Applying to hunt big game

Some big game hunting opportunities for Ontario residents require a hunter to apply to and be successful in a draw or allocation process. These include obtaining:

  • an antlerless deer tag in the antlerless deer draw
  • a controlled deer validation in the controlled deer draw
  • a moose tag in the moose tag allocation process
  • an elk tag and/or licence in the elk draw

When applying to hunt big game make sure you:

  • have a valid Outdoors Card
  • apply early in the application period – do not wait until the last day
  • submit only one application in your name per draw or allocation stage
  • do not have any hunting suspensions

Hunters may apply to the big game draws by one of three ways:

  1. Online: at Fish and Wildlife Licensing Service
  2. Phone: by calling 1-800-288-1155
  3. In-person: by visiting a participating ServiceOntario or licence issuer

To apply you will need:

  • a valid Outdoors Card
  • method of payment (Visa, Mastercard, Visa Debit, and Debit Mastercard are accepted)
  • any hunt codes that correspond to your choices. Hunt codes can be found in the moose, deer and elk sections of this summary. (Note: No hunt codes are needed for the antlerless deer draw)
  • your group number (if you are applying to the controlled deer draw or elk draw as a member of a group)

Whichever option you choose to apply, online, phone or in-person, it is your responsibility as an applicant to ensure that your applications are valid and choices are entered correctly.

Applying online

You can visit Fish and Wildlife Licensing Service to purchase a licence and apply to the draw, either all at once or in separate transactions. Applying to the elk draw or moose tag allocation process requires an application fee. The information you enter electronically is your application to the draw and you will be asked to confirm that your choices are correct.

Once you have completed and submitted the application, save a copy of your draw application receipt for future reference.

Applying by telephone

You can apply to a big game draw by calling 1-800-288-1155 during the application period. This toll-free number is open from 8:30am ET on the first day of the application period and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until 11:59 p.m. ET of the application deadline. Phone lines will be open during the following periods:

  • moose primary allocation: April 1 to May 1
  • moose second chance allocation: June 15 to July 7
  • elk: April 15 to June 12
  • antlerless deer: March 1 to June 30
  • controlled deer: July 1 to July 31

Once you have completed your application, you will be asked to confirm that your choices are correct and you will receive an authorization number.

Applying in-person

You can apply to hunt big game in person at a participating ServiceOntario or licence issuer.

Individual applications

You can only apply to the antlerless deer draw and the moose tag allocation process as an individual applicant. The controlled deer draw and the elk draw allow for individual or group applications.

If applying as an individual you must enter your choice of WMU, or hunt code (if applicable) which represents your choice of WMU, animal type (if applicable) and season/firearm type (if applicable). Each individual applicant will be given an authorization number. The authorization number confirms that the hunter has successfully entered into the draw or allocation. Please record this authorization number for your records.

Group applications

If you intend to hunt in a party in a controlled deer season or for elk, it is to your advantage to apply as a group. The maximum number of hunters that can apply as a group is four (the group leader plus up to three group members).

Group leader

The group leader must be the first member of the group to apply. The group leader is the only member of a group who enters the hunt code representing the group’s choice of WMU/harvest area and season (if applicable). The group leader is then provided with a group number to identify the group and its choices. The group leader must give the group number to the group members, so they may add their names to the group’s application when submitting their application.

Group member

Each group member must obtain the group number from the group leader before entering the draw. Members will be asked for the group number so the group can be identified and linked together for application to the draw.

Application results

Applicants can go online to Fish and Wildlife Licensing Service or call 1-800-288-1155, for their application results. Go to the important dates section to see when draw results are available. Hunters will need their 15-digit Outdoors Card number (or account login information if checking online) to access their results.

Moose tag allocation

The former Moose Draw was replaced by a points-based moose tag allocation process in 2021. Applicants awarded a tag must claim the tag to be issued it. All moose hunters must have a moose licence. See the moose section or ontario.ca/moosetagprocess for details.