Wolf Reduction Program

Res #: 6-24A
Number: 6
Year: 2024
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

WHEREAS there has been an increase in the wolf population in certain areas of Saskatchewan.

WHEREAS the increase in wolf population is causing financial hardship to farmers due to the loss of livestock to wolves.

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government to establish a Wolf Reduction Bounty Program.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

April 9, 2024

The Ministry of Environment offers a hunting season for wolves in the boreal forest fringe where most wolf conflicts with human activities occur. However, wolf hunting seasons have very low success rates and little impact on local populations. For example, provincially 989 licenses were sold from 2020-2023 with an estimated harvest of 55 wolves. There is no limit on the number of licences available, and each provides a Saskatchewan resident the opportunity to harvest one wolf.

Trapping wolves is the most effective way to regulate wolf populations, with 424 being trapped and marketed in the province over the last four years. South of the Northern Fur Conservation Area, any Saskatchewan resident that meets eligibility requirements can purchase a fur licence and harvest wolves during the fur season. There are also provisions in The Wildlife Regulations/ 1981 that allow a landowner to kill a wolf on their land to protect their property, which includes livestock, without a licence.

Given the ample opportunities to harvest wolves, a bounty or incentive program will not increase the availability of wolf harvest opportunities in the province or the overall harvest. Rural municipalities can offer incentives to encourage hunting or trapping activities where local issues have been identified. All hunting and trapping regulations associated with wolf management activities must be followed.
Since trapping is far more successful at removing wolves causing predation, the ministry continues to encourage landowners experiencing livestock predation to work with licensed trappers or the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) through their Wildlife Damage Compensation Program to address these events. In the future, the ministry will work with SCIC to explore predator control options that can emphasize the role of predator specialists with a local harvest of problem predators.

Thank you again for sharing your resolutions with us and allowing me the opportunity to respond to priorities of member rural municipalities. We appreciate the value of the longstanding relationship we have with SARM and anticipate our continued work with your organization for another year.

Hon. Christine Tell – Minister of Environment