeastern BC. About 38,000 to 71,000 Rocky Mountain elk range the province’s interior.

Whitetails are currently expanding their range in British Columbia and are becoming increasingly abundant, particularly in the southern interior and the northeastern portion of the province. Game officials estimate the population at about 100,000, which fluctuates depending on the severity of winters. Muleys abound in the province’s interior, with about 115,000 to 205,000 animals.

There are few better locations for black bear, estimated at 120,000-160,000 animals. You will find them in wetter climates, where preferred food sources grow, or along the coast, where there is a ready supply of salmon. Spring and fall bear seasons offer some exciting spot & stalk action for trophy-class bruins. Black bears are not always black, and this variation is most apparent in British Columbia where other color phases occur, including cinnamon, brown, and blonde. A white-colored morph, called Kermode or Spirit Bear, is reported most frequently on the north-central coast. The blue phase, or “glacier” bear, is sometimes seen in the extreme northwest corner of the province. There are no open seasons on Kermode or Glacier bears.

Grizzlies range over four-fifths of the land area of the province across northern British Columbia, southward in the Coast Mountains to about Jervis Inlet and down through the Rocky, Purcell, and Selkirk mountains to the U.S. border. The current population estimate (updated in 2012) is approximately 15,000 animals.

Avid big game hunters will also find bighorn and thinhorn sheep and mountain goats. You can hunt cougar, wolf, and even turkeys, and there are special bow seasons for small game in some units.

Non-residents of British Columbia hunting big game must be accompanied by either a licenced BC guide or a resident who holds a Permit to Accompany.

The season dates below are a sampling, focusing on archery season dates because the climates, season dates, limits, requirements, and species vary greatly between regions. See the 2014-2016 Hunting & Trapping Synopsis for a complete summary of opportunities.

A Hunting licence (res. $32, Canadian non-res. $75, non-res. alien $180) is required in addition to the fees below. The licence year runs Apr. 1-Mar. 31.

WHITETAIL
Season: Archery Sept. 1-Dec. 20 (earliest and latest dates, varies by region and unit).
Limit: 1-3 (point restrictions and limit vary by management unit,).
Fees: Deer tag res. $15, Canadian non-res. and non-res alien $125.
MULE DEER/BLACK-TAILED DEER
Season: Archery Aug. 1-Jan. 15 (earliest and latest dates, varies by region and unit).
Limit: 1-3 generally (point restrictions and limits vary by management unit); limit higher in some units.
Fees: Deer tag res. $15, Canadian non-res. and non-res alien $125.
BLACK BEAR
Season: Fall Archery Aug. 25-Sept. 9 (earliest and latest dates, varies by region and unit). Spring General Apr. 1-June 30 (earliest and latest dates, varies by region and unit).
Limit: 2 (1 in some regions).
Fees: Bear tag res. $20, Canadian non-res. and non-res alien $180.
ELK
Season: Archery Sept. 1-Oct. 31 (earliest and latest dates, varies by region and unit).
Limit: 1 (point restrictions vary by unit).
Fees: Elk tag res. $25, Canadian non-res. and non-res alien $250.
MOOSE
Season: Archery Sept. 1-Nov. 20 (earliest and latest dates, varies by region and unit).
Limit: 1 (point and sex restrictions apply in various units).
Fees: Moose tag res. $25, Canadian non-res. and non-res alien $250.
MOUNTAIN SHEEP
Season: Bighorn Aug. 15-Oct. 25, Thinhorn Aug. 1-Oct. 15 (earliest and latest dates, varies by region and unit).
Limit: 1 (generally full curl).
Fees: Sheep tag res. $60, Canadian non-res. and non-res alien $620.
MOUNTAIN GOAT
Season: Aug. 1-Feb. 28 (earliest and latest dates, varies by region and unit).
Limit: 1 (male).
Fees: Goat tag res. $40, Canadian non-res. and non-res alien $350.
COUGAR
Season: Sept. 1-June 15 (earliest and latest dates, varies by region and unit).
Limit: 1, 2.
Fees: Cougar tag res. $30, Canadian non-res. and non-res alien $230.
CARIBOU
Season: Archery Sept. 1-30 (earliest and latest dates, varies by region and unit).
Limit: 1 (point restrictions apply in most units).
Fees: Caribou tag res. $20, Canadian non-res. and non-res alien $230.
WOLF
Season: Aug. 1-June 15 (earliest and latest dates, varies by region and unit).
Limit: 2, 3. No bag limits in some units.
Fees: Wolf tag Canadian non-res. and non-res alien $50.
TURKEY
Season: Spring Apr. 15-May 15, 2012. Fall Archery Sept. 1-Oct. 15.
Limit: 1 (generally a bearded bird).
Fees: Turkey tag Canadian non-res. and non-res alien $50.

Min. draw weight: Crossbow (does not include compound crossbow) Bow A—Must have a pull of no less than 68 kg (150 lbs.) or a bolt (quarrel) weighing no less than 16.2 g (250 grains). For big game, the bolt (quarrel) must have a broadhead of at least 2.2 cm (7/8 inch) at the widest point. Bow B—no less than 55 kg (120 lbs.) or a bolt (quarrel) weighing no less than 16.2 g (250 grains). For big game, the bolt (quarrel) must have a broadhead of at least 2.2 cm (7/8 inch) at the widest point. Compound Crossbow—Bow C—Must have pull of no less than 45 kg (100 lbs.) at a peak weight or bolt weighing no less than 16.2 g (250 grains). For big game, must have an arrow with a broadhead at least 2.2 cm (7/8 inch) at the widest point. Longbow, Recurve, Compound—Bow D—Must have pull of no less than 18 kg (40 lbs.) within the archer’s draw length. For big game, must have an arrow with a broadhead at least 2.2 cm (7/8 inch) at the widest point. Bow E—(Bison only, does not include compound crossbow) must have a pull no less than 22.6 kg (50 lbs.) within the archer’s draw length, an arrow greater than 26 g (400 grains) in weight, and a broadhead greater than 8.1 g in weight and 2.2 cm (7/8 inch) at its widest point. For black bear, caribou, cougar, elk, grizzly, moose, mountain goat, mountain sheep, wolf—must use Bow A, C or D. For bobcat, deer, lynx, wolverine and unpland game birds—must use Bow B, C, or D. Migratory birds must use Bow D. Bison must use Bow E
Broadheads: Minimum 7/8-inch width.
Crossbows: Legal.
Hunter ed: Recommended, but not required.
Bowhunting organization: British Columbia Archery Association.
Info/licences: Fish and Wildlife Branch, Ministry of Environment, P.O. Box 9391 Stn Prov Govt., Victoria, BC V8W 9M8; (250) 387-9771.

