Making Hunting More Affordable for Seniors

Alberta’s new hunting regulations will better manage and track species health, provide new hunting opportunities and introduce a seniors’ discount on hunting licences.

Minister Phillips and hunter mentor Clayton Gast present Tom Bateman with a new seniors hunting licence.

Hunting plays an important role in Alberta’s wildlife management and conservation efforts, with special hunting opportunities promoted every year. With the new pricing structure, Alberta will have one of the lowest-cost game-bird and white-tailed deer hunting licences for seniors of any province.

“Not only is hunting part of Alberta’s cultural heritage; it’s a major economic driver and a wonderful pastime for thousands of Albertans. This year, our government is proud to offer new elk- and deer-hunting opportunities, strengthen existing mentorship programs for youth, and support seniors living on fixed incomes by reducing the cost of hunting licences.”

~Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks

This fall, the prices for seniors hunting licences will be:

  • $8.25 for a combination wildlife certificate and bird game permit, down from $44.02
  • $8.25 for a white-tailed deer licence, down from $39.95
  • $12 for partner licences for senior Albertan hunters

As part of the introduction of these reduced-cost licences for seniors, the Government of Alberta will partner with the Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association (AHEIA) to create mentorship opportunities for seniors to pass along their experience and expertise to a new generation of hunters.

“Supporting high-quality mentorship programs helps lifelong hunters connect and share their skills with youth who are interested in hunting, but don’t know where to start. As Alberta’s leader in providing conservation and hunter education programs, AHEIA is excited to expand our partnership with the government to support the next generation of hunters.”

~Robert Gruszecki, president, Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association

The new hunting regulations will require more extensive testing for Chronic Wasting Disease, closely align bear baiting season with hibernation patterns, provide more opportunities for cougar hunting and increase the number of tags available for elk and deer to help manage populations near settled areas.

“At Lethbridge Fish and Game Association, we believe that every generation should be able to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and share in conserving its wonders forever. Our members are excited to see more opportunities for elk and mule deer in southern Alberta, and we applaud the government for reducing the cost of hunting licences for seniors and encouraging greater partnerships that promote responsible hunting and education to Alberta’s youth.”

~Rick Blakeley, past president and range operator, Lethbridge Fish and Game Association

Alberta is one of the only places in North America in which hunting continues to increase in popularity. More than 120,000 Albertans purchased a hunting licence last year, up from 110,000 in 2014-15. More than 18,500 hunting licence holders are aged 65 or older.

Quick Facts

  • The number of special licences has been increased for both elk and deer to minimize human-wildlife conflicts and provide additional hunting opportunity for residents and landowners.
  • There are approximately 200 more antlered mule deer tags available for resident hunters this year in southwestern Alberta. In addition, there are 2,800 more tags for antlerless mule deer.
  • A quota hunt will be set up this winter in an area near the town of Macgrath to reduce human-wildlife conflict and provide a safe living environment for residents.
  • As part of the government’s ongoing commitment to tracking and preventing the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease, these regulations require more extensive testing of game heads.
  • Landowners will have more opportunity to hunt elk on their own property to help minimize elk eating stored-feed, prevent fence damage and reduce human-wildlife conflicts. Landowner licenses are also available to landowners that have applied for an elk license and are unsuccessful in the license draws.
  • Alberta’s bear baiting season will now end at the end of October to better align with bear hibernation season and help prevent illegal harvest.
  • New opportunities for cougar hunting will be made available in Cougar Management Area (CMA) 21 west of Edmonton. Studying the results of this change will help population biologists better understand cougar behaviour and prevent human-wildlife conflict.
  • New restrictions on bow hunting at Larch Island near Canmore, and firearm restrictions in Strathcona County are being implemented at the request of area residents. These changes will help keep communities safe, while ensuring that hunting opportunities remain.