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Sandhill Crane Hunt in Ontario

Following two decades of OFAH advocacy, the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) has announced it is considering the establishment of a Sandhill Crane hunt in portions of the Hudson-James Bay, Northern, and Central Waterfowl Districts of Ontario.

A 14-day Sandhill Crane hunting season would occur in the Hudson-James Bay District and WMUs 23, 24, 27-30, 36, 37, 40, 41, 42, 43, 45, 47 and 48. The proposed season would open September 1 in the Hudson-James Bay District and the first Saturday after September 11 in Northern and Central Districts, with a daily bag and possession limit of one crane.

CLICK HERE to express your support for the proposed Sandhill Crane hunting season in Ontario, or to comment on any other proposed amendments to the Migratory Birds Regulations.


Ontario is an important breeding and staging ground for Canada’s Eastern population of Sandhill Cranes. As one of three populations in Canada, Eastern cranes migrate from the Hudson-James Bay region of Ontario and central Quebec, down through the Great Lakes and into the US each fall and winter. The Eastern population has been growing steadily since the late 1970s, with an estimated 6% annual growth in Ontario since 2011. With this population of cranes now well beyond historic recovery objectives, managers are looking to create a season with an approximate 0.5-1% yearly population harvest rate.

This consideration comes as part of the biannual public consultation period for “Upcoming amendments to the Migratory Birds Regulations, 2022 for hunting seasons 2024-2025 and 2025-2026”, wherein CWS has made additional proposals with implications for migratory bird hunting across Canadian provinces and territories. Included in these proposals is a similar Sandhill Crane season in Quebec, and an increased bag limit for Ontario black ducks. All the information can be found in the link above.

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