Outdoors Card and licence summary

An Outdoors Card is a plastic, wallet-sized identification card issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry that allows you to hunt or fish. You are required to carry this card with you at all times while hunting or fishing.

A valid Outdoors Card is required for:

  • Ontario residents
  • Canadian residents
  • non-residents
  • apprentice hunters (only Ontario residents 12 to 14 years old are eligible to participate in the Hunter Apprenticeship Safety Program)

The following information is required to buy, renew or replace an Outdoors Card:

  • legal first, middle and last name
  • date of birth
  • mailing and/or residential address
  • height and eye colour
  • parental consent (for resident hunters 12 to 14 years old)

An Outdoors Card is valid for three calendar years. If you buy a three-year fishing or small game licence at the same time you renew or buy an Outdoors Card, these licences will be printed on the back of the card.

If you are waiting for your Outdoors Card to come in the mail, you can carry your licence summary given to you at the time of purchase to immediately go fishing or hunting. You can carry it in a paper or digital format (such as on a smartphone).

Licence summary

You must also carry a copy of your licence summary for:

  • any licence products you purchase after your Outdoors Card was issued or renewed
  • licence products required to be purchased annually (such as a deer hunting licence)

Your licence summary is provided to you each time you purchase a hunting and fishing licence. You can carry your most up-to-date licence summary in a paper or digital format (such as on a smartphone).

To purchase hunting licences and products, your hunter accreditation must be on file with the Fish and Wildlife Licencing Service.

Updating your Outdoors Card

To update the name on your Outdoors Card, please call the Natural Resources Information and Support Centre at 1-800-387-7011 within 10 days of the change.

You can update your address online through the Fish and Wildlife Licensing Service, by calling 1-800-387-7011 or in person by visiting a licence issuer or participating ServiceOntario location.

Where to buy or renew an Outdoors Card and buy licences and tags

The Outdoors Card renewal period starts the first Tuesday in December every year.

Licence fees

The Province of Ontario no longer accepts credit card payments by American Express. The province continues to accept payments by Visa and Mastercard.

The cost to buy, renew or replace your lost, stolen or damaged Outdoors Card is:

  • $8.57

Costs vary depending on the type of licence.

Fees for fishing licences

Fees for hunting licences

Fishing licences

Two types of fishing licences are available.

  1. Sport fishing licence, which includes full catch-and-possession fishing privileges.
  2. Conservation fishing licence, which includes reduced catch-and-possession limits. This is ideal for anglers who want to release the majority of fish they catch.

Fishing licences are available for different durations, including:

  • one day
  • eight days
  • one year
  • three years

You can buy your fishing licence online and save it in a digital format (such as on your smartphone), print it from home, or print it through a participating ServiceOntario or licence issuer location.

You must follow catch and possession limits.

Hunting licences and tags

Anyone wanting to hunt in Ontario must have a valid Outdoors Card. You will also need appropriate hunter accreditation to buy hunting licences and tags.

Before you can buy a hunting licence, your hunter accreditation must be on file with the Fish and Wildlife Licensing Service.

Hunting licences and tags expire on December 31 of the year they were issued.

It is your responsibility to know the open seasons for the species you’re hunting.

Proof of hunter accreditation for Ontario residents

Ontario residents ages 12 and over may only be issued a hunting licence if you submit proof of hunter accreditation.

You can use any of the following documents as proof of hunter accreditation:

  • a hunter education examiner’s report indicating that the applicant has passed a hunting licence examination after January 1, 1968
  • any licence to hunt that was issued to the resident after January 1, 1968 under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997 or a predecessor of the Act
  • an outdoors card that authorized a person to hunt and that was issued to the applicant before January 1, 2019
  • a hunter apprenticeship safety card that was issued to the applicant before January 1, 2019
  • a hunting licence verification letter or certificate issued by the ministry verifying the fact that a hunting licence was previously issued to the resident

Ontario residents must provide proof of successfully completing Ontario’s Hunter Education Program requirement (or an Ontario-recognized equivalent) in person at a participating ServiceOntario location.

Ontario residents who are 12 to 14 years old can also participate in Ontario’s Hunter Apprenticeship Safety Program. This program helps safely develop their hunting skills while under the direct and immediate supervision of a qualified and licenced mentor.

Proof of hunter accreditation for non-Ontario residents

Non-Ontario residents should plan ahead and submit their hunting accreditation in advance.

To submit your hunting accreditation, you can either:

  • call the Natural Resources Information and Support Centre at 1-800-387-7011 prior to visiting Ontario
  • visit a licence issuer or participating ServiceOntario when you arrive in Ontario. You will be charged a submission fee of $10.50 for all in person, non-resident hunting accreditation submissions

Small game hunting

There are two licences available to hunt small game:

  • one year
  • three year

You can buy your three-year small game licence when you buy or renew your Outdoors Card. It may be printed on the back of your Outdoors Card, but if not, you must carry your licence summary with you when participating in small game hunting.

In some cases, a tag for the small game species you wish to hunt is required (such as wild turkey or wolf/coyote in certain areas).

