Proposed Changes to the Wildlife Regulations, 1981 – Firearms on ATVs

Res #: 9-20A
Number: 9
Year: 2020
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

WHEREAS Section 48 of The Wildlife Regulations, 1981 reads: “During an open season for big game other than the wolf season, no person shall carry a firearm on any all-terrain vehicle:

a)within Wildlife Management Zones 1 to 19, 21 to 47, 52 and 54, Regina-Moose Jaw, Saskatoon and Prince Albert Wildlife Management Zones, Fort a la Corne Wildlife Management Unit, and Duck Mountain, Saskatchewan Landing, Cypress Hills (West Block), Douglas and Moose Mountain Provincial Parks; or

b)within Wildlife Management Zones 48, 49, 50, 53 and 55 to 76, Horsehide Lake Wildlife Management Unit, Bronson Forest and Round Lake Recreation sites, and Greenwater Lake Great Blue Heron, Clarence-Steepbank Lakes, Narrow Hills, Meadow Lake, Porcupine Hills, Wildcat Hill and Lac La Ronge Provincial Parks, unless the firearm is encased.”

WHEREAS in subsection 48(1)(a) the spirit of this rule was to prevent damage to farmland, crops, and prevent misuse of the privilege of using a motor vehicle to traverse rough terrain for nefarious acts;  

WHEREAS farmers are being denied the ability to possess a firearm during the time of a big game draw hunt period in any designated wildlife management zone with the exception of those zones listed in Subsection 48(1)(b);

WHEREAS farmers may be at risk when being isolated and alone while carrying out the duties of the farm including but not limited to: inspecting cattle and fencing, feeding cattle, and checking on and feeding any agricultural livestock;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial Ministry of Environment to amend Section 48 of The Wildlife Regulations, 1981 so as to exempt farmers that are duly carrying on the activities of their farming operation so far as they conform to the provisions found in subsection 48(1)(b), that being the current distinction between subsections 1(a) and 1(b) “unless the firearm is encased”;   

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution cover all farmers and all farming operations contained within the boundaries of the Province of Saskatchewan with the exceptions of those areas already deemed exempt from hunting or areas deemed exempt from firearm possession.

Responses From: The Ministry of Environment

August 10, 2020

The Wildlife Act, 1998 enables the Ministry of Environment to implement regulations on behalf of government that align with the mandate to manage and protect Saskatchewan’s environment for the well-being of the province and its people.

Section 83 in The Wildlife Act, 1998 regulates: hunters and the manner of hunting; the manner of use or possession of different types of firearms; and the use of certain vehicles in any area. As the resolution has referenced, Section 48 in The Wildlife Regulations, 1981 sets out the provisions for firearms on all -terrain vehicles and operating vehicles for hunting purposes. The restrictions within this section are critical to facilitate enforcement that ensures fair chase and lawful hunting while allowing hunters a quality hunting experience.

An amendment to The Wildlife Regulations, 1981 to exempt rural landowners from Section 48 in order to carry a firearm for personal protection while carrying out farming activities is outside of the ministry mandate and the authority of The Wildlife  Act, 1998.

Dustin Duncan – Minister of Environment