Additional Information

2019/20 Alberta Hunting Report

Where did your 2019/20 Hunting Licence Dollars go?

  • A total of $20M in revenue was collected from the sale of hunting licences, hunting draw applications and WiN cards.
  • Over 43% of hunting licence revenue goes directly to the Alberta Conservation Association levy in support of programming (For more information please visit www.ab-conservation.com).
  • Licence and administration fees accounted for just over 26% and provides compensation to licence issuers, pays for licensing services including the annual hunter harvest & effort survey delivered through AlbertaRelm.com
  • *The Alberta Professional Outfitter Society levies are applied solely to non-resident alien licences.
  • The Government of Alberta receives 28.5% of hunting licence revenue collected; 20% goes to General Revenue while 6% of goes to a dedicated fund to deliver wildlife management programs such as annual ungulate surveys. For more information visit: Alberta.ca and search “wildlife survey”.

For more information, visit mywildalberta.com/BuyLicences/Annual-Sales-Statistics     

Alberta Hunters in 2019
● 131,172 hunters hunted in Alberta in 2019.
● 10% of Alberta hunters are women.

Resident Hunters in Alberta in 2018
● Over 122,000 big game hunters in Alberta.
● 18% purchased Bowhunting Permits.
● 55% purchased Game Bird Licences

Youth and Senior Hunters in Alberta in 2019
● Youth/Senior Wildlife Certificates are available for $8.30 and include a Game Bird Licence. Over 7,700 Youth and 13,600 Senior Wildlife Certificates were sold in 2018.
● 6,300 Youth, and 10,100 Senior White-tailed deer licences and 6,400 Youth Mule Deer Special Licences were sold in 2018 at a very reasonable fee of $8.25.
● Did you know that you can legally share almost any big game Special Licence opportunity with a Youth or Senior hunter using the Partner Licence for only $12.00. Almost 277 youth and 1,086 Senior hunters took advantage of this opportunity allowing them to hunt elk, moose, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope and Merriam’s turkey.

Hunter Hosts in Alberta in 2019
● Over 2,661 Albertans hosted over 3,379 friends and family to hunt with them in Alberta.
● 90% of hunters hosted were Canadian while 10% were from outside of Canada.  

Madatory Harvest and Effort Reporting
It is now a condition of holding a special licence to report hunter harvest and effort. Visit AlbertaRelm.com for more information on how convenient it is to report harvest and effort including the introduction of a new APP.

Harvest and effort information is essential to providing resource managers indicators of overall wildlife populations. Without this information, the department must rely on more intensive and costly wildlife surveys.  

Hunters failing to submit harvest and effort survey results for 2020 will be subject to a $15 Survey surcharge payable on their next wildlife certificate purchase.

Congratulations to the lucky hunter that has been awarded a free 2020 special licence just for completing their 2019 hunter harvest and effort survey!

Hunters will continue to be entered for a chance to win a special licence hunting opportunity for either a Moose, Mule Deer, Antelope or Elk for each harvest and effort survey completed.

Please visit mywildalberta.ca to see 2019 hunter harvest and effort survey results..

Enforcement Update

Fish and Wildlife Officers help conserve and protect the province’s wildlife by ensuring everyone understands and complies with the laws in Alberta. Hunters are reminded to ensure that they are familiar with the hunting regulations and season dates for the areas and species that they plan to hunt. In 2019, Enforcement Officers took over 2000 hunting related enforcement actions.

The top 6 offenses were:
1. Unlawful possession of wildlife
2. Loaded firearm on vehicle/boat/aircraft
3. Hunt without a licence
4. Failure to carry a licence while hunting
5. Hunt during a closed season
6. Hunt on occupied land without permission 

Source: Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch, Justice and Solicitor General. 


Voluntary Black Bear Tooth Submission Program

The department has initiated a 3-year pilot voluntary black bear tooth collection program in two parts of the province. Data generated from laboratory tooth analysis will allow biologists to determine black bear age structure, reproductive statistics, and better inform black bear management. Laboratory aging of an animal is based on the cementum annuli growth in the tooth.

Fish and Wildlife are asking successful hunters to take the skull to an identified Fish and Wildlife office where staff will extract a premolar tooth. The premolar tooth is a small peg-like tooth located just behind the canines. Skulls submitted in a frozen state will be kept for a period of time to allow for thaw and extraction, whereupon the skull will be frozen and returned to the hunter. Extraction of a premolar tooth will not impair the display quality of a skull.

