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Very large sums invested by hunters and fishermen


Activities related to the world of wildlife, including hunting and fishing, contribute billions of dollars to Quebec’s economy.

This is what the figures published by the Ministry of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks reveal. In Quebec, there are 294,000 hunters, 695,000 fishermen, 6,600 trappers and 2,326,000 wildlife observers.

For all of these followers, their annual spending is estimated at $4.7 billion. All these expenses support the production of goods and services which contribute to Quebec’s gross domestic product (GDP), to the tune of $2.4 billion in terms of added value, we can read in the ministry documents. It also explains that all these environments maintain 28,000 full-time jobs.

The majority of these jobs, 16,000, are in the fishing sector. Hunting activities are the source of 7,000 jobs and trapping activities, 263.

Spending by these followers helps support regional economies. They also contribute greatly to the wildlife industry, where we find ministry partners, traders and manufacturers. Amateurs can count, for the practice of their activities, on a network of 565 outfitters, 86 active ZECs, 27 national parks, a marine park and 21 wildlife reserves.

The largest total expenditure, $2.5 billion, comes from fishermen. Hunters follow with $1.3 billion, wildlife watchers with $785 million and trappers with spending of $58 million.

The hunter Michel Simard posing with his catch.

Photo provided by Karl Tremblay and Julien Cabana


In the portrait drawn up by the government, we can find highlights by region and activity.

Thus, we learn that small game hunting ($207 million), moose hunting ($196 million) and white-tailed deer hunting ($175 million) represent 83.7% of the economic benefits. hunting in Quebec.

Small game hunting dominates in terms of economic benefits in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region. Not surprisingly, the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region wins the prize for moose hunting, while for white-tailed deer, Estrie stands out.

Still according to the same data provided, we learn that the practice of fishing for pike, perch and bass generates spinoffs of $408 million, that of walleye, $261 million, and fishing for char fountain (speckled trout), $174 million. These figures represent 64.9% of the economic benefits of fishing in Quebec.

Pike, perch and bass fishing have the greatest impact in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region. Walleye dominates in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. The highest economic benefits for speckled trout fishing are recorded in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region.

All this data is taken from official figures for the 2022 season.


Without much surprise, we can quickly realize, by taking a look at the sale of permits for the year 2022-2023, that moose remains the most popular big game.

In total, 168,486 permits were sold to residents and 2,645 to non-residents. Then we find small game, with 168,008 for residents and 2,269 for non-residents. For white-tailed deer, there were sales of 132,513 licenses for residents and 829 for non-residents, excluding Anticosti, where more than 4,000 licenses were issued.

In recent years, several fans have been asking questions about the moose population in Quebec. Government experts in the field assure us that despite the drop in population density in certain areas, there is no problem for this species here.

They recall that in the 1960s-1990s, the moose population was around 70,000 to 90,000 while in 2020, it rose to between 130,000 and 140,000 animals.

According to the data provided for the annual harvest, during permissive years, when the harvest of females is permitted, the number of registered animals is around 27,000 while for non-permissive years, the harvest is around 20,000.

These figures have been stable for 10 years. However, it is estimated that this season, even if it is permissive, there may well be a slight drop in the harvest, in particular due to the special measures taken for zones 27 and 2.

We will have to wait until January to know the exact results of the 2023 harvest.

In the past, the ministry regularly released results during the season. We were told that they had abandoned this practice because of the speculation that was being made around these partial results. Time will tell whether the specialists were right to be optimistic.


On the website of the Quebec Federation of Hunters and Fishermen, you will find a very interesting video which explains how to maximize the meat of your game. Yves Fortin from Boucherie René Richard, located in Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley in Estrie, provides valuable advice on how to preserve as much meat as possible when gutting your game. By following his advice, you will be assured of having tasty meat, without forgetting the fact that you will be doing your butcher a favor when he butchers and packages your meat. Personally, I always take jealous care of my game once I have harvested it and until the moment it ends up in the butchery. Don’t forget to register for the Generous Hunters section.



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