Manitoba

Manitoba hunters are fortunate to have hunting opportunities available on millions of hectares of wildlife management areas (WMAs), provincial forests, some provincial parks, and other undesignated Crown lands.

Manitoba is on the northern limit of the whitetail range; their body and antler size tend to be larger than those of their counterparts to the south. Over the years large-antlered animals have been taken throughout the province under many conditions, not confined to any single area.

Manitoba has both spring and fall black bear seasons, and all such hunting is done over baits from either blinds or treestands. The province has a stable population 30,000+ bears. The foreign-resident hunters three-year average success rate is 70 percent, and the resident hunters three-year average success rate is 40 percent, with most bears being taken in the spring. Forested areas throughout the province offer excellent bear hunting opportunity with about 50 percent of the animals on the western side of the province being color phases other than black.

Gray wolf and coyote opportunities are available to residents and non-residents. Residents may hunt under the authority and possession of any current big game licence; there are no tagging requirements. The hunter’s big game licence number is all that is required. A non-resident and a foreign resident may hunt gray wolves and coyotes if they possess an unused deer, moose, black bear or caribou game tag (personal or party), which is valid for that area, species, and time period.

To be eligible for a Manitoba hunting licence you must be 12 years of age or older, and possess a valid Hunter Education Certificate or equivalent from another jurisdiction or a card issue under subsection 4(4) of the Hunter Education Regulation MR 128/2007.

Bows are allowed during big game rifle and archery seasons. Bows may not be used under authority of a muzzleloader licence. While hunting big game during an archery-only season, a hunter may not possess any other device that may be used to kill big game.
Foreign resident (non-Canadian) big game hunters must book their hunt through a registered lodge or outfitter who is authorized to outfit non-resident hunters, and they must be accompanied by a licenced Manitoba guide.

Maps, including land ownership maps, are available that provide valuable information to hunters. For more information or to purchase maps, please contact CanadaMapSales toll-free at (877) 627-7226, or visit their website.

DEER
Season: Archery Aug. 31-Nov. 29 (earliest and latest dates, varies by GHA).
Limit: 1 antlered deer. Residents have opportunities for a second and third deer licence in certain GHAs under certain conditions with a limit of 1 anterless deer.
Fees: Res. $41.25, second/third deer $26.25. Non-res. Canadian $170.75. Non-res. foreign $232.75.
BEAR
Season: Fall Aug. 31-Oct. 11; Spring Apr. 27-June 30, 2016 (earliest and latest dates, varies by residency and GHA).
Limit: 1 adult (sows with cubs are protected).
Fees: Res. $36.25. Non-res. Canadian $118.75. Non-res. foreign $232.75.
CARIBOU
Season: Aug. 31-Feb. 29, 2016 (earliest and latest dates, varies by residency and GHA).
Limit: 1.
Fees: Res. $52.25, second caribou $108.25. Non-res. Canadian and foreign $375.75, second caribou $375.75.
ELK (res. only)
Season: Archery Aug. 31-Nov. 8 (earliest and latest dates, varies by GHA).
Limit: 1.
Fees: Res. $57.25.
MOOSE
Season: Archery Draw (res.-only selected GHAs) Aug. 31-Oct. 18 (earliest and latest dates, varies by GHA).
Limit: 1.
Fees: Res archery/general $57.25, Conservation Moose Licence Package $88.25. Non-res. Canadian $314.75. Non-res. foreign $375.75.
TURKEY (res. only)
Season: Fall Oct. 3-18. GHAs 22, 27-35A; Spring Apr. 25-May 17, 2015.
Limit: 1 (bearded only in spring).
Fees: Res. $28.25. Youth res. $10.25.
GRAY WOLF
Season: Aug. 25-Mar. 31, 2016 (earliest and latest dates, varies by Wolf Hunting Zone).
Limit: 1.
Fees: NA. Hunters must possess either a used or unused big game licence depending on residency.

Min. draw weight: 18.1 kg (40 lbs.) all bows; measured at 71 cm (28 inches) draw for longbows or recurves.
Broadheads: Minimum 2.2-cm (7/8-inch) width.
Crossbows: Legal during rifle and muzzleloader deer seasons, or during archery seasons with disabled permit. Minimum draw weight 68 kg (150 lbs).
Hunter ed: Required for first-time hunters or hunters born on or after January 1, 1951.
Bowhunting organization: Archers and Bowhunters Association of Manitoba.
Info/licences: Manitoba Conservation, Wildlife Branch, Box 42, 200 Saulteaux Cres., Winnipeg, MB R3J 3W3; (204) 945-7775.

New Brunswick

Bowhunters in New Brunswick will find their best prospects with whitetails, bears, and moose. Large deer and one of the lowest hunter densities in the northeast make New Brunswick a great bowhunting destination. The province boasts the highest percentage of mature bucks over 200 pounds of every destination in the Northeast. Racks are heavy, and routinely non-typical with split brow tines and other anomalies make New Brunswick racks almost as impressive as its buck weights. Look for the best concentrations of deer in the southern half of the province.

The 2014 deer hunting season was average with a harvest of 6,935 deer (328 by bow, 64 by crossbow), which was a 15 percent decrease from 2013, but above totals from 2008-2012. The majority of the harvest came from WMZs 6, 10, 16, 20, 22 and 23. A total of 71 percent were bucks, 24 percent does, and 5 percent fawns.

Hunters harvested a total of 1,678 black bears: 1,262 in spring, 404 in fall gun season, and 12 in fall bow-only season. This is an increase from the 1,566 bears in 2013. Of the 25 WMZs that have black bear populations, seven WMZs (5, 7, 10, 15, 16, 20 and 21) contributed 52 percent of the total harvest. New Brunswick’s black bear population is currently estimated at more than 16,000 animals. Bear hunters should expect to have an average year in 2014. Most of the bears taken during the 11-week spring season are killed during the last week of May through the first week of June. Non-resident bear hunters must hunt with a licenced guide.

The total registered moose harvest in 2014 was a record-setting 3,683 moose. This high harvest is a result of a considerable increase in available moose licences in recent years. The overall hunter success rate was 80 percent. New Brunswick’s moose population appears to be growing or stable in most areas of the province, with the strongest growth in the northwest. However, moose are showing declines in parts of southwestern New Brunswick. Non-resident moose hunters must hunt with a licenced guide.