Alternatively, hunters can extract a premolar tooth in the field or request it of a taxidermist. The tooth can either be presented with the necessary harvest information to an identified Fish and Wildlife office or mailed in using a tooth submission envelope. Extraction is easily done just after the bear has been harvested when the jaw is still pliable. The tooth is easily loosened by running a knife blade on all sides of the tooth below the gum line and rocking the tooth back and forth. The tooth can then be removed with pliers. Care should be taken to ensure the root remains intact. Ensure that the tooth is free of tissue and dry prior to submission.

Information required as part of the program are harvest date, sex of bear, WIN, WMU where harvested, and either legal land location or latitude/longitude of kill site. When available, results for each tooth will be accessible online under your WiN number on the My Wild Alberta website (mywildalberta.ca). Only WMUs 318, 320, 322, 324, 326, 328, 330, 332, 500, 501, 502, 503, 504, 506, 509, 510, 511, 512, 514, 515, 516, 517, 518, 519, 529, 530, and 531 are open to this program.

Fish and Wildlife offices accepting skulls or tooth submissions are: Fort McMurray, Lac La Biche, Athabasca, Bonnyville, Cold Lake, Rocky Mountain House, Sundre and Drayton Valley.


Marked Wildlife

Some species of wildlife are banded, collared or marked by other means in an ongoing effort to gain additional population biology information.

A person who kills a wildlife animal or finds a dead wildlife animal that has been fitted with a device for the purpose of tracking the animal’s movements shall submit a completed report provided by Fish and Wildlife.

Some of these marked wildlife, as well as certain nuisance animals (e.g., some black bears), may have received drugs for research purposes or to facilitate their capture and handling. Any such animal will be marked with a tag advising that the meat of the animal should not be consumed before contacting Fish and Wildlife of Alberta Environment and Parks.

Report Waterfowl Leg Bands by Telephone or Internet
All waterfowl leg bands recovered in North America can now be reported by telephoning the toll-free number 1-800-327-BAND (1-800-327-2263). Band recovery can also be reported by internet at the website reportband.gov.


Chronic Wasting Disease and Deer Management

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a chronic degenerative and ultimately fatal prion disease of cervids (primarily mule deer in Alberta). It is not known to infect humans but health authorities advise against eating any animal known to have any prion disease. In Alberta, CWD occurs in eastern and east central regions and particularly in the Battle River and Red Deer/South Saskatchewan watersheds. Up to date information, including maps of previous cases is available on our wildlife disease web pages at alberta.ca/chronic-wasting-disease-updates.

Hunters and outfitters play a key role in assisting big game management by helping to reduce deer numbers and by providing heads from harvested deer for the ongoing CWD surveillance program. Alberta began looking for CWD in wild deer in the hunting seasons in 1998. Since then, we have tested over 86,000 heads and have found CWD in 2,289 mule deer, 358 white-tailed deer, 8 elk, and 3 moose. 

Note : It is a mandatory requirement to submit the head of all DEER harvested in the following WMUs: 150, 151, 156, 158, 163, 200, 206, 208, 226, 228, 234, 236, 242, 244, 250, 252, 258, 260, 500, 501, 506, 728 and 730. It is also mandatory to submit heads from harvested MULE DEER in WMUs 102, 104, 106, 108, 110, 112, 130, 132, 134, 136, 210, 212, 220, 222, 304, 305, 310 and 312. Antlers and skull plate can be removed from bucks before the head is submitted. For European mounts, in separate bags, collect a piece of brainstem from INSIDE the back of the skull AND all the tissues from the back of the throat. Put the two bags in a third bag and freeze.

All heads for testing, including samples (as above), must have a green CWD label which gives each head a unique identification number. Be sure to include either GPS or land location as well as WMU and your WiN number for each head. When available, test results for each head are sent to the email address in the hunter’s AlbertaRELM account.

CARCASS DISPOSAL
All hunters should properly dispose of their harvested carcasses, particularly animals taken in the CWD Risk Area. Where possible, debone meat making sure you keep the required evidence of sex and species. Hunters may prefer to avoid the spinal cord when deboning. Leave remainder of carcass at the kill site. If the carcass is transported elsewhere, remove all useable meat, then burn, bury, or dispose of the remains in a landfill.

For more information about CWD, contact your local Fish and Wildlife office or visit alberta.ca/chronic-wasting-disease.

