Clearing Up The Confusion About Electronic Calls
Like all sports, hunting has been greatly impacted by technology. Advancements in our bows, firearms, and gear allows hunters to be well-equipped as they trek out into the woods. However, it can be difficult to keep all of the regulations and restrictions straight–especially when it comes to the rapidly changing tech.
One piece of technology that frequently causes confusion is Electronic Calls. Electronic or recorded calls allow a hunter to remotely activate their calls. They usually come preloaded with a large number of highly accurate calls for a variety of game animals. So why do they cause such confusion?
Well, many hunters are under the impression that electronic calls are actually against the hunting regulations. But as it turns out, that’s not always the case! We contacted Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) to confirm the regulations for our area and we’re going to share with you the clarified answers.
(Please note: restrictions vary from province to province. While every effort has been made to verify these facts changes, updates, or regional variations may render the following information incorrect. Confirm your local regulations with the appropriate authority. )
Let’s start with the biggest question on a hunter’s mind right now: Can you hunt deer using Electronic Calls?
Yes! In Ontario, there are absolutely no restrictions on hunting deer using electronic calls. In fact, there are no restrictions on deer, moose, or elk. The hunting regulations do not include any language that prohibits the use of recorded or electronic calls for these types of animals, and this has been confirmed with MNR.
So where does the confusion come from? What type of animal do the electronic call restrictions apply to?
There are two areas of the hunting regulations that refer to electronic calls:
(Section 33-1) A person shall not hunt wild turkey,
[b] using an electronic call
(Section 15-1) ...no person shall hunt a migratory bird
[c] by the use or aid of recorded bird calls, except as permitted in any part of Schedule I;
According to the Canadian Wildlife Services, ‘Schedule I” includes stipulations regarding species that have been designated as “overabundant,” including Snow Geese and Ross’ Geese:
“It is illegal to hunt migratory game birds with electronic/recorded bird calls. However, recorded bird calls are allowed when hunting species that have been legally designated as overabundant. In Canada, Snow Geese and Ross’ Geese have been designated as overabundant species. In the Southern Hunting District of Ontario, recorded Snow Goose and Ross’ Goose calls may be used when hunting these overabundant species in Wildlife Management Unit 65, 66, 67 and 69B during the fall season and the special conservation season in spring. Any species of migratory bird for which it is open season may be taken while hunting Snow Geese and Ross’ Geese with recorded Snow Goose and Ross’ Goose calls.” (Via Canadian Wildlife Services)
So basically, if you’re hunting turkey or most migratory birds (ex. Canadian Geese), leave the electronic calls at home, otherwise, feel free to use them!
Now that we know that we’re allowed to use electronic calls, you may be wondering which one you should get. Well, our in-house hunting expert, Rob, has a few recommendations to help ease your search.
If you have any further questions about selecting the right electronic call for your next hunt, please feel free to reach out to us at any time. Happy Hunting!