Ask a CO: Must hunters submit reports?

by Editorial Staff | October 31, 2019

Q: When I went to fill in my moose-hunt questionnaire, I saw it is the law to do so. Some hunters do not. What is the penalty?

-Ron Rowatt, Ennismore

A: New mandatory hunter reporting requirements came into effect in Ontario on January 1, 2019.

Under these new regulations, all hunters who are issued a moose, deer, elk, black bear, wild turkey, or wolf/coyote tag or validation certificate will be required to complete and submit a report.

Hunters must complete reports even if they don’t end up hunting or harvesting an animal. They can provide their reports online or by phone through MNRF’s new licensing service. Hunters will no longer receive postcard surveys by mail.

14-day window

Generally, hunter reports must be submitted within 14 days following the end of the hunting season for that species.

Moose hunters who obtain a tag/validation certificate through a tourist outfitter and non-resident bear hunters must provide their reports within seven days of the close of the season to the tourist outfitter, bear operator, or Ministry office where they received their tag/validation certificate.

Consequences changed

The potential consequences to a hunter for not reporting have changed. Hunters who fail to complete their report by the prescribed date will be subject to warnings, charges, and fines as before.

The new licensing service will automatically track whether hunters have fulfilled their reporting obligations. Failure to provide the required reports, or submitting false or misleading reports, may result in the hunter being prevented from purchasing a licence or licences in the subsequent year.

As a convenience, the new licensing service provides email reminders to hunters of the reporting deadlines.

More information is available by clicking here and specific details regarding the new hunter reporting requirements are provided in the 2019 Hunting Regulations Summary.

David Critchlow (Provincial Enforcement Specialist, MNRF)

Send your questions by clicking here

Originally published in the Nov-Dec 2018 issue of Ontario OUT of DOORS magazine and edited to reflect the new regulations. Ask a CO is 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

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  1. Rob McGahan wrote: Is the Hunter report form be mailed out? It has in past years! Thanks, Rob
    • Jason Bain wrote: It is our understanding that no postcards are being sent out — that reporting is only online or via phone, Rob.
  2. Mario wrote: If I submit my report early so that I don’t forget to do so can I hunt again after submitting the report if a hunting opportunity came along.
  3. Steve Larkin wrote: I missed the fall bear reporting, i drive transport truck and was in the USA how could i qualify to get a bear license in 2020 , Please advise as mentioned it was the fall report i did complete the survey for spring hunt. Thank You for your time
  4. Jt wrote: The mandatory reporting is a waste of time and tax payer money. From what i hear people lie on them to inflate the numbers in the wmu they hunt in. Im also questioning if there is any infringement on the canadian charter of rights freedom. I play by the rules and buy my tag every year and now i may be prevented from putting food on my table because i did not fill out some bs survey...
  5. Alyssa wrote: Ok so my friend Aiden was charged last month with "waste of fish" will that charge prevent him from becoming a Cinservation Officer in the future?
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: It would depend on the charge, one would imagine. If you like, you may call the information Centre for more details at 1-888-646-6367.
  6. Dale Ross wrote: If I did not get a tag do I need to fill out the survey?
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Dale, from "All hunters that purchase or are issued a tag to hunt moose, elk, deer, bear, wild turkey or wolf/coyote (in Wildlife Management Units where a tag is required) must complete a hunter report. You are required to complete a hunter report even if you did not participate in the hunt or harvest an animal."
  7. NICHOLAS J YARKIE wrote: Do hunting reports need to be done for fishing don't know anything about it I did just apply for a fishing license for 1 year and a outdoors card am I able to save it to my phone if let's say Ministry came up could I show them the information on my phone and will I receive a card in the mail by any chance. Thanks just wondering more about this topic
    • Alesha Howran wrote: Nicholas, Hunter reporting is for hunters who purchased tags for black bear, deer, moose, elk, wild turkey, and/or wolf/coyote. See page 22 in the 2021 Hunting Regulation Summary. for more details.
  8. Melvin Melick wrote: I applied in 99Z in the moose draw this year. I understand I will receive a point for that but do not have the option to do a mandatory report. Do I need to purchase a moose license so I can do a report. I do not want a fine and do not want to lose my points. Please advise. Thanks
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Melvin, from page 22 of the 2021 Hunting Regulations Summary: "All hunters that purchase or are issued a tag to hunt elk, deer, bear, wild turkey and wolf/coyote (in WMUs where a tag is required) and any hunter issued a licence to hunt moose must complete a hunter report. You are required to complete a hunter report even if you did not participate in the hunt or harvest an animal. Generally, hunter reports must be submitted within 14 days following the end of the last hunting season for that species. Moose and black bear hunters who are required to submit their report to a moose tourist outfitter or black bear operator must provide their report back to the outfitter or operator within 7 days of the close of the season. More details on the requirements are provided on the next page. All hunters are encouraged to provide their report as soon as possible once they know their hunt is completed. However, hunters should not report until they know they are done, and must ensure the information they provide is accurate as they will not be able to amend their report. Timely submission of reports when a hunt is complete helps to ensure accurate data to support harvest planning."
  9. Joseph Soucy wrote: So I have been hunting spring turkey ever since it became legal,,and even helped the local sportsman's club do a release in our area. Unfortunatly do to unforseen circumstances I purchased a spring tag but was unable to hunt and missed the deadline to submit a report. My bad,,however I wish to hunt this spring 2022 and I am trying to find out ahead of time excactly what I need to do in order to obtain a licence for spring turkey hunting 2022. Hopefully someone here will be able to point me to the contact people that can resolve this. Thank you in adavance.
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Joseph, It may be best to contact the MNDMNRF directly if you have a specific query related to a tag you've already purchased. Here is a link to their contact information:
  10. GERALD WHITE wrote: I did not receive any mail reminding me of this report I am fairly new at this and did not realize I had to do this. At the end of the season I was in NL Hope I can get a license for 2022. thank you
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Gerald, It would be best to contact the Ministry directly, in your case. Please find their contact information in this link: