Small Game Hunting in Canada

I have include those small game families under small game that SOME Canadian provinces/territories consider as Small Game. However, you must note that some species listed are huntable in some provinces and some are not. Example a Red Squirrel is huntable in the Northwest Territories but is considered a fur bearing animal in Ontario and is not huntable.

Another example is in the Marmot family. They are listed but a strain on Vancouver Island is only there and it is a protected species. Other sub species are huntable.

Always consult the Provincial/Territorial regulations for the area you are hunting. Make sure that the small game is permitted for the hunting zone/WMU that you are hunting, not a bow only, check the calibre of firearm permitted, requirement of a special permit (IE. Wild Turkey or Wolf), or even a course (like Ontario’s Turkey) in order to hunt.

Migratory Birds will be covered under Waterfowl.

Links to Provincial Regulations are provided by visiting Provinces.


Badger - Taxidea Taxus

  • Although not a common hunting species it is permitted by Residents of British Columbia
  • It inhabits theSouthern Prairies, south-central British Columbia and southernmost Ontario


Eastern Cottontail - Sylvilagus Floridanus

  • Southern Manitoba, Saskatchewan Ontario and Quebec [20]


Mountain Cottontail - Sylvalagus Nuttallii

  • Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, Okanagan and Similkameen valleys [20]


Snowshoe Hare - Lepus americanu

  • Much of mainland Canada except southernmost Ontario [20]


Arctic Hare - Lepus arcticus

  • Canadian Arctic (including Arctic Archipelago), Labrador, Newfoundland [20]


Whitetailed Jack Rabbit - Lepus townsendii

  • Southern prairies, Okanagan Valley [20]


Arctic Fox - Vulpes lagopus

  • Northern Canada [20]


Red Fox - Vulpes vulpes

  • All of Canada except part of the Arctic Islands and West Coast [20]


Swift Fox - Vulpes velox

  • Southern Prairie Provinces [20]


Groundhog (Woodchuck) - Marmota monax

  • Much of mainland Canada west of the Rockies, inland valleys and part western Yukon [20]


Eastern Gray Squirrel - Sciurus carolinensis

  • Southern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario, southern Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick. [20]


Eastern Fox Squirrel - Sciurus niger

  • Southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Pelee Island [20]


Douglas Squirrel - Tamiasciurus douglasii

  • Southwestern British Columbia [20]


American Red Squirrel - Tamiasciurus hudsonicus

  • Mainland Canada south of the Tree line, except the southern prairies and southwestern British Columbia; Vancouver and Cape Breton Islands. [20]


Northern Flying Squirrel - Glaucomys sabrinus

  • Mainland Canada south of the tree line except the southern Prairies, and Cape Breton Islands [20]


Southern Flying Squirrel - Glaucomys volans

  • Southern Ontario, part of Quebeck, southern Nova Scotia [20}


Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel - Callospermophilus lateralis

  • Southeastern Rockies [20]


Cascade Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel - Callospermophilus saturatus'

  • British Columbia [20]


Franklin's Ground Squirrel - Poliocitellus fraklinili

  • Northwestern Ontario and southern Prairies except short-grass prairies [20] 


Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel - Ictidomys tridecemlineatus

  • Southern Prairie Provinces [20]

Columbian Ground Squirrel  Urocitellus columbianus

  •  Southern Rocky mountains [20]

 Richardson’s Ground Squirrel - Urocitellus richardsonii

  •  South of the Prairie provinces [20]


Arctic Ground Squirrel - Urocitellus parryii

  • Mainland Arctic [20]


Hoary Marmot - Marmota caligata

  • Rockies, Columbia, and Coast Mountains [20]


Yellow Bellied Marmot - Marmota flaviventris

  • Central British Columbia and southernmost Alberta [20]


Virginia Opossum - Didelphis virginiana

  • Southwestern Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.
  • Considered an exotic species by British Columbia. [20]


North American Porcupine - Erethizon dorsatum

  • South of the tree line [20]


Racoon - Procyon lotor

  • Southern Canada except Rockies and Cape Breton Island [20]


Western Spotted Skunk - Spilogale gracilis

  • Southwestern British Columbia [20]


Striped Skunk -Mephitis mephitis

  • Rockies to the Maritmes. Introduced in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia in the 19th century. [20]


Coyote - Canis latrans

  • Rockies through southern prairies to southwestern Quebec [20]


  • By most standards the Wolf is considered a big game animal and is listed under the Big Game Category even though it can be hunted under a small game permit in some provinces.







Photocredits for Slideshow

  • Racoon – Cliff Hanks – Flickr

  • Hare – Gina - Flickr

  • Squirrel – Bob - Flickr


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