The Outfitter’s Manual

As a tourist outfitter, you need to apply to, and be authorized by, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to participate in the Ontario Moose-Bear Tourism Industry Program. This allows you to provide either or both:

  • Moose hunting services to residents and non-residents
  • Black bear hunting services to non-residents

This program:

  • Economically benefits the tourism industry and the province by giving hunting opportunities to tourist outfitters
  • Ensures outfitters are aware of and follow rules
  • Tracks tourism hunting activities
  • Helps manage sustainable moose and bear populations

As an authorized moose or black bear outfitter, you must:

Moose Outfitter Requirements

Outdoors Cards: Any non-resident client that is a first-time hunter in Ontario must have an Outdoors Card.

Validation certificates: A validation certificate is a component of a valid hunting licence. To apply for and receive moose validation certificates for your clients, you need to sign an agreement with the ministry each year. You must apply for a validation certificate for each client. You can do so in person at your local MNRF district office using a Tourist Outfitter’s Application for Moose Validation Certificate and Mandatory Hunter Report.

You will need to include the client’s:

  • Outdoors Card number
  • First and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Mailing and residential address, including postal or zip code
  • Height and eye colour

You will need to submit applications at least four weeks before the hunt. This ensures validation certificates are ready for you to pick up in time for the opening of the hunt. Before your client leaves for Ontario, you should let them know their validation certificate has been issued.

Moose hunting licences: Any client wishing to hunt in Ontario must have a valid Outdoors Card and appropriate hunter accreditation to buy a hunting licence. Before your client can buy a hunting licence, their hunter accreditation must be on file with the Fish and Wildlife Licensing Service. Non-residents must plan ahead and submit their hunting accreditation in advance. To do so, advise your clients to call the Natural Resources Information and Support Centre at 1-800-387-7011 prior to visiting Ontario.

To get a moose hunting licence, you can advise your client to do one of the following:

  1. Submit their hunter accreditation directly to MNRF to approve and enter into their account. This allows the client to buy a moose licence and other hunting products online prior to arriving in Ontario, or they can stop at a licence issuer or participating ServiceOntario location in Ontario to buy their licence without providing further documentation.
  2. Stop at a licence issuer or participating ServiceOntario location in Ontario to submit their hunter accreditation and buy a moose licence and tag, or any other hunting-related products.

Black Bear Outfitter Requirements

Validation certificates: To apply for and receive black bear validation certificates for your non-resident clients, you need to:

  • Buy an annual Licence to Provide Bear Hunting Services at your local MNRF district office
  • Pay fees for using Crown land, if applicable

Your licence identifies the Crown land (bear management areas) and private land areas where you can provide bear hunting services to your clients. To use private land listed on your licence, you will need to have the landowner’s permission. You cannot provide hunting services on private land located in a bear management area that is licenced to another outfitter.

Hunter activity and harvest: At the end of the hunt, you will need to ensure each client completes their mandatory hunter activity and harvest report on the copies of the validation certificate that you are holding.

Key Dates for Outfitters

You must return the pertinent copies of issued validation certificates, including completed moose or black bear hunter reports, to the local MNRF district office that gave you the validation certificates by:

  • June 29 for spring black bear hunting
  • December 14 for fall black bear hunting
  • December 29 for moose hunting

If you don’t return the reports by the applicable dates, you will not receive validation certificates for your guests for the following year’s hunt.

Contact your local MNRF district office to find out how to become an authorized moose or black bear outfitter, or if you have questions about the Ontario Moose-Bear Tourism Industry Program.