Canada Proposes Increased Fees for Duck Stamps, Migratory Bird Permits

By Kyle Wintersteen, Managing Editor

Under a proposal by the Canadian Wildlife Service, the price of the Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit and Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp — both of which are required to hunt waterfowl in Canada — would increase to a combined $28 by 2021. The permit and stamp each currently cost $8.50, or $17 total.

Stamp sale proceeds are used by Wildlife Habitat Canada to conserve habitat, promote the conservation contributions of waterfowl hunters and encourage waterfowl hunting participation. Permit revenues have recently been allocated directly to the CWS for core programming, which includes waterfowl and hunter surveys, regulation reviews and other key functions that enable hunting seasons across the country. Additional permit revenues will be used to manage the take of migratory game birds and ensure healthy populations.

While there’s always a concern about raising fees for hunting, Delta Waterfowl supports increasing the cost of the Canadian Duck Stamp and Permit.

“Raising the price of the duck stamp would directly enhance waterfowl conservation in Canada,” said Jim Fisher, director of conservation policy for Delta Waterfowl. “Delta also supports the permit increase, as those revenues will be spent on core CWS waterfowl monitoring and licensing programs that benefit duck hunters.”

If enacted, the stamp and permit would increase by $4 ($2 each) for the 2019-2020 season, another $4 for the 2020-2021 season, and an added $3 for the 2021-2022 season. It would mark the first increases since 1998.

The CWS says the increases are necessary to keep pace with rising costs. Accounting for inflation estimates, the $8.50 stamp in 1991 is the equivalent of $14.47 in 2021, while the $8.50 permit in 1998 is the equivalent of $13.19 in 2021.

“There’s been an erosion of waterfowl program delivery due to tightening budgets,” Fisher said. “Certainly, that concerns us.”

The proposal includes an additional $5 fee for obtaining a physical permit at a vendor rather than buying the permit online, and a $2 fee for requesting a physical stamp after purchasing a permit online.

“We do have reservations regarding the $5 additional fee,” Fisher said. “Older hunters and those in remote areas without internet access shouldn’t be charged a higher rate.”

Since 1985, stamp sales have generated more than $50 million in support of more than 1,500 conservation projects funded by WHC grants — including Delta Waterfowl’s Hunter Education and Recruitment Initiative and maintenance of Hen Houses in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

A public comment period on the proposed stamp/permit increases is open until March 21. Click here to use Delta’s Action Alert program to provide your feedback on the proposal to Environment and Climate Change Canada.