All fees listed below include conservation fees and applicable taxes.

BEAR
Season: Fall Bow & Crossbow Sept. 21-26. Fall Sept. 1-Nov. 1. Spring Apr. 18-June 25, 2016.
Limit: 1.
Fees: Res. $47.46, age 65+ $25.99. Non-res. licence $184.19.
MOOSE
Season: Sept. 22-26.
Limit: 1.
Fees: Res. $81.36, age 65+ $41.81. Non-res. $619.24.
DEER
Season: Bow Zones 1&2 Oct. 5-Nov. 8; Zones 6-8, 10-27 Oct. 5-Nov. 21. Grand Manan Special Bow Hunt Oct. 5-24.
Limit: 1 (non-res. bucks only).
Fees: Res. deer $38.42, age 65+ $21.47. Non-res. deer $206.79.

Min. draw weight: 20 kg (45 lbs.).
Broadheads: Must be unbarbed, minimum 20 mm wide, and cannot be coated with poison, equipped with rippers, or designed to explode.
Crossbows: Legal for all seasons and species except for migratory birds and for deer during the “bow only” season for deer. Crossbows used to hunt deer, moose and bear must have a minimum draw weight of 68 kg (150 lbs.), and be fitted with broadheads and have a working safety.
Hunter ed: All bowhunters (crossbows included) must complete a recognized Bow Hunter Education course. Bow Hunter Education certificates from other provinces, territories and the United States are valid in New Brunswick.
Bowhunting organization: Archers Association of New Brunswick.
Info/licences: New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Branch, Box 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1; (506) 453-3826.

Newfoundland And Labrador

Bowhunting season for Newfoundland and Labrador’s world-class big game line-up begins two weeks prior to the opening of the rifle season—early to mid September—and non-residents have the opportunity to do single or multi-species hunts.

Newfoundland is the only place that allows non-residents to hunt woodland caribou. However, Newfoundland herds continue to show that mortality rates are exceeding the recruitment required to maintain stable populations. Some herds are showing signs of stability or increase, while others continue to decline. The island caribou population is expected to continue to decline at a slow rate in the near future, but wildlife officials are cautiously optimistic that further drastic declines are unlikely.

According to the latest hunting & trapping guide, recent surveys confirm that the number of George River caribou continues to decline. The George River caribou population has declined more than 97 percent since the late ’80s/early ’90s. Classification surveys conducted in late 2014 showed a marked improvement in the number of calves. While the findings are encouraging, alone it is not enough to allow the population to stabilize.

The moose population, the highest density found in North America, is estimated at 120,000, and success rates are very high, with a legitimate chance at specimens in the 50-inch-plus category. Every member of a hunting party may purchase a licence and take a moose. For the 2015-2016 season, 32,430 moose licences are available on the Island of Newfoundland; in Labrador a total of 310 moose licenses are available.

Black bears of Newfoundland and Labrador have a genetic predisposition toward a larger size. Bears in the 300- to 400-pound-plus range are common. Only one licence is required by hunters on the Island of Newfoundland to hunt black bear in both the spring and fall seasons.

Non-residents must hunt with a registered outfitter, and non-resident big game licences for bear, moose, and caribou are available only through outfitters. Your outfitter will be the primary contact and source of licence and information. For anyone pressed on time, this is an advantage because you won’t have wait on a big game licence draw or lottery—licences are included in your outfitter package. For a list of outfitters and information on non-resident hunting, contact the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation.

The fees listed below do not include HST.

CARIBOU (Newfoundland)
Season: General Sept. 12-Dec. 6 (earliest and latest dates); bowhunting begins Aug. 29 except in caribou management areas 70-72.
Limit: 2 per licence, either-sex.
Fees: Res. $52. Non-res. $675.
MOOSE
Season: Island—Sept. 12-Jan. 25, 2016, bowhunting for areas opening on Sept. 12 begins Aug. 29; for areas opening on Oct. 3, bowhunting begins Sept. 19. Labrador—Sept. 12-Mar. 13, 2016. Earliest and latest dates, vary by unit.
Limit: 1 per licence, most male only, some either-sex.
Fees: Res. $52. Non-res. $502.
BLACK BEAR
Season: Island—Fall Sept. 12-Nov. 1; Spring May 7-July 2, 2016. Labrador—Fall Aug. 10-Nov. 30 George River, Sept. 1-Nov. 30 Labrador South Zone; Spring Apr. 1-July 13, 2016.
Limit: 2 either-sex, no females with cubs.
Fees: Res. (Labrador) $35.10. Non-res. $150.

Min. draw weight: 20 kg (44 lbs.) at full draw.
Broadheads: Must be metal, unbarbed, and have two or more sharpened cutting edges.
Crossbows: Illegal.
Bowhunter ed: All hunters must provide equivalent proof or verification of meeting his/her jurisdictional hunting requirement.
Info/licences: Newfoundland and Labrador Outfitters Association (NLOA) at (866) 470-6562. Or contact the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, P.O. Box 8700, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6; (800) 563-6353; (709) 729-2830 (outside North America).

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories remain a big game hunter’s paradise, with seven species of large ungulates, including bison, two types of caribou and muskox, and three species of bear: black, grizzly, and polar. Dall sheep are also very popular.

Most hunters visiting the Arctic have their sights set on polar bears and muskoxen. The Western Arctic coast and islands of the Northwest Territories are home to approximately 3,000 polar bears. Two sub-populations are stable, and the third appears to be growing. Muskoxen populations number in the thousands. You can also hunt wolves and grizzlies in the Western Arctic.

In the Mackenzie Mountains, bowhunters can set their eyes on Dall’s sheep and mountain goats. The challenge is staying out of their keen sight. Alpine hunting begins in late summer or early autumn, with a bush plane or helicopter flight from Norman Wells or Fort Simpson, then up to sheep country on foot or horseback.

For wolf, black bear, or caribou, typical focus is on the wide-open Barrenlands. However, because barren ground caribou herds in the Northwest Territories have been declining and are at low numbers, there are currently no outfitted hunts for barren ground caribou. (Contact the local ENR office for the latest caribou regulations before you go.) Many of the NWT’s barren-ground herds (Porcupine, Cape Bathurst, Bluenose-West, Bathurst and Dolphin-Union) are now stable or increasing is size as a result of improved calf survival and management actions implemented under the 2006-2010 NWT Barren-ground Caribou Management Strategy. Herd numbers remain low compared to peak levels so measures to help recovery and long-term sustainability are still needed.

