FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has made changes to regulations under the Fish and Wildlife Act to create more opportunities for people who enjoy hunting and trapping in New Brunswick.

“I consider myself so fortunate to live in a province with such a strong hunting and trapping tradition and rich natural resources,” said Natural Resources and Energy Development Minister Mike Holland. “We encourage more New Brunswickers to take part in outdoor activities, such as hunting, while making it easier for them to participate.”

Some of the changes, which took effect recently, include:

  • Lowering the minimum age to purchase a deer or bear hunting licence from 16 years of age to 12 years of age. The objective is to help create new hunting mentorship opportunities for young people. All people aged 12-15 must be accompanied by an adult while hunting.
  • Establishing a one-week period immediately following the end of the regular firearms deer hunting season, during which authorized deer licence holders can hunt only using a muzzle-loading firearm. The season extension is limited to the Wildlife Management Zones where antlerless deer hunting is permitted.
  • Eliminating the option to purchase a second resident bear hunting licence after the harvest of a bear and instead, allow for the harvest of up to two bears by a resident licence holder.

Hunting of big-game species, such as deer, bear and moose, is a popular recreational activity in the province, and the goal of these amendments is to expand opportunities related to bear and deer hunting.

There is also a change to the fee structure for deer registration with a new fee of $4 to be paid directly by hunters to deer registration agents. This fee is consistent with other jurisdictions and is intended to address the reduction of registration agents in recent years.

Online registration of deer harvest will remain a no-cost option for hunters. In addition, successful deer hunters must now register their harvested deer no later than 24 hours after the close of hunting season.

The Fish and Wildlife Act provide the government with the ability to ensure conservation and protection of fish and wildlife species by allowing the establishment and enforcement of regulations concerning the harvest, possession and trade of those species.

More information about these and other changes being made, can be found in the updated Hunt and Trap Regulations Summary 2023-24.