Fisheries and Land Resources

Small Game Regulations

In addition to the Regulations For All Hunters, these regulations apply to Small Game Hunters.

Age Limit

Youth age 12 to 15 may be issued a licence to shoot small game, coyotes, and wild birds permitted to be harvested under the authority of a Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit during an open season under the following conditions;

  • A youth must carry written consent of a parent or person who has custody of the youth;
  • A youth must be accompanied by a designated adult;
  • A designated adult who is not the parent or person who has custody of the youth must be designated in writing;
  • Youth must complete required hunter and firearms training course and;
  • Youth and Designated Adult must possess Outdoor Identification Card or equivalent document.  

Youth age 16 to 17 may be issued a licence to shoot small game, coyote, fur bearing animals and wild birds permitted to be harvested under the authority of a Migratory Game Bird Permit during the open season without consent to purchase a licence. Youth age 16 to 17 who hold a valid small game, coyote, trapping licence or Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit and who do not possess a Minors Firearms Possession Licence are required to be accompanied and supervised by a fully licenced adult.    

Requirements for Designated Adults

A designated adult accompanying a youth for hunting activity must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be over the age of 18;
  • Must not prohibited from carrying, transporting, possessing or using a firearm or from being a designated adult and;
  • Must be eligible for the same type of licence under which the youth is hunting, taking or killing an animal by shooting.  

While accompanying a youth hunter, a designated adult shall adhere to the following:

  • Remain at arm’s length of the youth; and be able to take control of the firearm if necessary;
  • Not accompany and supervise more than two youths at one time;
  • Carry evidence of his or her eligibility to hold the same type of licence  as the youth hunter (e.g. possess an Outdoor Identification Card or similar document) and;
  • If a designated adult is not the parent of the youth hunter a designation in writing is required from the parent or adult who has custody of the youth. The designation in writing must be carried by the youth or designated adult.  

Injured Animals

  • A designated adult may shoot an animal that has been injured by a youth under for the purposes of assisting the youth and shall keep the youth in sight at all times.
  • A designated adult is not required to keep the youth in sight at all times where the designated adult is pursuing an animal that has been injured by the youth.
  • With respect to Migratory Game Birds, the designated adult would also be required to hold a valid Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit in addition to the Outdoor Identification Card or similar document.  

Applying for a Youth Hunting Licence - Small Game

  • A licence to shoot small game or coyotes shall not be issued to a youth age 12 and under 16 without written consent of a parent or person who has custody of the youth and must be presented to local vendor outlets at the time of purchase.
  • The consent must be carried by the youth or the designated adult while hunting small game, coyotes or while hunting under the authority of a Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit.
  • Small Game Licences for snaring only will continue to be provided to youth under 16 years of age shall be marked “not valid for shooting”.

Youth Hunter Consent - Adult Designate Form

 Youth Hunter Consent - Adult Designate Form PDF (45KB). 

Forms are also available by emailing wildlifelicense@gov.nl.ca or by visiting any Fisheries and Land Resources Office. 

Firearms, Ammunition

It is unlawful:

  • to hunt small game using a shotgun that can hold more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined, or using a shotgun loaded with a single bullet. NOTE: Small game may be harvested using a .22 rimfire rifle.

Bows and Arrows

It is unlawful:

  • to hunt small game with a long bow unless it has at least 10 kilograms pull at full draw.
  • to hunt small game with a compound bow unless it has at least 10 kilograms pull at peak draw.
  • to hunt small game with a long bow or compound bow unless the arrow is tipped with a blunt small game tip designed to kill by shock.

Bag Limit

Daily bag limits and possession limits have been outlined in the annual Hunting and Trapping Guide PDF (16 MB).

Snares

It is unlawful:

  • to set snares for small game until the first day of the open season. Snares must be removed on or before the last day of the open season.
  • for any person to set snares to take or kill wild birds, except the holder of a small game licence for ptarmigan and grouse for an area open to this activity.
  • to use a net of any kind to take or kill any small game.
  • to use a fish hook, or snare equipped with a fish hook, to take or kill any small game.
  • on the island, to set snares for small game using snare wire other than .22 gauge brass or six-strand picture cord that is attached to a firm anchor.

Dogs

It is unlawful, while hunting small game with a dog, to allow the dog to harass any big game animal.

Sale of Small Game

Hares and grouse legally taken under licence may be sold to anyone during the open season and within seven days thereafter.

Ptarmigan may only be sold if you have a selling permit and the buyer has a Wild Meat Service licence. Selling permits are available free from the Wildlife Division.

The sale of migratory birds is prohibited.

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