Mule Deer

Res #: 9-21M
Number: 9
Year: 2021
Midterm: Yes
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

WHEREAS there is an overpopulation of mule deer in the province; and
WHEREAS the increased population of mule deer causes damage to crop within the province; and
WHEREAS the increased population results in an increase in motor vehicle accidents.
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby to expand the hunting season for an increased limit for hunters and make a regular season with no draw tags.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

December 8, 2021

The goal of mule deer management is to maintain sustainable populations of the species in Saskatchewan. Mule deer quotas are set to ensure population sustainability, while considering First Nations and Metis Harvesting Rights, landowner tolerance, hunter interests and non-consumptive values in wildlife. Saskatchewan represents some of the most northern reaches of the mule deer range in North America. A province-wide, unlimited, over the counter license, as suggested, would be expected to result in substantial mule deer population decline beyond sustainable levels for the population.

Therefore, mule deer are managed using the Big Game Draw, which is an equitable system to allocate available hunting opportunity. The Ministry of Environment will continue to monitor hunter interest to ensure target harvest objectives are met and the Big Game Draw is functioning as intended.

In 2021, the mule deer quota for both the either-sex and antlerless mule deer licence were increased throughout the Parkland region of the province by more than 25 per cent, which resulted in a quota increase to 175 either-sex and 200 antlerless mule deer licences in WMZ 54, and 175 either-sex and 400 antlerless licenses in WMZ 44 (i.e., the WMZs that encompass the RM of Blaine Lake). These changes are expected to help stabilize mule deer population growth in the region of concern, while avoiding population overharvest. The Ministry will continue to evaluate all available data sources to inform mule deer management decisions, including: mule deer population trends, number of hunters, winter severity, disease prevalence, crop depredation information, vehicle-deer collisions, as well as, Indigenous, stakeholder (including this resolution) and public input to collectively help inform management decisions.

Hon. Warren Kaeding – Minister of Environment