Wildlife Population Control

Res #: 21-09M
Number: 21
Year: 2009
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

WHEREAS crop damage is presently paid at 100% to land owners for field damage but not for damage by deer and elk in grain piles, granaries and private yards;


WHEREAS these problem areas are difficult to control as no hunting is allowed within 500 meters of dwellings with livestock or people and wildlife then use these areas for protection and feeding;


WHEREAS landowners have requested from the Ministry of Environment the use of depredation tag licenses to remove some problem animals around yards and grain and hay storage; and


WHEREAS our request to the Ministry of Environment for a clear answer to our problems and requests for policy change have gone unresolved;


BE IT RESOLVED that SARM request the Ministry of Environment provide RMs and individual land owners with their written policy on dealing with population control of species in problem areas in the province.

Response from Honourable Nancy Heppner, Minister of Environment:

The ministry conducts aerial and ground surveys, hunter harvest surveys and relies on information from field staff and residents to determine wildlife populations. Using this information, the ministry establishes harvest quotas intended to achieve established long term population objectives for each wildlife species.

There are a number of localized factors that can lead to concentrations of wildlife, such as regular season hunting success, winter severity, hunting access, and agricultural practices. Problem wildlife issues are usually localized in nature and often species specific. Therefore, ministry conservation officers are best positioned to determine the most appropriate action to resolve specific problem wildlife or depredation concerns. The nature of the issue does not lend itself to one policy that can deal with the many situations encountered across Saskatchewan and the ministry encourages landowners to work with local conservation officers to address issues on a case by case basis.

Section 13(2) of The Wildlife Regulations, 1981 states that “… no person shall hunt any wildlife within 500 metres of a building, stockade or corral that is occupied by persons or livestock without the consent of the owner of the building, stockade or corral“.   This legislation is intended to protect landowners from unwanted or unsafe hunting activity and does not preclude hunting with permission, which can be an effective method to control local populations before they become a problem.