Waterfowl and Migratory Game Bird Hunting

Photo of a person looking out at a lake with ducks on the surface.

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.


Spring Conservation Goose Seasons

Spring conservation Canada, snow and Ross’s goose seasons are available for residents, Canadian residents, and non-Canadian residents. A free Spring Conservation Goose Licence can be obtained from www.manitobaelicensing.ca. Hunters must also possess the previous year’s Canada Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp, available online at www.permis-permits.ec.gc.ca.

A spring conservation Canada goose season was established in 2021 following the federal government declaring temperate-breeding Canada geese in southern Manitoba as overabundant. This season runs from March 1 to April 10 in Game Bird Hunting Zones (GBHZ) 3 and 4. A summary of harvest and hunter effort for the 2021-2023 seasons can be found here: 2021-23 Manitoba Spring Conservation Canada Goose Harvest Report.

The spring conservation white goose season continues to be offered for the longstanding overabundant status of snow and Ross’s geese. The spring white goose season runs from March 15 – May 31 in GBHZs 2, 3, and 4, and April 1 – June 15 in GBHZ 1.


Non-Canadian Resident Migratory Game Bird Hunting (FRMGB) Licence Options

The following licence options are available to non-Canadian residents wishing to hunt migratory game birds in Manitoba during the fall season:

  1. Purchase a seven-day FRMGB Licence through a licenced Manitoba outfitter;
  2. Enter the FRMGB Licence Draw to become eligible for a seven-day licence; or
  3. Qualified land interest holders that received a grandfathered FRLMG Licence.


FRMGB Bird Licence Draw

Non-Canadian resident migratory game bird hunters that wish to hunt on their own, without the use of an 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 non-Canadian 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 non-Canadian Resident Migratory Game Bird licence draw program guide for more information. Draw applications will be accepted starting June 15th.


Non-Canadian Resident Upland Game Bird Licence 

A separate non-Canadian Resident Upland Game Bird Licence is required to those that wish to pursue grouse, partridge, and ptarmigan. This licence can be purchased online and is subject to the same regulatory framework as resident hunters.


Federal Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit and Conservation Stamp

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: www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/migratory-game-bird-hunting/permit.html.