Bowhunting is subject to the same regulations as firearms hunting. Hunting seasons vary by area, and all non-resident and non-resident foreign hunters must enlist the services of an outfitter to hunt big game species.

Anyone who hunts the NWT is advised to be in good shape; it will make the hunting trip much more enjoyable. Also expect challenging hunts—success is far from guaranteed, but you will up your odds considerably with proper preparations (like honing your longer-distance shots) and choosing the right hunting location.

BLACK BEAR
Season: Aug. 15-Oct. 31, or Aug. 15-June 30, 2016 (varies by area and residential status).
Limit: 1 adult bear not accompanied by a cub.
Fees: Res, $20. Non-res. $40 plus $200 trophy fee. Non-res. foreign $100 plus $200 trophy fee.
POLAR BEAR
Season: Oct. 1-May 31; or Jan. 1-May 31; or Dec. 1-May 31 (varies by area and residential status).
Limit: Any number of adult bears not accompanied by a cub or in or constructing a den, in accordance with the number of tags held.
Fees: Res. $20. Non-res. $40 plus $1,500 trophy fee. Non-res. foreign $100 plus $1,500 trophy fee.
GRIZZLY BEAR
Season: Aug. 31-Oct. 31 or Apr. 15-May 31, or Sept. 1- May 31 (varies by area and residential status).
Limit: Res. 1 adult bear not accompanied by a cub or in a den. Only one per lifetime of hunter (hunting areas D/OT/01-02, G/OT/01, S/OT/01-05 res. only). All hunters—any number of adult bears not accompanied by a cub or in a den in accordance with the number of tags held (all other open areas).
Fees: Res. $20. Non-res. $40 plus $2,000 trophy fee. Non-res. foreign $100 plus $2,000 trophy fee.
WOOD BISON
Season: Sept. 1-Mar. 15. (Year-round in D/WB/05 res. only.)
Limit: Res. 1 male on a draw system. (Regs vary for res.)
Fees: Res. $20 (in hunting area U). $100 (in D/WB/05).
BARREN GROUND CARIBOU
Season: Aug. 15-Apr. 30, Aug. 15-Nov. 15, Aug. 15-Oct. 31 (varies by units and residential status).
Limit: Res. 2 (males only). Non-res. in accordance with number of tags held.
Fees: Res. $20. Non-res. $40 first tag/$80 second plus $300 trophy fee. Non-res. foreign $100 first tag/$200 second plus $300 trophy fee.
WOODLAND CARIBOU
Season: Res. July 15-Jan. 31. Non-res. July 25-Oct. 31 (varies by unit).
Limit: 1.
Fees: Res. $20. Non-res. $40 plus $400 trophy fee. Non-res. foreign $100 plus $400 trophy fee.
MOUNTAIN GOAT
Season: July 15-Oct. 31.
Limit: 1.
Fees: Same as woodland caribou.
MOOSE
Season: Res. Sept. 1-Jan. 31. Non-res. Sept. 1-Oct. 31.
Limit: 1.
Fees: Same as woodland caribou.
MUSKOX
Season: June 15-Apr. 30 (earliest and latest dates; varies by hunt area and residential status).
Limit: 1 or more, in accordance with number of tags held.
Fees: Res. $20. Non-res. $40 plus $300 trophy fee. Non-res. foreign $100 plus $300 trophy fee.
DALL SHEEP
Season: July 15-Oct. 31.
Limit: 1 male with minimum 3/4 curl.
Fees: Same as woodland caribou.
WOLF
Season: July 25-May 31 (earliest and latest dates, varies by unit and residential status).
Limit: 1 or more, in accordance with number of tags held.
Fees: Res. $20. Non-res. $40 plus $200 trophy fee. Non-res. foreign $100 plus $200 trophy fee.

Min. draw weight: At least 20 kg (45 lbs.) at 700 mm (27.5 in.) draw.
Broadheads: Width of at least 25 mm at the widest point or a barbless 3-bladed bodkin head and must not contain any explosive.
Crossbows: Legal. Minimum draw weight of 68 kg (150 lbs.) at 700 mm (27.5 in.), a bolt weight of at least 16.2 g and at least a 2.2 cm (7/8 in.) diameter cutting broadhead.
Hunter ed: Hunter harvester training now required. See regs for details and exemptions.
Info/licences: Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 600, 5102-50th Avenue, Yellowknife, NT X1A 3S8; (867) 873-7645. For additional info or licenced outfitter lists: NWT Tourism, Box 610, Yellowknife, NT, Canada X1A 2N5; (800) 661-0788, Outside North America (867) 873-7200.

Nova Scotia

A good abundance of deer, bear and upland game birds, plus bowhunting-only opportunities, means there is plenty of room for resident and visiting hunters. Non-residents require a guide to hunt big game in Nova Scotia.

In 2013 (last figures available), the total registered deer harvest in Nova Scotia was 10,819 (1,720 by bow/muzzleloader), significantly higher than 2012’s total of 9,036 (351 by bow). Harvest statistics and success rates are available online.

In 2013, 8,891 resident and 93 non-resident hunters harvested 1,898 bears (hunting and snaring) for a 21.4 percent overall success rate, an increase from the 2012 season. Bear hunters do not require a special bow stamp to harvest bear.

Moose hunting is only available to Nova Scotia residents and is only permitted in Inverness and Victoria counties of Cape Breton Island. The Cape Breton moose population is managed through a zone-based strategy, and hunting licences are distributed through a lottery-based system. In 2013, there were 10,827 applications for 345 licences. Hunters typically harvest between 250 to 275 moose.

Fees below do not include HST. In addition, a $5.15 Wildlife Habitat Stamp is required.

