Saskatchewan will be opening another year’s Big Game Draw on May 1st, with some added hunting opportunities.
The draw provides a select amount of licenses to hunters during the big game season. The province says this year, there will be increased hunting opportunities for elk, pronghorn, mule deer and white-tailed deer due to recent mild winters.
President of the Lloydminster & District Fish and Game Association Dwayne Davison says getting your license through the draw is necessary during big game season, and people who don’t will only be able to hunt in the regular season.
“It provides an outdoor activity that we’ve done for years in this province. It gets people out and about in the great outdoors. If people are successful in their question for an animal, they get to enjoy the fruits of their labour and have some good, hearty meat.”
Each species has individual draw seasons, for which applications are broken down into six separate pools. This is due to the fact that there are a set amount of licences per species yearly.
Davison explains that the draw status is determined based on factors like if a hunter has applied before, and how many times they’ve successfully been drawn.
“It’s by priority. Legacy is the highest priority you can get, the Super A Legacy. There’s several people for moose, for example, who are well past ten years of putting in for the draw and haven’t been drawn yet.”
The Province says the number of hunters moving from the Super A pool to Legacy pool without being drawn remains low. They add that hunters should review results from previous years to help them select hunt choices to improve their likelihood of being drawn, as several hunts have a high number of applicants when compared to the number of licences available.
One thing that has changed is the application process. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the province has moved all draw applications and information on the big game draw online.
Hunters can submit, review and update their applications, check pool status history and purchase a draw licence through their Hunting Angling and Trapping License (HAL) accounts. To prevent system outages, hunters are encouraged to apply long before the May 25th deadline.
Draw results will be available through HAL accounts in mid-June, with the exception of pronghorn, which will be available in mid-July. Applicants are responsible for checking their own draw results.
Successful applicants will be able to purchase licences through their HAL accounts beginning August 1, 2020.