Learn to Hunt
Do you want to hunt in Alberta? Getting into hunting might feel overwhelming, but every new hobby or passion can be daunting at first. Alberta has many great resources to tap into, whether you're looking for a mentor or a new place to hunt. Below is a short summary of steps you’ll need to take. For more information, please see harvestyourown.ca.
This might seem like a big hurdle for most newcomers—an entire course on hunting—but it's really not. You can choose to do it in a classroom with a knowledgeable instructor, or, do it all from the comfort of your own home for only $70. It’s not a difficult course, and if you are interested in the outdoors and hunting, you'll enjoy it anyway!
The Alberta Hunter Education Instructors Association (AHEIA) is one of our member groups, and the knowledge powerhouse when it comes to Alberta's outdoors. They are the go-to group for training hunters and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Be sure to visit their website to check out all they have to offer (we recommend the hunter mentorship program for new hunters).
This is the easy part. All you need to do is go to www.AlbertaRelm.com, click on "Create Account" (top right of the page), and fill out the form.
This is the quickest route to hunting. Since bows are not considered a firearm, any adult can legally purchase bows and arrows and use them for hunting without any extra certifications or courses beyond the Hunter Education Course, WIN card, and of course the proper hunting licences (see next step).
If you choose this path, it is highly recommended that you take steps to learn archery before going out and hunting. There are many formal archery ranges in all localities that can help you become a proficient archer. AHEIA also offers an Archery Essentials course online.
Firearms - Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC)
This course has less content than the Hunter Education Course, usually completed in two evenings. This course lets you submit for a PAL (Possession & Acquisition License), which will allow you to buy firearms and ammunition.
There are many organizations and individuals who offer the CFSC course—simply search online for a PAL course in your locality.
Before you do any type of hunting, before you even think of packing up your gear—it is absolutely critical to become familiar with the Hunting Regulations. Every year a new set of Hunting Regulations is published. Once you know the WMU and species of animal you are going to be hunting, look up all the relevant regulations. For example, when the season opens for that species, the bag limit, etc. If you choose to not fully understand the rules, you are certainly risking infractions. Whether you realize you're doing it or not, you are considered a poacher. So please, get familiar with the regulations you need to know!
Thanks to our online Discover Guide, it’s easier than ever to find a hunting spot. Be sure the particular Conservation Site you are looking at allows hunting (many do allow hunting). Beyond that, you can ask landowners for permission to hunt on their land, or find crown land or Public Rec Land to hunt on. Once you find a location you want to hunt, take note of the WMU (Wildlife Management Unit) the land falls within.