Fisheries and Land Resources

Migratory Game Bird Regulations

The following is a summary of Migratory Game Bird Regulations as they apply in Newfoundland and Labrador. Migratory game birds (including ducks, geese, snipe) are managed by the federal government under the Migratory Birds Convention Act.

For complete information on the Migratory Birds Convention Act and Migratory Birds Regulations contact:

Regional Canadian Wildlife Service Offices:

St. John's: (709)772-5585
Corner Brook: (709)637-4377

Or write:

Director General

Canadian Wildlife Service
Department of Environment
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0E7

Licence Requirements

To hunt migratory game birds you must carry with you a valid Canada Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit.

Age Limit

At age 12, youth may purchase a hunting licence to shoot any wild birds, authorized to be harvested under a migratory bird licence. Please read see our Youth Hunting and Trapping Licences page for more information.

Firearms, Ammunition

It is unlawful:

  • to hunt migratory game birds using a shotgun that can hold more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined.
  • to hunt migratory game birds with a rifle or shotgun loaded with a single bullet.
  • to hunt migratory game birds with any shotgun larger than 10 gauge.
  • while hunting migratory game birds, to possess more than one shotgun unless each shotgun in excess of one is unloaded and cased.
  • to hunt migratory game birds using any shot other than non-toxic shot.

Note: Non-toxic shot regulations do not apply to murre hunting.

Aircraft, Vehicles, Boats

It is unlawful:

  • to shoot migratory game birds from any aircraft, sailboat, power boat, aircraft or motorized vehicle, or any vehicle to which a draught animal is attached.
  • to use a boat, aircraft or motor vehicle to disturb migratory game birds in order to drive them toward a hunter. It is permitted to retrieve a dead or injured birds by the use of a power boat.


It is unlawful to use live birds as decoys or to use recorded bird calls when hunting migratory game birds.

Bag Limit

Daily bag and possession limit are outlined in the annual Migratory Game Hunting Summary.

Hunting Hours

It is unlawful to hunt migratory game birds earlier than one-half hour before sunrise or later than one half hour after sunset on any day.

Bait Restrictions

It is unlawful:

  • in this province to deposit bait in any place during the period beginning 14 days before the first day of the open season and ending on the day immediately following last day of the open season.
  • in this province to hunt migratory game birds within 400 metres of any place where bait has been deposited, unless the place has been free of bait for at least seven days.

Firearms, Ammunition

It is unlawful:

  • to possess or transport a migratory game bird unless at least one wing with its feathers remains attached to the bird. The wing and feathers may be removed when the bird is prepared for immediate cooking, or after the bird is stored at the owner's residence.
  • to ship or transport a package containing migratory birds unless the package or container is clearly marked with the name and address of the shipper, the Migratory Game Bird Permit number under which the birds were taken, and the exact contents of the package.
  • to possess a carcass of a migratory game bird belonging to or taken by another person unless the carcass has attached to it a tag or note signed by the holder of the migratory game bird hunting permit under which the bird was taken that indicates the name and address of the permit holder, the migratory game bird permit number, and the date the bird was taken.
  • to possess any shot but non-toxic shot for the purpose of hunting migratory game birds (this does not apply to turr hunting).

Eggs and Nests

It is unlawful to take, injure or destroy the eggs or nests of migratory birds at any time.

Sale of Migratory Game Birds

It is unlawful to buy or sell any migratory game bird. This includes the buying or selling of murres (turrs).

Murres (Turrs)

In Newfoundland and Labrador, a Canada Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit is required to hunt murres (turrs) in open season. Contact the Canadian Wildlife Service for more information on turr hunting.

Provincial Regulations

While hunting migratory game birds, you must also abide all provincial hunting regulations.

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