Originally Published by Ontario Out of Doors, May 30, 2017

By Emily Walsh

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is currently developing a new hunting and fishing licensing system for the province. Numerous changes are being considered by the MNRF, which its proposal states will “modernize licensing products and approaches, improve client services, and ultimately support sustainable fish and wildlife management.”

This proposal could mean sweeping changes to many areas of the current system. Modernization of the outdoors card, game seals, hunter harvest reporting, the hunter apprenticeship program, and overall licensing are being proposed. In addition, streamlining of hunter accreditation and enhancements to hunting and fishing licensing are on the table.

Highlights of this proposal could mean major changes for hunters across the province. Specifically the elimination of different versions of the Outdoors Card to create a single Outdoors Card. A single licence document for hunting and fishing would be created and available to print at home, or emailed to the user to maintain in a digital format.

Further to this, game seals will be replaced with “tags” which users will be able to purchase online and print at home, or obtain from a licence issuer. Hunters would still be required to carry their tag and notch or complete at the time of harvest, but would only be required to attach it to the harvested animal if they were no longer accompanying it.

Apprentice hunters would be given the option to purchase hunting licences or tags (but will not be eligible to participate in a draw), allowing them to hunt under their own licence or continue to hunt under their mentor’s licence. However, apprentice hunters will be required to obtain an Outdoors Card, replacing the current Hunter Apprenticeship Card.

Implementation of this new system is anticipated for late 2018/early 2019.

The full proposal, EBR Registry Number: 013-0487, is available for public review and commenting until July 28, 2018. Click here to review the proposal and submit your comments.