Tuesday September 02, 2014

Time to enter draw for big game hunts


The big game draw opened on May 1, 2014. Hunters must have their big game draw applications completed before midnight of May 31, 2014 when the draw closes.

“The big game draw is a much-anticipated event each year and continues to grow in popularity,” Environment Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said. “The number of hunters applying for Saskatchewan’s most favourable hunting opportunities has increased significantly over the last 10 years.  Hunters are advised to review all available draw opportunities and past draw results to assist in making their selections.  Good luck to all applicants.”

All hunters applying for the draw are required to provide their Hunting, Angling and Trapping Licence identification number (HAL ID). Registration for a HAL ID is a one-time requirement; if hunters have purchased a 2013 or 2014 angling, hunting or fur licence, or applied for the 2013 draw, they already have been assigned a HAL number.

Hunters can get their HAL ID, and apply for a licence several ways:

•online at www.saskatchewan.ca/huntinganglinglicences;

•through private licence issuers, ministry offices and select provincial park offices; or

•by phone at 1-855-848-4773 between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Hunters requiring assistance with their identification can call 1-855-848-4773 to ensure they do not create a second account.

Licences will not be mailed to successful applicants. All awarded big game draw licences will be available through the automated licence system on the individual hunter’s HAL account.   

Hunters are reminded that wildlife management zones (WMZs) now follow easily identifiable features such as provincial highways, municipal roads or major water bodies where possible. Available WMZs, season dates, bag limits and quotas may have changed from previous years. Big game draw participants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the new map and 2014 Saskatchewan Resident Big Game Draw Supplement before they submit their applications.

The 2014 Saskatchewan Resident Big Game Draw Supplement and the new WMZ boundary map are available at www.saskatchewan.ca/hunting.

A complete listing of licence issuers is available at www.saskatchewan.ca/huntinganglinglicences.

The Ministry of Environment has also made changes for 2014 and onward to support fish conservation programs, client service and to ensure sustainability of the resource.

“To ensure that fishing remains a popular and accessible activity in Saskatchewan, we need to plan for the future,” Environment Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said.  “These changes to our regulations will help protect our fish populations and offer anglers a wider range of angling experiences.”

A new one-day angling licence has been introduced as a convenience to occasional anglers in the southern and central zones.  Automatic licence suspensions of one to five years for serious offences will be implemented in 2014 and fines for these offences will increase.

In 2015, Saskatchewan will offer an additional free fishing weekend during the winter to encourage participation in ice fishing. Free fishing weekends will take place on July 12 and 13, 2014, and on February 14 to 16, 2015.

To guard against the potential disease risk to fish populations, only leeches and crayfish originating within Saskatchewan may be used as live bait. Non-resident anglers must now provide proof to an officer, upon request, that their live bait was purchased in Saskatchewan.  

A standard condition for competitive fishing event authorizations is that only fish listed in the regulations or on the licence are eligible to be kept and weighed in.  This amendment clarifies that all fish species not authorized by the regulations or licence must be released immediately. In addition, an amendment to the definition of a tournament clarifies that fish caught must be released alive, to ensure that tournaments do not operate as derbies (catch and kill events).

Nobody other than a First Nation or Métis person, or a member of their immediate family, may assist, aid, fish with, or possess fish taken by an individual fishing for food pursuant to their Aboriginal or Treaty rights. This amendment is intended to support recognition and respect for Treaty and Aboriginal rights to fish, and prevent non-Aboriginals from taking or possessing more than their legal limit of fish.

More information about angling regulations can be found in the Saskatchewan Anglers’ Guide, available online at www.saskatchewan.ca/fishing.



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