Alberta Health recommends that deer from the CWD mandatory areas be tested for CWD. For more information about potential human health risks associated with CWD contact health authorities. 


Report A Poacher

IMPORANT THINGS TO KNOW:
Report A Poacher can be reached all day, every day.
1-800-642-3800


● All calls are kept strictly confidential and you can remain anonymous.
● If you see something that may be poaching, record as much information as possible:
- Date and time
- Location
- Vehicle description and licence number
- Description of who was involved in the crime
- Details of the violation and any other details you can think of, no matter how insignificant they might seem
● The information you provide could lead to a conviction (and possibly a reward for your help).
● Poaching covers a wide range of violations including:
- Fishing or hunting out of season
- Night hunting
- Hunting from the road
- Exceeding limits
- Hunting while intoxicated
- Illegal sales of wildlife or fish
● The Report A Poacher line can also be used for reporting major violations to land and habitat such as tree harvesting or destruction of stream beds.
● Please familiarize yourself with Alberta's Hunting and Fishing regulations to help protect Alberta. 


Wild Game Public Health Advisory

The wild game public health advisory for the Swan Hills area – originally issued on December 13, 1996, by the Provincial Health Officer – has been revised as a result of more extensive wild game testing. While recent test results confirm that eating wild game from the Swan Hills area poses no immediate threat to human health, it is recommended that individuals limit the amount of wild game eaten.

For more information contact Alberta Health and Wellness at 780-427-7164 or visit My Wild Alberta at
mywildalberta.ca/hunting/safety-procedures/harvested-wildlife-human-health.aspx.

Swan Hills Treatment Centre
15 km radius around Swan Hills Treatment Centre 


Common Licence Mistakes

GENERAL MULE DEER LICENCE
This general licence is valid during the “archery only” season, which precedes the general season. It is valid during the general season in the following WMUs: 352, 353, 355, 440-446, 512-519, 528-534, 536, 539-542 and 841. This licence is not valid during a season in which a Special Licence is required. In the Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations, special licences are required for all seasons where a small black box is located beside the season date.

SUPPLEMENTAL ANTLERLESS WHITE-TAILED DEER LICENCE
The Supplemental Antlerless White-tailed Deer Licence is issued with two tags. The FIRST tag issued with the licence (but NOT the second tag) is valid for tagging a deer hunted in one of the following WMUs: 310-314, 337, 346-349, 351, 352, 354, 356, 357, 360, 500-510, 521, 523, 526, 527, 535 and 537. Both tags are valid for tagging a deer(s) hunted in any of the following WMUs: 350, 353, 355, 440-446, 511, 512, 515-520, 524, 525, 528-531, 534, 536, 539-542 and 544.

YOUTH MULE DEER LICENCE
This general licence is available for resident hunters who are 12-17 years of age and who are eligible to hunt. It is a general licence that is valid during the “archery only” season, which precedes the general season. It is valid during the general season in the following WMUs: 352, 353, 355, 440-446, 512-519, 528-534, 536, 539-542 and 841. This licence is not valid during a season in which a Special Licence is required. In the Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations, special licences are required for all seasons where a small black box is located beside the season date.

YOUTH/SENIOR WHITE-TAILED DEER LICENCE
This licence is valid for resident hunters who are 12-17 and 65 years of age and over who are eligible to hunt. It is a general licence and is valid during a general season (archery or rifle). Because it is a general licence, it can not be used during the rifle season in WMUs 404, 406 and 408 (a special licence is required). In the Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations, special licences are required for all seasons where a small black box is located beside the season date.

SUPPLEMENTAL BLACK BEAR LICENCE
This licence is only valid in WMUs 224, 250, 258, 260, 320-360, 429, 445, 500-544 and 841.

SPECIAL LICENCES
If you are drawn for a special licence, your draw priority returns to zero and that draw cannot be cancelled. You may not be able to purchase a particular general licence once you have been drawn for a special licence of that same species. Example: if you are drawn for Antlered Mule Deer, Antlered White-tailed Deer or Antlered, Antlerless, or Calf Moose you will not be able to purchase a general licence for that species. If you are drawn for Either Sex Elk, WMU 300 Elk, Antlered or Antlerless Elk, you will not be able to purchase a general elk licence. Resident hunters are able to purchase an elk licence in combination with the WMU 212 Antlerless Elk Archery and the WMU 212 Antlerless Elk Special Licence. See licence combinations.