Important messages for hunters
Occasionally, additional information for hunters becomes available after the Hunting Regulations Summary is printed. For more information, please refer to Hunting notices and updates.
New Controlled deer hunt draw application period: July 1 to July 31
The ministry has changed the dates of the controlled deer hunt draw application period so draw results can be made available earlier. Starting in 2023 the draw results will be available almost six weeks earlier than in previous years to provide hunters more time to plan and organize their hunts. See the Important dates for hunters section for the 2023 controlled deer draw dates.
Reminders Ontario Hunter Education Course
Ontario’s Hunter Education Course is now available online or in-person. See the Ontario Hunter Education Course section for details.
Invasive wild pigs
Under the Invasive Species Act it is illegal to hunt pigs in Ontario.
Hunting wild pigs is not an effective approach to control their spread. When they are hunted, they flee into new areas and learn to avoid humans. They are quick to reproduce, and populations are known to rebound rapidly.
Given the knowledge that hunters have, and time spent outdoors across the province, the ministry is seeking your help and expertise through the reporting of wild pig sightings. Collecting information on sightings and using a coordinated approach to remove invasive wild pigs from the natural environment are key actions the ministry is taking to prevent their establishment.
Visit ontario.ca/wildpigs to learn more about reporting wild pig sightings, the rules and understand what the province is doing to actively address the threat of invasive wild pigs.
COVID‑19 and deer
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID‑19, has been detected in white-tailed deer in Ontario. There are recommended precautions when handling or dressing a deer carcass. For more information, please visit COVID-19 and wildlife.
Mandatory hunter reporting
There are mandatory hunter reporting requirements for deer, moose, elk, black bear, wild turkey and wolf/coyote. Refer to the mandatory hunter reporting section for details.
Use or possession of natural attractants
It is illegal to use or possess any product containing natural attractants including blood, urine, gland oils and other fluids of any member of the deer family, for any purpose. Only artificial or plant-based products can be used. Non-resident hunters coming to Ontario to hunt: don’t bring bait and feed from outside Ontario - you could unknowingly be importing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Local sources are safer and benefit local farmers and business owners.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) surveillance program
The ministry and hunters are working together to look out for CWD. We need your help. Refer to Chronic Wasting Disease in the deer section for more information. Monitoring Ontario’s deer will help us detect CWD early if it enters the province. This gives us a better chance of limiting its spread.
- Get your deer tested free of charge.
- The first 500 hunters to submit a sample receive a collectable crest.
- Help preserve hunting opportunities for years to come.
- Monitoring locations vary from year to year. Visit ontario.ca/CWD to find out more about our CWD surveillance program, including 2023 sampling locations.
- Having your deer tested does not affect your ability to consume the meat or have the head mounted.
Bringing out-of-province carcasses into Ontario
If you intend to hunt outside of Ontario, please refer to the deer section or ontario.ca/cwd for additional information and specific regulations designed to reduce the risk of spreading CWD into Ontario.
Ontario is experiencing an increase in the areas where the ticks that may carry Lyme disease are found. When outdoors, practise personal protection. For detailed information visit: ontario.ca/lyme.
Escaped farmed deer, elk and wild pigs
The ministry wants to hear from you if you see an escaped farmed deer, elk or wild pig, or detect one in trail camera photos. These escaped farmed animals pose a threat to native species. Please contact your local ministry work centre to report any encounters.
If you harvest an animal that has an ear tag with the phone number
Address, name and residency changes
You must notify the ministry of any address, name, residency or contact information change within 10 days of the change. You can update your address by accessing your account online, or by calling the Natural Resources Information and Support Centre at