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Taber Pheasant Festival FAQs
What and when is the Taber Pheasant Festival?
It is a week-long festival that brings about 800 adults and youth to Taber and area for pheasant hunting. The festival runs from October 21-28, 2023.
The festival program
- Hunting at pheasant release sites randomly assigned from the festival’s draw results: October 23 – 28
- Novice Shoot for those new to pheasant hunting: October 21 – 22
- Town of Taber Hunters’ Lunch (Free): October 23
- Game to Gourmet Pheasant Tasting culinary event: October 23
- Scotch Tasting & Wing Night: October 25
- Celebration Dinner and Silent Auction: October 26
I want to hunt at the Taber Pheasant Festival. What do I do?
Register online for one or both events at taberpheasantfestival.com.
- Regular Hunts (October 23-28, 2023): Register between June 1 and 16, 2023 for the random draw to hunt at pheasant release sites. You can enter up to three preferred hunting times. There is no cost to enter the random draw. If you are successfully drawn, you will be notified by email and you must confirm your draw dates or they will be redrawn to another hunter.
- Novice Shoot (October 21 & 22, 2023): Are you a new pheasant hunter? Then register for the Novice Shoot. The event is free; however, we do require a $30 deposit to hold your spot. This deposit is returned to you at the Novice Shoot. This registration closes once all spots are filled each day and space is limited.
What hunting licences do I need to hunt pheasants and where can I purchase them?
Alberta hunting licences and fees are based on where you live. Visit albertarelm.com for information. If you are an Alberta resident, to hunt pheasant you need the following items:
- WIN Card
- Wildlife Certificate
- Game Bird Licence
- Pheasant Licence
Visit albertarelm.com or a private licence issuer (e.g., hunting and fishing store) to purchase required licensing. You will need a WIN Card prior to purchasing hunting licences.
What is a WIN Card?
A WIN Card is a Wildlife Identification Number. You must purchase a WIN Card in order to purchase a wildlife certificate and hunting licences. You can buy your WIN Card online at albertarelm.com or at a private licence issuer (e.g., hunting and fishing store).
I am new to hunting and have never bought a licence before. Do I need to take the Hunter Education Certificate?
Yes. This is a provincial requirement for all first-time hunters in Alberta. Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association (AHEIA) delivers a Hunter Education Course online. Do not wait until the last minute to do the course work as the online course takes time to complete. After you complete the course, AHEIA will issue you a Hunter Education Certificate with a number. You need this number the first time you purchase a hunting licence.
How can I support the festival?
- Purchase tickets for our social events at taberpheasantfestival.com
- Purchase raffle tickets at taberpheasantfestival.com
- Purchase Taber pheasant wear and souvenirs at the Festival Office during the festival
- Become a partner, sponsor, or member: Upland Game Bird 4-H Initiative
- Support our festival's sponsors and stay awhile in Taber and area
- Become a sponsor
- Become a Corporate Partner in Conservation
Where can I stay while in Taber?
How can I connect to the festival on social media?
Post your stories and photos on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the hashtag #taberpheasantfestival.
If you have photos and stories you want to send us about the festival, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regular Hunt Draw Questions
When is registration open for the random draw for the regular hunts?
June 1 – 16, 2023.
Is there a fee to register for the random draw for the regular hunts?
How does the draw system work for the regular hunts?
Once you have created an account in the system and registered for the regular hunts and registration is closed, a computer program randomly selects names from the registration list. For instance, let’s say during the registration process, you chose Monday a.m., Tuesday a.m., and Wednesday a.m. as your three preferred hunting times. If your name is drawn first, you automatically get those dates and times. The computer program continues to select names, seeing if preferred hunting days and time of day are open, and filling those time slots. If your name is the 100th drawn, then you may only get one of your three preferred hunting times. The system is random and does not prioritize.
When will I know if I am drawn for the regular hunts?
On June 21, 2023, sign into your account at taberpheasantfestival.com to find your draw results. You will receive an email if you are successfully drawn. In this email it states that you must confirm your hunting times by July 8, 2023, or the times will be returned to a pool for a second random draw. Please check your spam/junk mail in case the email landed there before you contact us.
Can I choose the specific release sites and times I want to hunt during the regular hunts?
No. Sites are randomly assigned by a computer program. At the pheasant office, we may be able to accommodate for physical challenges, but there are no guarantees.
If successfully drawn in the regular hunts, can I change the time of day I want to hunt?
