Hunters on either side of the provincial border will have some new rules to follow in the 2020 game season.
The Saskatchewan Resident Youth Game Licence has been changed into two licenses for youth, one for white-tail deer and the other for birds. The province says this will help them keep easier track through their Hunting, Angling and Trapping (HAL) system, and will create no additional costs for residents, as both licenses are $10. Permit options for hunters with disabilities have been expanded to those using a motorized wheelchair as well.
The Saskatchewan Government is also announcing that there will be a second license for hunting black bears in areas of the province where it is sustainable and human-bear conflict is a concern.
In addition, the province is bringing in a mandatory Hunter Harvest Survey, which Lloydminster & District Fish & Game Association President Dwayne Davison explains will help biologists make sure herds are healthy across the province.
“With that information, they use [it] to dictate how [many] tags are issued for draw system and that, and overall health of the herd in numbers.”
The province is working on a Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance program, and encourage hunters to help in this process. They can bring in the head of the animal to certain Ministry of Environment field offices, select Parks offices or self-service drop-off locations. CWD-infected animals may appear healthy and show no signs of the disease, and by having the deer, moose, elk or caribou they’ve killed examined, hunters can stop the spread of the disease.
“The Chronic Wasting Disease is something that’s been getting more and more prevalent every year” Davison elaborates, “and it’s definitely a huge problem in the province. People are getting more and more educated to the issue with that. It’s a similar prion disease to what Mad Cow Disease was.”
Alberta has also introduced some new regulations this year as well. Among them are more restrictions on having a firearm on an Off-Highway vehicle. A new sandhill crane hunting season has been brought in, as well as the black bear hunting season is extended to November 30th.
Hunters who bag a deer must submit its head for CWD research if it was bagged anywhere south of Lloydminster to as far as Oyen, and as far west as Consort.
Davison adds that by adapting the rules annually, it allows people to ensure a fair and safe hunt with others and for the animals.
“Things change. I mean winters, if there’s a bad winter, the deer population, the animal population definitely goes down, so it ebbs and flows the with the environment’s doing in that particular year.