Mule Deer Hunting Season

Res #: 14-18A
Number: 14
Year: 2018
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

WHEREAS the mule deer population within southern Saskatchewan has increased dramatically over the past five years;

WHEREAS mule deer do extensive damage to hay stacks and cropped land;

WHEREAS testing has shown an increase in the number of mule deer having Chronic Wasting Disease within the mule deer population;

WHEREAS the damage caused by mule deer, poses a considerable cost to farmers and ranchers;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Ministry of Environment to have an open season for mule deer, the same as we have for whitetail deer at present.

View response from the Ministry of Environment

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

October 25, 2022

Mule deer are a native species throughout the province and are managed with the goal of maintaining sustainable populations. Mule deer management is guided by the Saskatchewan Game Management Plan and Allocation Framework, which is publicly available online. Mule deer quotas are set in each wildlife management zone (WMZ) to ensure population sustainability over the long term, while considering the conservation of the species, First Nations and Metis harvesting rights, landowner tolerance, hunter interests and other public interests in wildlife. The Ministry of Environment sets mule deer hunting quotas, seasons and regulations using the best available information. 

A province-wide change to over-the-counter mule deer licences would not be sustainable for mule deer populations in the province over the long term. Hunter interest in the Big Game Draw remains strong, with the number of applicants far exceeding current available licences. Ensuring there is adequate hunter participation to meet harvest objectives is not currently a concern in most WMZs. 

Where hunter demand is less than the harvest quota, the ministry issues quota-limited antlerless mule deer licences that can be purchased over the counter. This approach has been used successfully in several management zones in the past, including WMZs 3, 7E, 7W, 8, 11, 12 and 14W 

The Ministry of Environment will continue to ensure mule deer harvest opportunity is maximized within sustainable limits, and the Big Game Draw is functioning as intended. The ministry is in the process of developing a 10-year mule deer management plan to guide future management strategies in the province. 

As part of the plan development, the ministry will be engaging with the Wildlife Advisory Committee, which includes membership from the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities. 

The Honourable Dana Skoropad – Minister of Environment, Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment