Ask a CO: Can I hunt a property with No Hunting signs posted?

by Editorial Staff | October 29, 2020
No trespassing sign on a tree
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Q: I have been hunting a friend’s property for years with his permission. This year, someone trespassed on his property with an ATV and damaged his trails. He ended up posting his property with No Trespassing signs and No Hunting signs. He has told me that I can still hunt on his property, but can l legally even though he has his property posted?

Can he hunt on his own property?

John Harty, Bracebridge

Express permission needed

A: The prohibitions on trespassing and engaging in a prohibited activity on a property apply to a person who is acting without the express permission of the occupier of the property. If a property is posted as No Trespassing, then you cannot enter the property unless you have the express permission of the occupier.

Similarly, if a property is posted as No Hunting, then you cannot hunt on the property without the express permission of the occupier. So, if the friend has posted his property as No Hunting and No Trespassing, you may still enter the property and hunt there if you have his permission. 

David Critchlow (Provincial Enforcement Specialist, MNRF)

Click here for OFAH’s printable landowner permission record.

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Originally published in the August 2017 issue of Ontario OUT of DOORS magazine. Ask a CO is also a regular feature in the print edition.

Please check the most recent Ontario hunting and fishing regulations summaries, as rules and regulations can change.

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  1. Chris wrote: I find that one hard to believe. I explicitly remember being taught in my course 20 years ago that the red dot meant no hunting ........ even if you were the land owner!!!!!! Please clarify
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Chris, Please note David's response in the story: "You may still enter the property and hunt there if you have (the owner's) permission." If you are the owner and want to hunt your property, (yet still want the signs up), you are within your right to do so.
  2. edward kennedy wrote: I hunt on posted property all the time owned by acquaintances and family members. I never once gave it a thought and it is common sense to do what I did and do now. This is a property rights issue, not a matter for a government employee to decide and has nothing to do with ANY authority. No wonder the CYSTem takes illegal advantage of the sheeple in denying them their rights.
  3. ROD HUNTER wrote: Great question regarding posted private land and hunting access. I assume the answer from CO David Critchlow applies to Ontario & possibly other provinces as well? I live in northern BC and this conversation seems to comes up quite often around deer season.... any chance for helping me find the answer to the same question regarding BC? I have inquired locally several times & have received conflicting answers; mostly regarding the definition of cultivated land, which seems to play a large role in the definition of private land as well. Regards, Rod Hunter Prince George BC
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Rod, You'd be better speaking to someone within the province for this query. Here's a resource from the Hunting & Trapping Regulations Synopsis: "You can access the BC Hunting online service at You will need a Basic or Personal BCeID to sign on. Don’t want to use the online service: We’re happy to accommodate you. Just drop into any Service BC or FrontCounter BC location or call the FrontCounter BC Contact Centre at 1-877-855-3222." Or you can contact the Natural Resources Officers office at: 1-800-663-7867. This latter resource may be the right ticket for you.
  4. Tiff wrote: The red dot just means no trespassing
  5. Jim Crosby wrote: I live on St.Joe Island, area 45. Can I use a muzzle loader to hunt with during gun season???
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Jim, According to the MNRF Hunting Regulations Summary, you can utilize your muzzleloader in WMU 45 if you have the necessary tags/cards and are a resident from November 7 to November 13 for whitetails. Here is the link to the summary for your further reading: You'll notice the details for small game/furbearing mammals start on page 85 of the summary, if this is more your speed.
  6. GLORIA BRIDEN wrote: question: What it your property is NOT posted. Nobody should be allowed to enter and hunt without permission. Yes or No ?
  7. Michael Osborne wrote: We experienced this exact sinario in WMU 82A, a few years back, when we asked the senior CO upon his yearly visit to our camp during the rifle deer season, we were informed that No Trespassing was a police issue and could be overrode with written land owner permission, however No Hunting was a Natural Resources issue and meant No Hunting period even for the land owner! It was stated that it puts the land into a preserve type status and sanctuary for game. The problem now arises that it seems the matter will be up to the individual CO that is on scene weather a violation has occurred and the Courts to decide the outcome! And with limited knowledge as to the rules outlined by the Ministry I can’t see many cases being dismissed!
  8. Terrence Fader wrote: Wrt to the No T and No Hunting posts...if I shoot a deer or what ever and it runs on to posted land... and I don;t know who owns the land, can I trespass to retrieve my deer?