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Hare and Rabbit Hunting Information for Canada


PROVINCES are listed in alphabetical order
PLEASE NOTE: The hunting seasons and bag limits are general dates used during the past several years. Provincial Fish and Game Departments may change seasons and bag limits from year to year according to fluctuations in the yearly estimated populations. Please contact that province's Dept. of Fish and Game to get a copy of their current hunting season regulations.Alberta
Alberta is home to snowshoe hares, white-tailed jacks, and eastern cottontails. Snowshoes are distributed province wide; jacks and cottons are fined to the southern portion. Rabbits and hares can normally be hunted year-round.
British Columbia
Snowshoes are available throughout this province. Eastern cottons have been introduced to the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Both of these species can be hunted all year. White-tailed jacks and mountain cottons, on the other hand, are totally protected in the Okanagan Valley, the only part of the province where they occur.
Snowshoes are most common here, distributed throughout the province. White-tailed jacks can be found south of Lake Winnipeg, along with the eastern cotton. The northeastern section of Manitoba is home to Arctic hares. Rabbits and hares have not been protected in the province, meaning they can be hunted anytime, including Sundays.
New Brunswick
Snowshoes are found throughout this province. They can be hunted, live-trapped, or snared normally from October 1 to the end of February. There is no bag limit.
Snowshoe and arctic hares occupy this province, but the larger arctic variety is rare on much of the island of Newfoundland. These hares are being reintroduced to parts of the island in an effort to increase their numbers. Arctic hares are presently found in the Northern an Southern Long Range Mountains, on the Buchans Plateau, and Brunette Island of Newfoundland. These hares are found all along the eastern portion of Labrador, with their range extending farthest inland in the center of the mainland.Snowshoe hares are not native to Newfoundland; they were introduced there from Nova Scotia between 1864 and 1876. Snowshoe numbers are highest in the interiors of Newfoundland and Labrador.Both hunting and snaring hares is legal in this province. Arctic hares cannot be hunted in Newfoundland. During a recent season snowshoe hares could be hunted October 1 – March 12 on the eastern Avalon Peninsula and Bonavista Peninsula. Snowshoes are normally only legal to take between October 1 – December 31 on the rest of the island. Both Arctic and snowshoe hares can normally be hunted October 1 – March 31 during regular season in Labrador.
Northwest Territories
Snowshoe hares inhabit much of the Northwest Territories were there are coniferous forests. Arctic hares are distributed north and east of Great Slave Lake. There has not been a closed season for taking hares.
Nova Scotia
Snowshoe hares get all the attention of rabbit hunters in Nova Scotia, being common province wide. The dates for hunting hares in this province are normally November 16 – February 28, with no bag limit. There were 508,124 hares harvested by 27,959 hunters during the 1983-84 season.
There is one species of rabbit and two of hares available to hunters in Ontario – eastern cottons as well as snowshoes and European hares. Cottons and European hares are restricted to the southern portion of the province between the Great Lakes of Huron, Ontario, and Erie on into Quebec where farmland and brushy cover provide suitable habitat. Snowshoe hares are distributed throughout most of the province where swamps and stands of evergreen trees provide adequate cover.
European hares were introduced to Ontario during 1912 when nine of the animals from Germany gained their freedom near Brantford. They flourished in their new home and now are an important small game species in parts of the province. Information on best locations to hunt these hares can be obtained from Ministry of Natural Resources offices at Owen Sound, Simcoe, Aylmer, Wingham, Cambridge, and Huronia.
Besides the species mentioned above, another hare – the white-tailed jack – occasionally shows up in the Rainy River region near the Manitoba border. Season dates in Ontario vary considerably, depending on management unit. The most liberal season dates have been September 1 – June 15, which is in effect for most of the province in past years. However, season dates are normally between October 31 – February 28 in units 93 and 94. Daily bag limits were six for each species of rabbit, although there are generally no bag limit for snowshoe hares in some units.There were 215,000 cottons harvested by 44,000 hunters during 1980; 271,000 snowshoe hares were bagged by 43,600 hunters; and 18,400 hunters collected 45,500 European hares.
Prince Edward Island
Snowshoe hares are available on this small island province. Hare populations are consistently good on the island. Also of interest is that the incidence of melanistic (black) hares is higher here than anywhere else. During some years, 1 percent of the hares harvested on the island are melanistic.
Both snowshoe and Arctic hares inhabit this province, with snowshoes inhabiting all but the Ungava Peninsula and Arctic hares most common on that peninsula. The range of Arctic hares extend south of the peninsula, so there is some overlap between the two species of hares. Eastern cottons occur in the extreme southern portion of Quebec.
The season dates for hares and rabbits are normally September 21 – March 1 over much of the province. In zones 23 and 24 the dates are normally August 25 – April 30, with opening dates of September 1 in zone 22 and September 14 in zone 19. Snaring rabbits and hares is also legal in the province during specified seasons.
The two types of rabbits occupying this province – eastern and mountain – are restricted to the southwest corner, with mountains having the largest range. Two hares – snowshoe and white-tailed jacks – live in Saskatchewan, too. Highest numbers of snowshoes are available in the northern two-thirds of the province, and white-tailed jacks in the southern third (from Prince Albert southward). Rabbits and hares are not protected at any time in the province.
Yukon TerritorySnowshoe hares can normally be hunted in the Yukon year-round, with the exception of Management Unit 6, which is closed to hunting. These hares are found province-wide.

Should you have a concern regarding the health of your Beagle(s), you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is presented solely for educational and informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving veterinary care for your Beagle(s).