DEER
Season: Archery & Muzzleloader Sept. 8-Oct. 25, Dec. 13 (first two weeks bow only; excludes Sundays). General Open Season Oct. 31-Dec. 6 (bowhunting and crossbow hunting permitted).
Limit: 1 deer per calendar year. Deer hunting is limited to antlered deer except for hunters having a valid antlerless deer hunting stamp (by draw; NS residents only).
Fees: Res. Deer Hunting Stamp (antlered) $27.87 (seniors free), $6.57 bow stamp (seniors free). Antlerless (res. only) additional $8.51 application fee. Non-res. Deer Hunting Stamp $137.09, bow stamp $13.14.
MOOSE (res. only)
Season: Sept. 29-Nov. 8; Dec. 9-11 (restricted to Zone 1). Consult regs for specific seasons for each zone.
Limit: 1.
Fees: Res. Moose Hunting Licence $66.30, Companion Moose Hunting Stamp $24.96.
BEAR
Season: Sept. 8-Dec. 6 (excludes Sundays).
Limit: 1.
Fees: Res. Bear Hunting $26.57 (seniors free). Non-res. Bear Hunting $124.52.

Min. draw weight: Moose—50 lbs. or greater within archery’s draw length. Bear and Deer—40 lbs. or greater within archer’s draw length.
Broadheads: Barbless. Minimum two sharpened edges. Minimum 2.2-cm width on crossbow bolt heads.
Crossbows: Permitted, except during the Special Open Season for Bowhunting. Must be certified; see hunting regs. Minimum 68 kg (150-pound) or greater draw weight. Crossbow hunters must wear hunter orange or camouflage orange.
Bowhunter ed: Certification required.
Bowhunting organization: Archers Association of Nova Scotia,.
Info/licences: Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Division, 136 Exhibition St., Kentville, NS B4N 4E5; (902) 679-6091.

Nunavut

Nunavut offers a variety of hunting opportunities for the truly adventurous. In addition to caribou and wolves, it is one of the few places in North America you can hunt for muskoxen and polar bears.

Muskox hunts are usually conducted in March and April, when snow conditions and long days allow for easy travel. Approximately 60,000 muskoxen, usually living in herds of 10 to 20 animals, thrive in Nunavut.

Nunavut claims at least 50 percent of the world’s polar bear population, and by international agreement, hunts must be conducted by traditional methods using dog teams and camping out on the ice. A successful polar bear hunter must turn in the lower jaw, or undamaged canine post-tooth, any lip tattoos and ear tags present as well as provide evidence of sex (baculum/penis bone). Non-residents and foreigners require a licenced outfitter and must be accompanied by a licenced guide to hunt big game.

Several caribou herds, totaling more than 750,000 animals, range across all three regions of Nunavut. The barren-ground caribou is the most popular land animal, and the migration patterns of these herds are well known to local Inuit hunters and guides.

Bowhunting is subject to the same regulations as hunting with a firearm. You must obtain a Wildlife Export Permit if you wish to export legally harvested game, a gift of meat from a hunter, legally purchased meat, suntanned fur and raw hides, ducks or geese, antlers, skulls, teeth, bones or any other parts of wildlife. Certification is required before exporting some species, including any parts of the animal (grizzly bear, polar bear, and muskoxen). Any required trophy fees must be paid by all non-resident hunters before a harvested animal or any part thereof is exported. Wildlife Export permits are available at the Department of Environment offices in most communities. There is no fee for a Wildlife Export Permit.

The 2015-2016 Summary of Hunting Regulations was not available at press time. The fees and dates below are from 2014-2015, the latest regs published. Expect similar time frames.

BLACK BEAR
Season: Aug. 15-June 30, Hunting Area N3.
Limit: All hunters 1 adult bear not accompanied by a cub. A black bear cub has a hide measuring less than 1.2m from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail when fresh, and less than 1.6 m when stretched and dried.
Fees: Res. $10. Non-res. tag $20, trophy fee $100. Non-res. foreigner tag $50, trophy fee $100.
POLAR BEAR
Season: Hunting Areas N/PB/02-03, N/PB/05, N/PB/07, N/PB/12-13 Oct 1-May 31. Hunting Areas N/PB/06, N/PB/08-11 Aug. 1-May 31. Hunting Area N/PB/04 Jan. 1-May 31.
Limit: Any number of adult bears not accompanied by a cub in accordance with the number of tags held. A cub is a bear less than one year old as determined by the number of growth rings in the post-canine tooth. Unused tags must be returned to a Conservation Officer immediately after the hunt.
Fees: Res. tag $10. Non-res. tag $20, trophy fee $750. Non-res. foreigner tag $50, trophy fee $750.
GRIZZLY BEAR
Season: Hunting Areas N/GB/01-02 Aug. 31-Oct. 31 and Apr. 15-May 31.
Limit: Any number of adult bears not accompanied by a cub in accordance with the number of tags held.
Fees: Res. tag $10. Non-res. tag $20, trophy fee $1,000. Non-res. Foreigner tag $50, trophy fee $1,000. Unsuccessful hunters must return unused tags immediately after the hunt.
BARREN-GROUND CARIBOU
Season: Res. Aug. 15-Apr. 30, Areas N/BC/03-12. Non-res. Aug. 15-Oct. 31, Areas N/BC/06, N/BC/08-09. Non-res. foreigner Aug. 15-Nov. 30, Areas N/BC/03-05, N/BC/07, N/BC/10-12.
Limit: Res. 5. Non-res. any number of males in accordance with the number of tags held.
Fees: Res. tag $10. Non-res. first tag $20, additional tags $40 ea., trophy fee $150. Non-res. foreign first tag $50, additional tags $100 ea., trophy fee $150.
MOOSE (res. only)
Season: Sept. 1-Jan. 31, Hunting Area N3.
Limit: 1.
Fees: Tag $10.
MUSKOX
Season: Aug. 15-May 31 (earliest and latest dates, varies by hunt area).
Limit: 1 or more, in accordance with number of tags held.
Fees: Res. tag $10. Non-res. $20, trophy fee $150. Non-res. foreigner tag $50, trophy fee $150.
Hunters must not knowingly approach on a vehicle (including a snowmobile or ATV) no closer than 1.5 km of the muskoxen.
WOLF
Season: Res. N/1 & N2, Sept. 1-May 15; N/3 Aug. 15-May 31. Non-res. N2 & N3 Aug. 15-May 31.
Limit: Res. 1 or more, in accordance with number of tags held. Non-res. 1.
Fees: Res. tag $10. Non-res. tag $20, trophy fee $100. Non-res. foreigner tag $50, trophy fee $100.

Min. draw weight: 20 kg (45 lbs.) at 700 mm (27.5 in.) draw.
Broadheads: Width of at least 25 mm at the widest point or a barbless three-bladed bodkin head and must not contain any explosive.
Crossbows: Unspecified.
Baiting: Unspecified.
Bowhunter education permit: Not required.
Info/licences: Nunavut Tourism, Box 1450, Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0; (866) NUNAVUT; Outside North America (800) 491-7910. Regs info.

