The VOICE of Anglers and Hunters since 1928

MNRF Licensing System Changes

Anglers and hunters will experience some major changes to licensing and reporting starting in 2018 as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) updates the Licensing Automation System (LAS). This is the computer system that the MNRF uses to manage our outdoors card profile, licence purchases, game seals, draws and harvest reporting.

It means that anglers and hunters would have to embrace change, but it could help bring us one step closer to having all things hunting and fishing, on a single outdoors card.

The OFAH weighed in on the suggested changes in the EBR posting, but we are still getting clarification on a number of questions. Stay up to date on the latest licensing updates by signing up for enews to get information directly to your email inbox.

Summary of  MNRF changes to the licensing system:

GAME TAGSantlerless tag
In an effort to offer more choices to purchase licenses and tags, the MNRF has added the “print your tag from home” option. You will still be able to buy them in-person at a licence issuer or at a Service Ontario location, but this would provide the purchase, print and go option.

  • What does it mean?
  • Anglers and hunters are still required to carry relevant tag(s), an outdoors card and Possession Acquisition Licence (if applicable) when hunting as well as ensuring that the printed tag remains intact and readable for enforcement purposes.
  • Hunters would still be required to fill out the tag at the point and time of harvest, however the tag would only need to be attached to the animal if it is no longer accompanied by the hunter (i.e.: if it is being transferred, or if it is unattended).
  • Printed tags will have security codes built in for enforcement purposes and so that a purchased tag can only be used once, as intended


Harvest reporting is a very important piece of the information puzzle when it comes to sustainable fish and wildlife management. The MNRF needs this information to support research, to accompany population modelling and to develop harvest quotas. The idea is to collect the information more conveniently by electronic device (computer, smartphone, telephone) rather than by mail.

  • What does it mean?
  • Hunters will be required to provide information (whether they hunted or not) for moose, elk, white-tailed deer, wolf/coyote, turkey and black bear
  • If you do not complete the report, you may not be able to purchase a licence the following year. The new regulations coming into effect on January 1, 2019 allow the government to refuse to issue a licence to a hunter who did not report in the previous year, but the details related to the consequences of not reporting have not yet been finalized.
  • Direct communication with hunters (via email) to remind them of deadlines and reporting requirements


Starting November 23, 2018, there will be one outdoors card for all.  Currently, there are three different types of outdoors card. Fishing, hunting and apprentice. The hunting and apprentice cards are further broken down into H1, H2 and A1, A2 respectively to identify those who can hunt with a gun.

  • What does it mean?
  • One outdoors card to cover anglers and all types of hunters (apprentice, falconers, bow hunters, gun hunters, etc.
  • Your current Outdoors Card (purchased before November 23, 2018) will be good until the expiry date specified on the card.
  • The new outdoors card will likely have some sort of coded technology to show proof of an individual’s accreditation and licence(s).


Currently, there are three different types of dog licences that can only be purchased in-person at Service Ontario or through a licence issuer. One for moose/deer, one for bear and one for raccoon. Starting January 1, 2019, hunters will be able to purchase a dog licence(s) online 24 hours a day instead of in-person at Service Ontario or at a licence issuer. Hunters will also be able to use a dog to recover big game without having to purchase a dog licence to do so. The OFAH is pleased to see this change, as we have been pushing for this exemption for a number of years.

  • What does it mean?
  • Combining the three separate dog licences into a single dog licence available to purchase and print at home.
  • Hunters would be permitted to use a dog to recover game without buying an MNRF dog licence


Starting January 1, 2019, apprentice hunters will have the option to purchase an Outdoors Card and their own licence/game seal (except through game draws). The OFAH has been requesting this, keeping in mind that safety and learning would remain top priority. This change will offer enhanced opportunities for both the apprentice and the mentor.

What does it mean?
• Apprentice hunters will be able to have their own bag limit while still hunting under the direct supervision of a mentor and a shared single firearm
• Apprentice hunters will no longer be required to complete multiple consent forms to take the Ontario Hunter Education course
• Parental consent is still required for youth hunters (12-15 years old) to purchase their outdoors card



The full amended regulations (Hunting regulation covers off most of the significant changes): (Hunting); (Fish Licensing); (Possession, buying, and selling of wildlife); (Trapping)