Waterfowl and Migratory Game Bird Hunting

The Wildlife Branch manages waterfowl and other migratory game bird populations and hunting opportunity for the benefit of all Manitobans, along with visitors from across Canada, the U.S.A, and other parts of the globe. Manitoba enjoys a rich waterfowl hunting culture, which includes Indigenous communities that have pursued waterfowl for sustenance from time immemorial, a passionate resident waterfowling community, and visiting hunters from across North America that recognize Manitoba as one of the premiere hunting destinations on the continent.

Manitoba’s vast landscape contains a mixture of the famous Prairie Pothole Region known for producing high densities of ducks, a vast boreal forest region with thousands of unexplored lakes, and a subarctic region important for large numbers staging and nesting Canada and snow geese. Numerous major breeding and staging wetlands have been designated as Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), available for public hunting, birdwatching, photography, and other waterfowl related activities. More information on WMAs and migratory game bird hunting seasons can be found in the Wildlife Lands Interactive Map.

New Foreign Resident Migratory Game Bird Hunting Changes for 2023

On November 3, 2022, Manitoba implemented a new provincial Waterfowl Modernization Strategy. The new regulations will impact the fall 2023 waterfowl hunting season for foreign resident hunters who intend to hunt waterfowl in Manitoba either on their own as freelance hunters or if they choose to hunt with an outfitter. There are no changes to Manitoba resident waterfowl hunting.

A detailed document that describes Manitoba’s vision to protect the waterfowl hunting culture, the reasons for recent changes, and how foreign residents can continue to enjoy hunting in Manitoba can be found here - A Guide to Changes in Hunting Regulations for Foreign Residents in Manitoba – 2023

The following options are available to foreign residents wishing to hunt migratory game birds in Manitoba in fall 2023:

  1. Purchase a seven-day Foreign Resident Migratory Game Bird Licence through a licenced Manitoba outfitter;
  2. Enter the Foreign Resident Migratory Game Bird Licence Draw to become eligible for a seven-day licence; or
  3. Qualify as a land interest holder and receive a grandfathered Foreign Resident Legacy Migratory Game Bird Licence.

1. Foreign Resident Outfitted Migratory Game Bird Hunts

Hunters may wish to purchase a licence through a licenced Manitoba outfitter with a waterfowl hunting allocation. These licences will be restricted to a seven-day period designated by the outfitters, and available for use in the outfitter’s designated area of operation.

2. Foreign Resident Migratory Game Bird Licence Draw

Foreign resident migratory game bird hunters that wish to hunt on their own, without the use of a guide or outfitter may enter a draw for a seven-day licence, applicable for a period of their choosing and province-wide use.  The draw licences are only available once a year, with online draw applications accepted June 15 – July 15 of each year on Manitoba’s elicensing platform.

Up to six applicants may be linked (submitted) together on one Foreign Resident Migratory Game Bird Licence draw application. The first applicant is designated as the group leader and is the only person who can edit the application until the draw deadline.

See the Foreign Resident Migratory Game Bird licence draw program guidelines for more information. Draw applications will be accepted starting June 15th.

Foreign Resident Migratory Game Bird Licence Draw Guidelines

3. Foreign Resident Legacy Migratory Game Bird Licence program

Special grandfathered provisions were established to create the Foreign Resident Legacy Migratory Game Bird Licence. These provisions were made to recognize the capital investment in Manitoba made by qualifying individuals. This licence is available to foreign residents who were, prior to September 1, 2022, and remaining currently:

  • A registered owner of land in Manitoba,
  • A shareholder of a corporation who owns land in Manitoba,
  • A lessee of Crown land in Manitoba, or
  • A shareholder of a corporation who leases Crown land in Manitoba, and
  • Have lawfully held a Manitoba Foreign Resident Game Bird Licence anytime within the five-year period between August 15, 2018 and December 6, 2022.

Foreign residents who meet the aforementioned criteria may qualify for a Foreign Resident Legacy Migratory Game Bird Licence, along with licences for 4 additional group members, applicable for three 7-day periods of their choosing and province-wide use. Applications must be received by June 1st.

To determine if you qualify for the legacy licence program, please review the following documents:

Important Licensing Information to Note
  • The spring conservation Canada, snow and Ross’s goose seasons are not subject to the new regulations pertaining to foreign residents. A separate Spring Conservation Goose Licence can be obtained free of charge from https://www.manitobaelicensing.ca/.
  • In order to hunt migratory game birds in Canada, you are also required to obtain a federal Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit and Conservation Stamp. For more information visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/migratory-game-bird-hunting/permit.html.
  • A separate Foreign Resident Upland Game Bird Licence is available to those that wish to pursue grouse, partridge, and ptarmigan. It can be purchased online and is subject to the same regulatory framework as resident hunters.