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


  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.