For more information, read the Ontario Hunting Regulations Summary.

Big game hunting

In Ontario, species-specific hunting licences are available for the following:

  • black bear
  • moose
  • white-tailed deer
  • elk

These hunting licences are valid for one year, in the relevant open season, and only for the type, age and sex of animal specified on your licence summary or tag.

You must enter a draw or allocation if you wish to hunt a particular type, age and sex of animal (or to hunt during a Controlled deer hunt season), including:

  • antlerless white-tailed deer
  • bull, cow/calf or calf moose
  • bull or cow elk

Learn more about how to apply to hunt big game in Ontario.

Tags

Tags are required for some species, including:

  • white-tailed deer
  • moose
  • elk
  • black bear
  • wild turkey
  • wolf or coyote (in select Wildlife Management Units)

Your tag will specify the type, age and sex of the animal you are permitted to harvest, as well as the location, season and firearm type (if applicable).

For species that require a tag: you must carry the paper tag along with your valid Outdoors Card and licence summary listing the hunting licence for the species you are hunting. If your small game licence is printed on the back of your Outdoors Card, then you do not have to also carry your licence summary as evidence of your small game licence when hunting species requiring a small game licence.

Fish and Wildlife Licencing Service

You can visit the Fish and Wildlife Licensing Service to buy:

  • Outdoors Cards
  • fishing licences
  • small game licences
  • all hunting products during their regular timeframes. This includes licences and the ability to enter big game draws and allocations.

You can continue to visit licence issuers and participating ServiceOntario locations to purchase licences.

Select products are also available for purchase through the automated phone line: 1-800-288-1155.

Note: Outdoors Cards may take up to 20 days to receive in the mail. If it has been longer you can check that your address was listed correctly online or call us at 1-800-387-7011. In the meantime, you may print and carry your licence summary as temporary proof of purchase while fishing.

image of an Outdoors Card sample. The card contains a card number, an expiration date and information on the height, eye color, name and date of birth of the holder.

Figure 1: Outdoors Card

One version of the Outdoors Card

  • all existing Outdoors Cards (and any licences printed on your Outdoors Card) will remain valid until their expiry date
  • we’ll track hunter accreditation using the licensing service to determine what products you are eligible to buy
  • valid small game and fishing licences can be printed on the back of your Outdoors Card if they are purchased at the same time as your Outdoors Card
  • you must carry your Outdoors Card when hunting or fishing unless you have just recently purchased the card and not yet received it in the mail. In this case, you must have a copy of your licence summary available.

image of a sample licence summary. The summary specifies the applicable year, contains the contact details of the holder, information on the Outdoors Card, the list of products, their numbers and details.

Figure 2: Licence summary

A licence summary that lists all your valid fishing and hunting products

Your licences no longer exist in multiple formats. Instead, you:

  • will get a licence summary as soon as you buy fishing and/or hunting products, either online, at licence issuers or at participating ServiceOntario locations – as of 2019, you will no longer receive anything in the mail
  • have the option to print your licence summary at home, at a licence issuer or a participating ServiceOntario location. You can also carry it in a digital format on your smartphone. If you carry your licence summary in a digital format, you must download and save the ministry-provided PDF copy – a screenshot of your licence summary is not valid.
  • must carry your licence summary when hunting or fishing unless your licence is listed on the back of your Outdoors Card (such as small game or fishing licences)

If you carry your licence summary in a digital format, you will be required to show a conservation officer your licence summary upon request. Given the environmental conditions of hunting and fishing, it is your responsibility to ensure your mobile device is functioning (such as has battery power) and is protected from the elements to be able to display whenever and wherever requested by a conservation officer.

Firearms licence requirements

See the Firearms licence requirements section on the Hunter education page for more details.

image of a sample tag. The tag contains a date, license and Outdoors Card number, indicates the type of tag, the contact details of the person holding it and contains instructions.
Figure 3: Tag

Tags

Hunters, you are able to print your tags from home, or at a licence issuer or a participating ServiceOntario location. Yellow sticky stock game seals are no longer sent by mail. It is illegal to copy, alter or modify a tag (except as required for notching the tag). They are equipped with document security features to discourage fraudulent activities.

You must also:

  • ensure the paper tag is protected from the weather elements, intact and legible at all times. It is recommended that hunters use a plastic tag holder or resealable plastic bag to protect the tag.
  • follow the specific tagging instructions provided when your tag is printed
  • carefully (or properly) notch your tag with the date, month and time immediately after the kill, at the site of the kill and before moving the animal
  • keep relevant sex and age identifying features attached to the animal while the animal is transported to the processing site and is being processed for long-term storage (as specified on the tagging instructions)
  • carry the tag at all times – it is only required to be securely attached to the animal if you are not accompanying the animal or immediately available to produce the tag for inspection
    • For example, the tag holder may carry their notched/invalidated tag in their pocket while they are bringing the harvested animal out of the bush provided that the tag holder remains with the animal at all times

What is a tag

How do tags work

How to notch & attach tags