Bird Hunting - Alberta

Alberta offers world class sporting opportunities for the wing shooter.

The following is a brief description of what's available for species and hunting for each region of the province.

The Boreal and Peace Country:
Along with bears, big whitetails and moose, northern Alberta is known for it’s bird game. Thousands upon thousands of local and migrating Canada geese stage in northwest Alberta’s Peace country throughout September and October. It is here that the geese fuel up on protein for the long migration south in the surrounding fields of barley, peas and wheat. The Peace country is a large block of parkland habitat surrounded by forests of poplar and mixed coniferous trees. Running throughout the “Peace” is the mighty Peace River, which is the primary roosting and staging habitat for the birds. Several large lakes and wetlands provide additional staging habitat for migrating wildfowl. This is the first place where the geese are introduced to sportsmen and the birds are naive and rarely shy from a blind.

The Peace Country may be the very best goose-hunting destination on the continent. As with the geese, ducks (particularly mallards) stage in the Peace parklands by the thousands. The abundant mallards share the same food source as the geese and very often mallards are shot prior to and in between goose flights. Most sportsmen visiting the Peace pursue geese and duck hunting is only secondary. For those hunters wishing to pursue field- feeding ducks, the Peace River country is world class.  The large wetlands and lakes of the Peace parklands the boreal forests also offer some of the best diver hunts in the West.  There are literally countless water-bodies throughout the North that have never seen a duck boat. 

Late September and early October is the ideal time to witness the migration of most duck species.

The Parkland:
The Parkland region within Alberta provides an array of opportunities for the wing shooter. The bird game in the central Alberta is second to none. The aspen parkland is home to the highest densities of breeding mallards on the continent. Add to this, numerous flocks of locally raised Canada geese and tremendous numbers of migrating Canada’s, snow geese and white-fronted geese and ducks of all species. There is little doubt that the region is a waterfowler’s heaven. A long season and liberal limits only add to the package. 

All three species of geese with several species of ducks can comprise the bag limit on any single hunt. The migration is in full swing by the beginning of the season in mid-September and lasts until the end of October in most years.  Many of the best mallard hunts occur on small wetlands, locally known as potholes. The mallards stage on large bodies of water and at least once a day fly out to feed in nearby fields. The birds will virtually always fly into a small body of water near the field. It is here that the birds are intercepted. These hunts can be fast and furious, often with thousands of ducks recklessly winging into your decoys. Very often large parties of hunters are limited out by the time the sun paints the surrounding fields gold

The Foothills and Mountains:
Aside from world-class big game hunting in Alberta’s foothills, the region also offers good opportunities for waterfowl and upland game hunting. Duck and goose hunting in this region is fairly localized and the majority of opportunities occur along the eastern boundary near to farming country. The region is best known for late season shooting especially in the south. Warm water springs throughout southwest Alberta provide the only open water refuge for tens of thousands of wintering mallards. Opportunities for ducks and geese exist from early September in the north through to late December in the south.

The Prairie:
One of the most attractive aspects of Southern Alberta is the opportunities for the sportsman, as there is an abundant diversity of bird game to pursue. Southern Alberta is known worldwide for its quality waterfowling opportunities. Sharing the Pacific and Central Flyways, Southern Alberta is blessed with millions of migrating ducks and geese. The prairies have thousands of acres of staging water with very low hunting pressure. Field shooting of large Canada geese is particularly attractive to visiting sportsmen, with many shoots being complimented with wave after wave of mallards and pintails.  Big water shooting opportunities are plentiful for divers, dabblers or mixed bag hunts, with virtually no competition. The migration and seasons begin in early September and continue through to the end of the season in late December, although most shallow wetlands are frozen by the first of November.