What You Need to Know When Planning Your Next Canada Fowling Adventure

fowling_canada_f

It was the classic day in Canada. The early October sunset created an ideal backdrop at the end of a perfect day. Six of us shot our limits of specklebelly and Canada geese after watching thousands of birds lift off the morning roost. In the evening we waded a wetland, and the mallards bombed us for two straight hours.

The diversity and opportunity to hunt waterfowl in Canada is mind-boggling. Even if you ignore the multitude of species available and just shot Canadas and greenheads, you'd likely set new personal standards for what a single hunt could provide.

Here's what you need to know to make your trip up north painless.


Where to Hunt: Canada is vast with lots of exploring to offer the adventuresome hunter. If you've never been, I'd highly recommend an outfitter. Good outfitters in Canada live on their reputation and word of mouth. They know local birds, how to spot them, get permission and be successful day after day.


If you're doing it on your own, the best place to start is by contacting the tourism departments in the province you are considering. They can provide info on historic migration routes, staging areas, accommodations, meals and other planning.


The most popular destinations have government Fish and Wildlife or Renewable Resources department websites with complete information for visiting hunters, covering everything from license requirements to accessing private lands.

fowling_canada_1Getting Access: In the majority of provinces it is still illegal to pay for access. The system in place means everyone has an equal opportunity by knocking on a door and asking permission. This may be intimidating for some people but is the only way to access private-land hotspots.

The best way to find landowners is with a land ownership map that can be purchased from the county or municipality where you plan to hunt. Some are available electronically and can be downloaded and kept on a mobile device.


As long as you have a good navigator, you'll always know where you are on the map and can ascertain land ownership. Some of the better search engines for finding people and phone numbers in Canada are whitepages.ca or Canada 411.

What to Tip: The standard outfitter tip would be 15 percent of the cost of the hunt. In most cases, the tip would be paid to the outfitter who then divides it among staff.

Canada Customs and Guns: Whether you're flying or driving, you'll have to pass through Canada Border Services where you will get checked by a customs officer to ensure you have documents and have not exceeded limits for what you can bring into the country.


You will need a valid passport. An officer can refuse you entry into Canada if your passport is set to expire within six months of your planned visit.

Bringing your shotgun into Canada requires filling out a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration form and signing in front of a Canada Customs Officer (do not sign the form previous to arriving at customs). You can bring up to three guns into Canada.

The form can be obtained from the Canadian Firearms Centre. U.S. regulations allow the export of 1,000 rounds of ammo per traveler, but most Canadian airlines have weight restrictions for ammo, which can be found at nrcan.gc.ca/explosives.

There is also a new electronic registration procedure for hunters traveling  with guns and ammunition from the U.S. Go to ice.gov/cpi/faq for more information. If all this seems daunting, simply call or visit the U.S. Customs branch at the airport you're flying out of to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork.

fowling_canda_3Proper License: Provinces allow people to purchase their licenses online or at most sporting good vendors. You also need a federal migratory bird license (good throughout Canada).

If you are planning on bringing your dog, you will have to provide veterinary certificates indicating shots and vaccinations are up to date. Your dog may need additional vaccinations to enter Canada.

Recommended for You

Make summertime barbecues super easy by grilling up one of these duck recipes from Scott Leysath, Recipes

2 Easy Duck Recipes for Summertime Grilling

WILDFOWL Online Staff

Make summertime barbecues super easy by grilling up one of these duck recipes from Scott...

The sweet, tangy flavor of orange juice combined with spicy jalapeños in this duck recipe will have your taste buds screaming for more. Recipes

Sweet Jalapeño Grilled Duck Recipe

Scott Leysath, "The Sporting Chef"

The sweet, tangy flavor of orange juice combined with spicy jalapeños in this duck recipe will...

To date, Ducks Unlimited has played a role in conserving 14 million acres. Industry

Ducks Unlimited: A Duck Man's Best Friend

David Hart

To date, Ducks Unlimited has played a role in conserving 14 million acres.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

As Groves, Texas duck call maker Sure-Shot Game Calls celebrates their 60th anniversary during 2019, company CEO Charlie Holder shows off the limited edition Yentzen Classic aimed at commemorating the life and times of company founder Jim 'Cowboy' Fernandez. With a special autographed box and a laser engraved call body, the Cowboy Classic is a perfect way to honor the legacy of the 1959 world duck calling champ and inventor of the double-reed duck call.

Arkansas Snow Geese

Arkansas Snow Geese

Wildfowl Editor Skip Knowles took this short video showing all the Snow Geese flying. Let's just say, he had a very good hunt!

Franchi 12-Gauge Affinity Semiauto Shotgun

Franchi 12-Gauge Affinity Semiauto Shotgun

Craig Boddington and Eric Poole take a look at the new modern Franchi Affinity shotgun.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

While there's no guarantee they'll make you a better shot, these 8 newly-designed shotgun choke Accessories

8 Best Choke Tubes for 2017

Wildfowl Online Staff - October 25, 2017

While there's no guarantee they'll make you a better shot, these 8 newly-designed shotgun...

Check out our picks for the best new waterfowl guns from the 2019 SHOT Show! Shotguns

Best New Waterfowl Shotguns for 2019

Lynn Burkhead - January 23, 2019

Check out our picks for the best new waterfowl guns from the 2019 SHOT Show!

Jim Orth needed'a simple blind for hunting Lake St. Clair. A staffing recruiter and outfitter from How-To

Building a Duck Boat Blind on a Budget

Mike Marsh - May 10, 2016

Jim Orth needed'a simple blind for hunting Lake St. Clair. A staffing recruiter and outfitter...

See More Stories

More North America

The cool thing about mallards is they can be found and hunt them in just about every state in the North America

7 Must-Hunt Mallard Meccas

Brad Fenson - August 05, 2016

The cool thing about mallards is they can be found and hunt them in just about every state in...


Guide Tony Bernsen called, killed ducks and entertained us with the ease of a man who had no North America

The Scablands

Joe Genzel - December 21, 2017

Guide Tony Bernsen called, killed ducks and entertained us with the ease of a man who had no

If you're a diehard waterfowler, Kaska Goose Lodge is the place for your next great adventure. North America

Experience It All at Manitoba's Kaska Goose Lodge

Online Staff

If you're a diehard waterfowler, Kaska Goose Lodge is the place for your next great adventure.

See More North America

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.