Ask a CO: How close can you hunt to dwellings if you are hunting on private property or Crown land?

by Editorial Staff | August 27, 2020
ducks flying in field

Q: How close can you hunt to dwellings, homes, cottages, etc., if you are hunting on private property or Crown land? Can you tell me where it is in the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act?

Ray Haines, Wyevale

Local bylaws can affect hunting

A: With the exception of a 200-metre restriction along the south shore of Lake St. Clair, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997 (FWCA) does not regulate how far you have to be from any object or place to discharge a fire­arm; municipalities have the authority to create by-laws that prescribe setbacks from residences and other buildings.

Hunters should check with the local municipality where they are hunting to determine whether there are any discharge of firearms bylaws in that municipality that could affect their hunting activities. Of course, the FWCA does have a provision that states all han­dling and discharge of firearms possessed for the purpose of hunting must be done safely and with due consideration for people and property (section 16).

If anyone believes that hunting activity is pos­ing a threat to people or property, they should contact the MNRF’s TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667.

David Critchlow (Provincial Enforcement Specialist, MNRF)

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Originally published in the August 2019 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.

For more instalments of Ask a CO, click here


  1. Bill Bradimore wrote: How far off shore do you have to be from a provincial park to duck hunt?
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Hi Bill, we have the following from "Hunting in Provincial Parks Hunting is permitted in a number of provincial parks in Ontario. Hunters should always check with the appropriate park office regarding areas open to hunting, species that can be hunted, seasons, and other restrictions that apply in each park. Call 1-800-387-7011 or 1-800-667-1940 for assistance."
  2. Georges Martin wrote: why is WMU 65 different then all other WMU's when it comes to Moose hunting only one partner and bow only but during general rifle season?