Government introducing new hunting regulations

by Morinville News Staff

The Government of Alberta says it is updating the province’s hunting regulations to “specify what categories of equipment are appropriate for hunting big game.”

Starting with the 2018 hunting season, legal hunting equipment will be limited to rifles, shotguns and conventional archery equipment. Spears and spear-throwing tools, including atlatls, will not be permitted.

Legal weapons for the upcoming hunting season will include conventional bows and arrows, crossbows and bolts, rifles and ammunition, muzzle-loading firearms, shotguns, and ammunition.

The government says the new regulations will not interfere with the rights of Indigenous hunters to practise traditional hunting methods.

The government says the majority of Alberta hunters already use permitted equipment to hunt safely, and responsibly. As such, the government says its changes discourage reckless actions, ensuring big game animals do not experience unnecessary suffering.

“Responsible hunting is part of Alberta’s cultural heritage, playing an important role in our province’s wildlife management and conservation efforts,” said Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks. “Albertans know that good hunting is safe hunting. Modernizing our hunting regulations will ensure safety and prevent game from experiencing undue suffering.”

The 2018 regulations set new standards for ammunition. Shotgun pellets will now have to be larger than .24 inches in diameter. Hunters will have to use .24-calibre buckshot or larger when hunting big game to ensure a quick kill.

Alberta Hunter Education Instructors Association President Robert Gruszecki said his organization supports the government’s update to the regulations on equipment.

“As an education-based group that supports legal and ethical harvest of wild game in Alberta, it is part of our mission to educate hunters to comply with all provincial hunting regulations,” Gruszecki said.

The government says Alberta Environment and Parks have received more than 3,900 public responses to help them inform the regulations amendment process.

Using gear and ammunition not on the permitted list could result maximum penalty under the act of $50,000 in fines, one year in jail, or both. The penalty doubles if a threatened or endangered species is involved in the offence.

The full regulations can be found online at

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