No. When registering for your wish list of draw days, make sure you put your desired time of day (morning or afternoon); if you get drawn for a morning hunt, you can not change to an afternoon hunt.
I was drawn and have confirmed my hunting times. How do I get information on my assigned sites?
This information will be in your Hunter Package, available for in-person pick up at the Festival Office only during the festival week. Your Hunter Package will have maps of your hunting site(s), permission slip(s) to gain access to your site(s), and additional festival information. You must have your permission slip(s) with you to gain access to your hunting site(s). An informational email will be sent out to you roughly 2 weeks prior to the festival to update you on any festival information including registration office hours of operation and key things to remember before arrival.
Where is the Festival Office?
4720-50 Street, Taber in the Green room.
What are the Festival Office hours?
OFFICE HOURS FOR 2023:
October 22, 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.* We will not open early!
October 23, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
October 24, 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
October 25, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
October 26, 7 a.m. - 1 p.m. (closed early due to the banquet)
October 27, 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
October 28, 7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
* IT IS EXTREMELY BUSY on Sunday, October 22 when the office first opens. You can expect a 60- to 90-minute wait. If you see a line up out the door, please come back later when the office is less busy and we can serve you better. Your site will not be given away. Go for coffee, do some shopping, or “do the touristy things” while you wait for the line to be less busy. Hunters are asked not to register on Sunday unless their first hunt is Monday or Tuesday (if you have a third hunt, we will give you that paperwork as well). If your first hunt is Wednesday or later, hunters may register on Monday or later in the week. See link for more information.
I have limited mobility and hope to hunt a flat site.
If a steep site has been assigned to you, we will do our best to reassign you to a flatter site; however, there is no guarantee. Our ability to reassign a site depends on the availability of sites during your hunt time.
Can I get information on my assigned sites before the festival?
No. This information is only available at the Festival Office during the festival.
Is there a cancellation penalty?
No. We understand if you’ve finally gotten a long-awaited Moose Draw or your kid’s team made playoffs, but we do ask that you let us know as soon as possible. If you can’t make it, we have a list of people that would really like your spot. Please be considerate; let us know as soon as possible if you can't make your drawn hunt time by contacting email@example.com or phoning 780-695-3462. If you fail to cancel and are a no show, you risk being banned from further festivals.
When and where do I enter the names of my hunting party?
There is an option to enter the names of your hunting party once you’ve been successfully drawn and have accepted your drawn spot(s). If your hunting party changes, you must let us know when you sign the waiver form and pick up your permission slip(s) at the registration office in Taber during the festival week.
Novice Shoot Questions
What and when is the Novice Shoot?
It is an opportunity for adults and youth new to hunting pheasants to learn shotgun safety and shooting technique, and experience a pheasant shoot with experienced mentors. Instructors from Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association provide all shotguns, ammunition, mentorship, and safety training. Mentors are experienced hunters from AHEIA, ACA, and local fish & game clubs.
Novice Shoot Dates (YOU CAN ONLY REGISTER FOR 1 DAY/TIME):
- Saturday, October 21, 2023, with morning and afternoon sessions.
- Sunday, October 22, 2023, with morning and afternoon sessions.
Who can participate in the Novice Shoot?
Individuals aged 10 and up. All hunters must have all appropriate hunting licences.
How do I register for the Novice Shoot?
Register online at taberpheasantfestival.com.
Is there a fee for the Novice Shoot?
The event is free; however, we do require a $30 deposit to hold your spot. This deposit is returned to you when you show up for the event. If you register and need to cancel, please let us know so we can fill the spot. About 1 week prior to the event, we will send you an information email with more details on location and things to know. Please check your spam/junk email in case our email gets redirected. When registering, please use an email address you use/check frequently.
Do I need previous firearms training to participate in the Novice Shoot?
Do I need to bring a shotgun?/Can I bring my own shotgun to the Novice Shoot?
You do not need to bring a shotgun to the Novice Shoot as AHEIA provides all shotguns (various gauges) and ammunition. If you would like to bring a shotgun, there are some rules to follow: All firearms must remain in your vehicle until it has been approved by an AHEIA instructor. If it is approved, an AHEIA instructor will transport it to the firearms rack where it will be treated the same as all AHEIA shotguns and can be used by you. As a safety protocol, all ammunition will be provided for the Novice Shoot. Please leave any ammunition you may have brought in your vehicle. Once you are done with your firearm, it will be transported by staff back to your vehicle.
If I register for the Novice Shoot, can I also enter the draw to hunt during the week?