Manitoba Natural Resources and Northern Development has announced new licensing requirements for foreign resident migratory bird hunters in the province beginning with the 2023 hunting season.
Under the new regulations there will be three categories of foreign resident licenses: 1) a seven-day permit for freelance hunters issued via a drawing, 2) a legacy migratory gamebird license for grandfathered property interest holders, and 3) a seven-day permit purchased through a licensed Manitoba outfitter.
These changes are essential news for all hunters who want to go to Manitoba and hunt on their own this fall. They’ll need to apply via the e-licensing portal between June 15 and July 15. For the 2023 hunting season, all hunters who apply via the portal within the proper time frame will receive a license—a 100 percent success draw rate. What’s different from the past is that the license will be limited to one seven-day period during the season. There will be no over-the-counter migratory gamebird licenses sold.
Another portion of the regulation change reduces the number of outfitters licensed to guide waterfowl hunters in Manitoba by approximately 50%. Hunters who will be utilizing their services will purchase a license through the outfitter, and the number of those licenses has been capped at the average number of hunters hosted previous to COVID.
The Delta policy team appreciates the opportunity to participate with the Waterfowl Advisory Group, which was established after the guiding legislation passed last fall. Delta used this opportunity to inform the regulations to ensure all stakeholders, Manitoba residents, and those freelance Americans were all represented in the final product.
The legacy licenses will be available to foreign residents who have lawfully held a Manitoba foreign resident gamebird license anytime between August 15, 2018, and December 6, 2022, and who prior to September 1, 2022, and currently remain:
- A registered landowner in Manitoba
- A shareholder of a corporation that owns land in Manitoba, or
- A lessee of Crown land in Manitoba
Applications for legacy licenses must be received by June 1, 2023. More information is available at https://www.gov.mb.ca/nrnd/fish-wildlife/pubs/fish_wildlife/wildlife/waterfowl-application-guidelines.pdf.
Prematurely disseminated disinformation resulted in wide-spread confusion since discussions on the proposal began late last summer. However, the new regulations are made clear in the postings by the province at https://www.gov.mb.ca/nrnd/fish-wildlife/pubs/fish_wildlife/wildlife/waterfowl-guide-changes-migratory.pdf.
It’s clear that all U.S. hunters wishing to hunt in Manitoba this fall will be able to acquire a license to do so.
The intent of the Manitoba Government’s regulatory changes, along with significantly beefed up enforcement, is to crack down on ‘rogue’ outfitters who have long operated illegally in the province and have negatively impacted opportunity and access for all waterfowl hunters. In turn, it was felt that this should help relieve some of the difficulty many resident hunters perceive in gaining access in highly pressured regions of the province.
Additionally, the new regulations will manage outfitting within the province and ensure outfitting does not exceed those pre-COVID levels this year and beyond. It caps new growth in commercial waterfowl hunting in the province and takes steps which are hoped will diminish efforts to control hunting access. Earlier suggestions by others that “all American hunters would need to use guides and outfitters in Manitoba” are clearly inaccurate as described in the actual regulations released by the province.—Bill Miller
For more information contact John Devney at email@example.com or (701)-471-4235.