Ontario

Ontario offers very good opportunities for bowhunters with lengthy seasons and healthy wildlife populations in many areas.
Bowhunting opportunities for the province’s 400,00 deer abound, allowing a range of experiences for both resident and non-resident hunters. Review the annual Hunting Regulation Summary for more information on WMU-specific deer validation tags and unit-specific conditions (e.g., use of licenced guides in WMUs located within the Territorial District of Rainy River).

Bowhunting opportunities for the province’s estimated 91,600 moose are found in all three regions of the province Ontario offers special archery-only seasons for moose that generally start in the third week of September. These early archery season opportunities occur in both northeastern and northwestern Ontario. Non-residents are required to use an outfitter. Please refer to the Hunting Regulations Summary for details on WMU moose tag quotas, guaranteed group sizes, and guide requirements. For further information on WMU moose population, biology, management, and harvest trends, click here.

Ontario’s black bear population is estimated to be near 100,000 animals and one of the largest in North America. Black bears are distributed widely across northern and central Ontario, with a range that extends into southern Ontario. Much of Ontario offers plentiful fall black bear hunting opportunities with bears being most abundant in the lush Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest region. Black bear hunting over bait and with a bow are permitted in all WMUs that have an open black bear hunting season. Most non-residents are required to use an operator or outfitter licenced to provide services to non-residents.

Wild turkeys were re-introduced in 1984 and now number roughly 70,000 birds. The wild turkey range extends across southern Ontario and continues to expand northward. Turkey hunters are encouraged to review open seasons and regulations in the Ontario Hunting Regulations Summary. Those who have never hunted wild turkeys in Ontario must attend a half-day seminar and pass a test, or purchase a home-study DVD and pass a test, before purchasing a wild turkey licence.

All Ontario hunters must have an Outdoors Card to purchase Ontario hunting licences. The current cost of an Outdoors Card (valid for three years) is $9.68. Hunting licence information is available online. If you have a question about the Outdoors Card, call (800) 387-7011 from anywhere in North America.

Bows may be used during regular firearm seasons, but hunter orange must be worn by all persons hunting during the open gun seasons for deer and moose. In most areas, non-resident deer hunters are not required to use an outfitter or guide, with the exception of the Territorial District of Rainy River; see the Ontario Hunting Regulations Summary.

DEER
Season: Archery Sept. 1-Dec. 31 (earliest opening and latest closing dates; varies by WMU).
Limit: 1 antlered deer per hunter (antlerless tags available to Ontario residents by draw). Some WMUs offer additional game seals. See regs.
Fees: Res. deer licence $48.43; additional game seal $48.43 ea. (selected WMUs). Non-res. deer licence $241.61; additional game seal $241.61 (selected WMUs). Non-res. Export Permit $35.
BLACK BEAR
Season: Aug. 15-Nov. 30 (earliest opening and latest closing dates; varies by WMU).
Limit: 1. Second res. game seals in some WMUs.
Fees: Res. $48.43. Non-res. black bear licence $241.61. Non-res. Export Permit $35.
MOOSE
Season: General resident seasons Sept. 19-Dec. 15 (earliest opening and latest closing dates). Non-resident seasons generally start two days later, some run shorter. Non-resident seasons Sept. 21-Nov. 15 (earliest opening and latest closing dates).
Limit: 1.
Fees: Res. $55.70. Non-res. $483.48 (outfitter required). Non-res. Export Permit $35.
ELK
Season: Res.-only general Sept. 14-27.
Limit: 1 every 5 years.
Fees: Res. elk licence $53.39 + $16.95 application. Non-res. Export Permit $35.
WILD TURKEY
Season: Fall Oct. 13-25. Spring Apr. 25-May 31, 2016.
Limit: Spring 2 bearded birds (1 bird per licence, birds must be taken on different days). Fall 1 bird (either-sex).
Fees: Small game res. $29.19/non-res. $120.93 + turkey licence $29.19.

Min. draw weight: Longbows and compounds 18 kg (39.7 lbs.) for deer and turkey; 22 kg (48.5 lbs.) for bear, elk, and moose. Both measurements are at a draw length of 700 mm (27.6 inches) or less.
Broadheads: Minimum 22 mm (0.87 inch) width. Minimum two sharp cutting edges. Minimum arrow length 600 mm (23.6 inches).
Crossbows: Minimum draw length 300 mm (11.8 inches). Minimum draw weight 54 kg (99.2 lbs.) for deer and turkey; 54 kg (119 lbs.) for bear, elk, and moose.
Hunter ed: Required for first-time hunters.
Bowhunting organizations: Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. Quality Deer Management Association, Ontario Chapters.
Info/licences: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, 300 Water St., Box 7000, Peterborough, ON K9J 8M5; (800) 667-1940.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island is the only province in Canada that does not have a Big Game licence. That’s because their largest game animal is the eastern coyote. Still, they do allow bowhunting for small game, in accordance with the regular seasons, regulations and bag limits set for firearms hunters. Geese, of which there are thousands, are probably your best bowhunting bet. Most of PEI is privately owned. For locations of public lands, visit the government website.

Nonresident hunters must be accompanied by either a licenced resident hunter or a registered hunting guide while hunting in PEI. Non-resident licence holders are advised that their valid non-resident hunting licence, attached to the game being exported, is a shipping coupon authorizing them to export game without a shipping permit.

The Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division offers online purchasing of hunting licences and online hunter education. The department also issues the PEI Wildlife Card. This card is for people trained in hunter safety, bowhunter safety, fur harvesting, and guiding, and is a prerequisite to purchasing a hunting licence. For non-residents, certifications issued by the province, state, or country where they live are accepted in PEI.

Resident Game Hunting licences are $5 for ages 18-59, free to those under age 18 or over 60. The Wildlife Conservation Fund fee is $20 for those ages 16-64 and $13 to those age 65 and older. Season dates below are from 2014, as the 2015-2016 dates have not been set, but expect similar timeframes.

