3 Things You Should Know About “Antlerless Deer” Tags (AKA Doe Tags)
When it comes to hunting in Ontario, there are a lot of restrictions and regulations you need to know. However, they tend to be hidden in long-winded explanations and legal jargon. Even the most experienced hunters can misunderstand, misinterpret, or simply miss a rule change. One rule that seems to cause the most confusion is the tag rules for “Antlerless Deer”.
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) defines an antlerless deer as “a deer with no antlers or with antlers that are both less than 7.5 cm (3 inches) long. Generally, antlerless deer include adult female deer and fawns of both sexes.”
If you’re interested in hunting antlerless deer, there are three things you need to know:
1. THERE ARE A LIMITED NUMBER OF TAGS FOR ANTLERLESS DEER
In order to hunt antlerless deer, you must enter a draw that typically runs for a few months prior to the start of hunting season. For example, for Ontario’s 2020/2021 hunting season, the draw was open between March 1st to June 30th. The results were available on August 1st 2020.
These antlerless deer tags (commonly referred to as Doe Tags) are in limited quantity and awarded in a lottery-style selection based on the region you apply for. You can apply online, over the phone, or in person at select Service Ontario locations. For more details on applying visit the Ministry’s website.
2. YOU MUST KNOW THE REGION YOU ARE PLANNING TO HUNT IN BEFORE APPLYING
If you’re planning on entering the lottery for an antlerless deer tag, you’ll need to know which Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) you will be hunting in. There are a designated number of tags for each WMU, so it’s important to indicate the proper area when applying. You can determine your WMU by visiting the Ministry’s website .
Remember: While an antlered/buck tag is valid across Ontario, the antlerless/doe tag is not valid outside the designated region.
3. AN ANTLERLESS DEER TAG DOES NOT COUNT AS AN EXTRA/ADDITIONAL TAG
It’s important to remember that if you successfully win the draw for an antlerless tag, your deer tag actually becomes an “Antlerless OR Antlered” tag. It doesn’t give you a separate tag for both antlered and antlerless.
This means that should you choose to hunt an antlerless deer, you will not get to hunt for an antlered deer. There is a separate application process if you’re looking for an additional tag but those quantities are limited by WMU and must be applied for separately.
If you need any advice on the hunting restrictions in your area, feel free to come into the store and talk with our team.
Good article. Does the MNR provide a breakdown of how many tags are awarded in each WMU?
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