Waterfowler Heritage Day

The federal government first introduced Waterfowler Heritage Days to the provinces* in 2000. This special week is dedicated to youth hunters who are minors (under the age of 18**) and takes place a week prior to the opening of the regular waterfowl hunting season.

 * There are no waterfowl heritage days in any of the Canadian Territories.

 ** Provincial requirements for the minimum age to participate vary. To confirm the eligibility of young hunters, please refer to provincial regulations.

During Waterfowler Heritage Days, youth hunters can hunt with a licensed adult mentor – youth are not required to possess a Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit, but must comply with all safety and licensing requirements found in the Firearms Act and provincial hunting regulations. The adult mentor must possess a valid Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit.

Only the youth can carry a firearm and hunt waterfowl. The adult mentor is there to provide instruction and supervision but cannot carry a firearm or hunt***.

 *** Only young hunters may hunt when Waterfowler Heritage Days fall outside of the regular open season.

  mentor-jim-fisher-with-young-hunter-photo-nigel-simms-deltaPhoto credit: Nigel Simm


Photo credit: Delta Waterfowl



The purpose of Waterfowler Heritage Day is to “provide young hunters with the opportunity to practice hunting and outdoor skills, learn about wildlife conservation and reinforce safety training in a structured, supervised environment. Licensed adult hunters who serve as mentors have an opportunity to pass on their considerable skills and knowledge by offering guidance and advice to younger hunters” (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2016).

Please review the rules that apply to Waterfowler Heritage Days for your province, which are published in the Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations summaries by Environment and Climate Change Canada.