RUFFED GROUSE
Season: Sept. 29-Dec. 31.
Limit: 3 per day/6 possession.
Fees: Res. Game Hunting $5. Non-res. $75. Wildlife Conservation Fund $20.
SNOWSHOE HARE
Season: Oct. 1-Feb. 28.
Limit: 5 per day.
Fees: Same as grouse.
RED FOX
Season: Nov. 1-Jan. 31.
Limit: None.
Fees: Same as grouse.
COYOTE
Season: Oct. 1-Mar. 31.
Limit: None.
Fees: Same as grouse.
RACCOON
Season: Oct. 1-Mar. 31.
Limit: None.
Fees: Same as grouse, +$7 permit to hunt raccoon at night.
GEESE
Season: Special Early Goose Sept. 2-15; General Oct. 1 to Dec. 31.
Limit: daily bag depends on season/16 possession.
Fees: Same as grouse + $17 migratory bird fee.

Min. draw weight: None.
Broadheads: No restrictions listed.
Crossbows: Legal for all seasons except waterfowl.
Bowhunter ed: Required. A regular Firearm Safety Certificate is valid.
Info/licences: Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division, 183 Upton Rd., P.O. Box 2000, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8; (902) 368-4683, (866) 368-4683.

Quebec

Quebec offers bowhunters a broad spectrum of outstanding opportunities and generous harvests. Since the province changed many “bow” seasons to “bow and crossbow” seasons in 2010, crossbow hunters have taken advantage of expanded opportunities and often outnumber those who hunt with a vertical bow.

Whitetail deer hunters throughout the province harvested 55,282 deer in 2014, down from the 61,067 in 2013, slightly below the 58,543 animals in 2012. Crossbow hunters took 11,263 while bowhunters took 1,077.

Quebec hosts an estimated 60,000 black bears with the best hunting occurring in central areas around the upper St. Maurice region. Quality and quantity rival anywhere in North America, and an outfitter black bear hunt (required for non-residents) is one of your best bets. During 2014 hunters took 4,611 bruins. In spring 2015, hunters took 1,258.

Hunting caribou can sometimes be boom and bust. During the 2013-2014 season, hunters took 3,790 animals. During the 2012-2013 season, hunters took 1,596 animals, down from 2011-2012’s season total of 4,802 animals (most from Zone 22 in the winter season). All three years are down significantly from the 12,402 animals during the 2010-2011 season, which shows that, as in Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec’s caribou populations have dropped.

There are over 115,000 moose in Quebec, and non-resident licences are available over the counter. Bowhunters will find best prospects in the southern half of the province. Province-wide, bowhunters took 510 moose, down from 2013’s 620, but similar to the 552 moose in 2012. Crossbow hunters took 2,723, down from the 3,327 in 2013 but ahead of the 2,634 in 2012.

Québec has 28 hunting zones. Please note that in wildlife sanctuaries and certain outfitting establishments with exclusive rights and in certain ZECs, some deer, bear and moose regulations differ from those of the zones in which these sanctuaries, establishments or ZECs occur, often providing additional hunting opportunities. Be familiar with those that apply to your hunting territory.

WHITETAIL
Season: Sept. 1-Nov. 29. (earliest and latest dates, varies by zone).
Limit: 1 for all zones, except unlimited in Zone 20 (Anticosti Island). Some second deer opportunities with antlerless licences.
Fees: Mainland res. $54.94, non-res. $294.53. Anticosti Island res. $69.72, non-res. $377.10. Anticosti Antlerless res. $36.53, non-res. $195.24.
BEAR
Season: Fall Aug. 25-Nov. 15 (earliest and latest dates, varies by zone). Spring May 15-June 30 (except in part of Zone 10, it ends June 10).
Limit: 1 per year, except in Zone 10 where a second can be harvest in fall season.
Fees: Res. $53.27. Non-res. $185.78.
MOOSE
Season: Aug. 29-Dec. 1 (earliest and latest dates, varies by zone).
Limit: 1 per 2, 3, or 4 hunters depending on area.
Fees: Res. $72.57. Non-res. $480.80.
CARIBOU
Season: Aug. 15-Oct. 4; Dec. 1-Jan. 31, 2016.
Limit: 2 per year.
Fees: Res. $68.05. Non-res. foreign $372.62.
TURKEY (res. only)
Season: Apr. 24-May 15, 2015
Limit: 2 bearded per year with second bird from areas 4, 5, 6, 8 or 10.
Fees: $34.31 res.

Min. draw weight: 40 lbs. with draw of 28 inches.
Broadheads: Must have minimum cutting diameter of 7/8 inch.
Crossbows: Legal during all regular firearms and muzzleloader seasons. Minimum 54 kg/120-pound draw weight with a bowstring extension of at least 25 cm/10 inches. Safety required. Minimum bolt length 40 cm/16 inches including tip See regulations for terms and conditions.
Bowhunter ed: Required for residents.
Bowhunting organization: Federation quebecoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs.
Info/licences: Développement durable, Environnement, Faune et Parcs, Édifice Marie-Guyart, 29th Floor, 675, boulevard René-Lévesque Est, Québec (Québec) G1R 5V7; (800) 561-1616; (418) 521-3830.

Saskatchewan

Archery opportunities in Saskatchewan are many and varied. Resident archers have access to specific seasons for whitetail and mule deer as well as moose and elk. Canadian resident archers are able to access most zones in the central portion of the province for whitetails and bears. Whitetail hunters must select one wildlife management zone and limit their hunting activities to that zone. Non-Canadians also have excellent archery opportunities primarily in the forest portion of the province. They can choose bear, moose, or whitetail hunts, which do require the use of a licenced outfitter.

According to the current Hunter’s and Trappers Guide, whitetail populations remain well below the long-term average. The season structure introduced in 2014 will remain in place for this year with an either-sex licence available across the province, and anterless opportunities limited to Saskatoon and Prince Albert WMZs.

Regular mule deer archery hunting seasons will continue in 24 WMZs, unchanged from 2014. Draw quotas are similar to 2014.
Moose populations continue to be near, or above optimum, for most areas, with a season in nearly every WMZ in the province. Draw moose quotas have increased in farmland Saskatchewan in order to reduce populations by targeting zones with high moose numbers or more vehicle collisions. Moose quotas in east-central forest zones have been reduced slightly to reflect current population levels. The overall number of licences available through the big game draw will remain at 6,000.

Bear populations appear to be stable, and hunting pressure on this species is light. Expect a quality hunting experience for bears across the southern edge of the Provincial forest.

Archery equipment can be used in any season, however there are specific archery seasons for some species/zone combinations. Consult the Saskatchewan 2015 Hunters’ and Trappers’ Guide, which lists all the season dates, for opportunities.

