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.