Expand Hunting on Mule Deer and Antelope

Res #: 21-02M
Number: 21
Year: 2002
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Environment

Resolution No. 21-02M

WHEREAS, some areas of this province are experiencing an increase in the population of mule deer and antelope; and

WHEREAS, the increased numbers of these animals have caused numerous traffic accidents; and 

WHEREAS, they also cause damage to crops and gardens;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby Saskatchewan Environment to consider increasing draw limits for moose, mule deer and antelope and also implementing a hunting season in non-traditional areas of the province where population permits.

Response From Honourable Buckley Belanger:

Mule deer populations are doing well throughout most of their range. The number of mule deer licences offered in 2002 was 14,525 for the entire province. Of this total, 5,860 were either-sex licences and 8,665 were antlerless licences. This total represents a 50% increase over the number of licences issued in 2001. Hunting opportunities are already available in most areas of the province where it is possible to sustain a mule deer harvest. An assessment of the 2002 mule deer harvest and a determination of quotas for the 2003 hunting season will be made early in the New Year.

For the first time in several years, the department offered a bucks-only hunt for antelope in two management areas in the southwestern part of the province. For the two areas, a total of 350 licences was issued. While the antelope population continues to increase and recover from low levels in the late 90's there is still concern over fawn survival and herd growth. If fawn survival rates and herd growth continue to improve, the department will support consideration of additional antelope hunting opportunity.

Sightings of moose in non-traditional or farmland areas have become more frequent in recent years. While most of these moose represent a novelty or conversation item for local people, in certain situations they have become problems. In most of these areas, the overall moose population does not warrant a hunting season, and the department prefers to address concerns on a case-by-case basis. However, if populations warrant a season, consultation with local landowners will be done by the department prior to a season being held.

All licence quotas are evaluated annually through a formal process involving the Wildlife Advisory Committee. SARM is a key member of this multi-stakeholder committee and the department continues to value input from SARM and individual RMs on season dates and bag limits.

The department is aware that the "farmland" moose population has increased significantly in some areas in recent years. A process enabling the development of farmland moose hunting seasons has been developed and can be operational if warranted. This process is led by the local conservation officer and involved an evaluation of the local moose population, and consultations with local landowners and hunters to establish support for hunter access and support for a hunting season.

RMs requesting consideration of a moose hunting season should contact their local conservation officer.