Saskatchewan sells licences 24 hours a day through its online Hunting, Trapping and Angling Licence (HAL) System. Once you are registered, based on your residency, you will be offered the available licences for which you are eligible. You will need access to a printer to print your licences on 8.5×11-inch plain paper. A Wildlife Habitat Certificate ($10.79) is required to purchase other hunting licences.

WHITETAIL
Season: Regular Archery and Antlerless Archery Sept. 15-Dec. 2 (earliest and latest dates).
Limit: 1 either-sex animal. 1 antlerless (res. only).
Fees: Res. either-sex $32.38; res. antlerless $19.62. Canadian res. $137.38. Non-Canadians $274.76.
BEAR
Season: Combined seasons Apr. 15-June 30 and Aug. 25-Oct. 14 (dates vary by WMZ—see Guide).
Limit: 1 either-sex bear.
Fees: SK res. $16.68, Canadian res. $53.97. Non-Canadian $161.92.
ELK (SK res. only)
Season: Draw Sept. 15-Dec. 19 (earliest/latest dates); Regular Aug. 20-Feb. 24, 2015 (earliest/latest dates).
Limit: 1 bulls-only or either-sex, varies by WMZ.
Fees: Res. $32.38 or Big Game Draw $53.97.
MOOSE (SK res. only)
Season: Oct. 1-14 and Nov. 1-14 (varies by zone).
Limit: 1 bull.
Fees: Res. $32.38.
MOOSE (SK res. only)
Season: Big Game Draw (all weapons) Oct. 1-14 and Nov. 1-14 (forest) and Oct. 15-Nov. 14 (farmland).
Limit: 1 either-sex or antlerless animal depending on zone.
Fees: $53.97
MOOSE (guided)
Season: Sept. 15-Nov. 30 (earliest and latest dates, varies by zone; see Guide for details).
Limit: 1 bull.
Fees: Canadian res. $161.92. Non-res. $323.83. Licences available through outfitters only.
MULE DEER (SK res. only)
Season: Archery Sept. 1-Oct. 31, Sept. 1-Dec. 7 (varies by zone).
Limit: 1 or 2, either-sex or antlerless, varies by zone.
Fees: $37.29 either-sex; $19.62 antlerless.

Min. draw weight: Compound and recurve minimum 40 lbs.
Broadheads: Cutting diameter at least 7/8 inch.
Crossbows: Minimum 150-lb. draw weight. Allowed in select WMZs during archery season. In most of the province allowed during the muzzleloader and rifle seasons only.
Hunter ed: Required for hunters born after January 1, 1971, to purchase a hunting licence in Saskatchewan.
Bowhunting organization: Saskatchewan Bowhunters Association.
Info/licences: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, Fish and Wildlife Branch, 3211 Albert St., Regina, SK; (800) 567-4224.

Yukon

If underutilized resources and a vast, remote wilderness experience are what you seek, the Yukon is for you. This is truly a big game hunter’s paradise with dense, largely under-hunted populations of many of North America’s premier species, like grizzly bear, black bear, moose, caribou, and Dall and Stone sheep. It is one of the few jurisdictions that can offer a mixed bag hunt. In addition licence fees are extremely reasonable. Finally seasons generally run from August 1 through to October 31 providing hunters with a large window of time in which to choose a specific hunt.

There are about 70,000-75,000 moose in the Yukon, 657 (416 res., 241 non-res.) taken by hunters in 2014. Overall numbers are thought to be stable. Hunters are encouraged to avoid hunting near communities and to try to get into the more remote backcountry. This will generally increase their chances of success, the quality of their hunt, and reduce hunting pressures elsewhere.

Black bears are distributed from the British Columbia-Yukon border to the northern tree line. They are most numerous in the southern and central parts of the territory, confined to the river valleys and their finger-like strips of forested habitat. A rough estimate puts the Yukon black bear population at about 10,000 animals. The 2014 harvest was 85.

Grizzly bears inhabit the entire Yukon from the British Columbia border to Herschel Island off the Arctic coast. The territorial population is estimated at 6,000 to 7,000 animals. Hunters took 65 animals in 2014.

Woodland caribou are scattered across the Yukon in 23 separate herds. The total Yukon woodland population is estimated at roughly 30,000 animals. Hunters took 242 in 2014-2015. Four woodland caribou herds are currently not open to licenced hunting due to declining populations.

All non-resident foreign hunters must employ the services of a registered Yukon outfitter. Non-resident Canadians must be guided by a registered Yukon outfitter OR guided by a Yukon resident holding a Special Guide licence. Seasons, bag limits and others regulations apply equally to firearm hunters and bowhunters in the Yukon except that bowhunters are not allowed to take bison. A Wildlife Export Permit is required for removing or shipping wildlife parts from the Yukon.

A Big Game licence (res. $10, non-res. $75, non-res foreign $150) + GST is required in addition to the fees below.

MOOSE
Season: Aug.1-Oct. 31.
Limit: 1 male.
Fees: Moose seal $5. Non-res. harvest fee $150.
CARIBOU
Season: Aug. 1-Jan. 31.
Limit: 2 bulls. Area limits may vary.
Fees: Caribou seal $5. Non-res. harvest fee $150.
BLACK BEAR
Season: Spring Apr.15-June 21. Fall Aug. 1-Nov. 15.
Limit: 2 per year. Sows with cubs are protected.
Fees: Black bear seal $5. Non-res. harvest fee $75.
GRIZZLY BEAR
Season: Spring Apr. 15-June 21. Fall Aug. 1-Nov.15.
Limit: 1 every three licence years. Additional with special permit. Females with cubs are protected.
Fees: Grizzly bear seal $25. Non-res. harvest fee $500 (males)/$750 (females).
MOUNTAIN GOAT
Season: Aug. 1-Oct. 31.
Limit: 1.
Fees: Goat seal $10. Non-res. harvest fee $200 .
MOUNTAIN SHEEP
Season: Aug. 1-Oct. 31.
Limit: 1 full-curl ram.
Fees: Sheep seal $10. Non-res. harvest fee $250.

Min. draw weight: 45 lbs. Bison hunters may not hunt with a bow.
Broadheads: Required for hunting; arrows must be at least 28 inches long.
Crossbows: Illegal.
Hunter ed: Required for resident hunters born after April 1, 1987.
Info/licences: Yukon Government, Department of Environment, Conservation Officer Services Branch, Box 2703 (V-3A), Whitehorse, YK Y1A 2C6; (867) 667-5221.