Land Use Mangement
Access to Hunting and Fishing Opportunities
Land use planning in Ontario plays a significant role in determining the variety, quality and even the availability of hunting and fishing opportunities. The plans, strategies, guides, policy, regulations and legislation provide direction that not only shapes the protection and productivity of important game species, but also influences the availability and access to high quality hunting and fishing opportunities.
On behalf of OFAH members, the OFAH Fish & Wildlife Department reviews all relevant plans, strategies, guides, regulations and legislation that have the potential to impact fish and wildlife conservation and/or access for fishing and hunting. The OFAH Land Use Specialist provides full-time staff support to complement the hard work and dedication of the many volunteers from the OFAH Board of Directors, OFAH Zones and OFAH member clubs. These individuals represent OFAH on local committees, during planning exercises and other forms of public consultation. They help to provide invaluable insight to ensure that land use planning exercises adequately protect and promote our hunting and fishing heritage. The OFAH also benefits from the expertise and advice of the OFAH Land Use/Access/Trails Advisory Committee.
Recent OFAH Public Awareness Campaigns for Access
Ongoing Significant Land Use Issues
- Woodland Caribou Management
- Crown Land Use Atlas Harmonization (CLUAH) Project
- Forest Management Planning
You can find OFAH submissions on these and other topics related to hunting and fishing on the OFAH on Policy, Regs and Legislation page.
Please see the current postings that are open for comment to Have Your Voice Heard!
Our collective voices can make a difference!
Crown land provides the greatest opportunity for public hunting and fishing in Ontario. Crown land is owned and managed by the province and makes up approximately 937,000 square kilometers, or about 87% of Ontario’s landmass. Crown lands have a variety of designations and associated policies that determine how anglers and hunters access and use them. In northern Ontario, there are large tracts of Crown land that dominate the landbase. As you move south, a greater proportion of the landscape is made up of private property. In the most southern areas of the province, the land is almost entirely privately owned with only small parcels of Crown land that include Wildlife Management Areas (see the Ontario Hunting Regulations summary for details).
Finding Crown Land
You can search for Crown land (and its associated “use” policies) using the MNR’s interactive map browser called the Crown Land Use Policy Atlas (CLUPA). The CLUPA can be challenging to navigate and use effectively. As a service to OFAH members, we have created a CLUPA guide to assist in searching for Crown land hunting and fishing opportunities. If you are an OFAH member and are interested in receiving an electronic copy of this guide, please contact Chris Godwin.
Crown Land Access
Access to Crown lands is primarily managed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) through the forest management planning process because roads built for forestry operations are the primary public access point for Crown land.
Here is a sample of the Crown Land Use concerns that OFAH routinely provides input for:
- Forest Management Planning (Plans, Amendments, Guides, Independent Froest Audits)
- Crown Land Use Planning and Access Issues
- Provincial Parks, Conservation Reserves and National Parks Planning
Other Public Lands (non-Crown)
Although the majority of Crown land is found in northern Ontario, there are non-Crown lands in southern Ontario that provide public hunting and fishing opportunities. These include areas that are managed by conservation authorities, municipalities, townships or counties.
The Simcoe County Forests are a series of municipally owned and managed tracts of Land in Simcoe County. Many of the Simcoe County Forest parcels of land provide fantastic hunting opportunities.
In southern Ontario, hunters rely on access to private property for many of their opportunities. Landowners have every right to expect lawful and responsible behaviour from the hunters who enjoy their property. Landowner-OFAH member agreement forms are available free to provide a level of comfort and protection for hunters and landowners alike. Hunting is safer than many other sporting/outdoor activities; however, a landowner may still be concerned about liability. All OFAH members are automatically insured for liability. Please see the OFAH Members Public Liability Insurance section for more details.
Additional resources related to fishing and hunting on private lands:
Land Use Issues (Crown and non-Crown)
There are many land use planning exercises that have the potential to impact fish and wildlife conservation, as well as access to fishing and hunting opportunities. Many of these issues influence the way we manage fish and wildlife on Crown, public, and private property throughout Ontario.
- Natural Heritage Assessment (including Municipal Planning)
- Renewable Energy Development (Waterpower, Windpower, Solar, etc.)
- Aggregate Resource Extraction and Other Development Projects
- Roads, Trails & ATV Use
In addition, you can find OFAH submissions on these and other topics related to hunting and fishing on the OFAH on Policy, Regs and Legislation page. Also, please see the current postings available for comment to Have Your Voice Heard!
Our collective voices can make a difference!
Letter to Mike Boudreau, President, Ontario Outdoors Recreational Alliance, Inc.
- How to Find Crown Land for Hunting & Fishing
- Ontario Hunting Regulations Summary
- Connect with OFAH on Social Media
- Landowner Permission Form
- Ontario Hunter Education Program (OHEP)
- Sunday Gun Hunting
- Sporting Dog Brochure