Relève à la chasseDeer hunting initiation weekend

The initiation weekend allows novices to hunt white-tailed deer with a mentor under certain conditions and in compliance with hunting regulations. Its purpose is to encourage the practice of sport hunting and the transfer of knowledge from seasoned hunters.

The initiation weekend will take place on October 31 and November 1, 2020. These dates are added to the usual hunting calendar and are exclusively for hunting novices and their mentors.

The deer hunting initiation weekend is an initiative that stems from the white-tailed deer management plan 2020-2027.

On this page:

Eligibility requirements for novices

  • Obtain a SEW licence (for educational purposes) that authorizes white-tailed deer hunting during the initiation weekend.
  • Match one of the following profiles:
    • young hunter: Québec resident aged 12 to 17 on October 31, 2020, who holds the appropriate hunter’s certificate for the weapon he/she intends to use.
    • initiation licence holder: Québec resident, regardless of age, who holds an authorization number to get a white-tailed deer hunting initiation licence. If you have never requested an authorization number to get a white-tailed deer hunting initiation licence, this can be done quickly through the MFFP.
    • newly certified hunter: Québec resident, regardless of age, who became certified in 2019. To meet this last requirement, you must have completed the training course to obtain the hunter’s certificate (with an “A”, “B” or “F” code) in the calendar year that precedes the initiation weekend, which was January 1 to December 31, 2019

Regulatory obligation: official documents required to participate

While hunting, carry your SEW licence and your valid regular or additional white-tailed deer hunting licence for the hunting zone in which you will be carrying out the activity. Young hunters aged 12 to 17, as well as students aged 18 to 24 who have a valid student card, can hunt under an adult’s white-tailed deer hunting licence.

Additional information

General rules for mentors

During the initiation weekend, the mentor cannot have nor use a weapon.

Novice hunters who hold a SEW licence for this purpose must abide by the following rules:

  • to hunt with a bow or crossbow, a young hunter aged 12 to 15 who holds the appropriate hunter’s certificate must be accompanied by an adult aged over 18 years old who also has a valid certificate for the weapon they intend to use. On this , the accompanying adult can only be with two young hunters at a time.
  • to hunt with a firearm, a young hunter aged 12 to 17 who holds the appropriate hunter’s certificate must be accompanied by an adult aged over 18 years old who also has a valid certificate to hunt with a firearm. On this day, the accompanying adult can only be with two young hunters at a time. Other obligations must be met under the federal Firearms Act.
  • the holder of an initiation licence must be accompanied by a Québec resident of at least 25 years of age who holds a valid hunter’s certificate for the weapon they intend to use. Also, the initiation licence holder has to make sure to comply with the regulations in effect related to this type of licence. On this day, the accompanying adult can only be with one initiation licence holder at a time.
  • hunters who obtained their certificate in 2019 do not have to be accompanied to hunt with a bow or crossbow if they are at least 16 years old or to hunt with a firearm if they are at least 18 years old. It is still recommended for these hunters to have a mentor during the initiation weekend to benefit from the transfer of knowledge from seasoned hunters.

Cerf de Virginie

Applying for a SEW licence

The SEW licence (for educational purposes) is mandatory to participate in the initiation weekend. To obtain the licence, you must apply online between (date) and (date), 2020. If you meet the requirements, a SEW licence for the initiation weekend that allows you to hunt white-tailed deer on October 31 and November 1, 2020, will be sent to you free of charge before the beginning of the hunting season. Please note that the form is only compatible with the latest version of Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox  or Safari .

Fill out the online form

Hunting rules during initiation weekend

White-tailed deer hunting rules during initiation weekend are detailed by zone. In addition, hunters must comply with all big game hunting regulations.

Zones where hunting is allowed Age and sex of deer Authorized gear
1 North, 1 South, 2 East, 2 West, 3 East, 3 West, 4, 5 East, 5 West, 6 North (note 4), 6 South (note 4), 7 North, 7 South, 8 East,
8 North, 8 South, 9 East, 9 West, 10 East, 10 West, 11 East, 11 West, 12, 13 Southwest (note 2), 15 West
Antlered deer (notes 3 and 6) (7 cm or more) Firearms, crossbow and bow (note 1)
15 East, 26 East, 26 West, 27 East, 27 West, 28 Antlered deer (notes 3 and 6) (7 cm or more) Crossbow and bow (note 1)
Islands of the St. Lawrence River and downstream from pont Pierre-Laporte, included in zones 2 East, 2 West, 3 East, 27 East, 27 West (note 7) Antlered or antlerless deer Crossbow and bow (note 1)

Note 1: in wildlife reserves and outfitters with exclusive rights, some of the white-tailed deer hunting rules are different from those of the zones in which they are located. For more information, contact the wildlife reserve or outfitter to learn about their territory’s effective regulations.

Note 2: zone 13 Southwest is the area of zone 13 located to the south of this boundary: route 101, chemin Kipawa and chemin forestier R0819. It does not include the Dumoine, Maganasipi and Restigo ZECs.

Note 3: during an antlered deer hunting period, a resident who holds an antlerless deer hunting licence obtained by random draw can hunt antlerless deer in the hunting zone on his/her licence. When antlerless deer hunting licences are issued by random draw for a wildlife reserve or a ZEC, licences for the zone where the wildlife reserve or ZEC are located are not valid on these territories. Conversely, licences issued for these territories cannot be used in the zone where they are located (see the FAQ for different scenarios).

Note 4: an antlered deer (7 cm or more) that complies with the antler restriction pilot project (ARPP) standard is defined as a deer whose antlers have three points of 2.5 cm or more on at least one side of the antlers.

Note 5 : in some zones, hunting may be prohibited or restricted in certain territories.

Note 6 : does not include the St. Lawrence River islands downstream from pont Pierre-Laporte in this zone.

Note 7 : Zone 2 East: Île du Bic, Île Saint-Barnabé; Zone 2 West: Île aux Lièvres, Île Verte; Zone 3 East: Grosse-Île, Île aux Grues, Île aux Oies, Île Patience, Île de la Sottise, Île Brothers, Île Longue, Île du Cheval, Île Ronde, Île au Canot, Île à Deux Têtes, Île Sainte-Marguerite, Battures aux Loups Marins; Zone 27 East: Île aux Coudres; Zone 27 West: Île d’Orléans, Île au Ruau, Île Madame.

Annual random draw for special antlerless deer hunting licences

A number of antlerless deer hunting licences were issued by random draw in June 2020 and may be used during the initiation weekend. A percentage of these licences were reserved, among others, for Québec residents who became certified hunters in 2019. This licence obtained by random draw allows the holder to kill an antlerless deer (female or fawn) in the hunting zone or the ZEC specified on the licence. In addition, it is possible to use the antlerless deer hunting licence of an immediate family member.