Provincially, the white-tail deer populations were reported to be still in the recovery stages, stated Ron Waugh, a Preeceville conservation officer, at the Sturgis branch of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation awards banquet on April 16.
"The Co-operative Deer Management survey for 2015 showed 75 fawns being born per 100 does. This is above the 2014 average. However, it remains well bellow the long term average.”
He reported that in most areas, the bear population was stable. Most licensed bear hunters were non-resident with an increase in resident hunters. The elk population was reported as doing well with herds south of the Porcupine forest maintaining status quo or on the increase. The moose population showed a decline in the eastern area. The decline is due in part to the hunting pressure from Manitoba First Nation hunters.
"There is a recommendation being put forward to reduce quotas in the 56 and 59 areas,” he said. “There has also been an increase in regular license sales which also impacts forest populations. It may require reducing draw quotas or possibly overall season length."
He spoke on the big game draw supplement coming out in a few weeks, just prior to the draw opening on May 1. The supplement is featured to contain quotas, season dates for draw species and advance notice to any "proposed" changes to regular seasons. The draw will close May 25.
Fishing and boating topics produced discussions surrounding the aquatic invasive species.
"Manitoba was designated as a high risk jurisdiction area due to mussels found in Lake Winnipeg and in one other lake. If you travel to Manitoba to fish or for recreational boating, you need to inspect and decontaminate your boat or personal watercraft before it is launched into any water body in Saskatchewan,” said Waugh. “The ministry is in dialogue with the federal government in an effort to have border guards trained to identify high risk boats entering Canada with the intent to refuse entry until decontaminated."
Some of the changes in the new season include a "paperless" hunting license, he said.
The Hazel Dell pasture is no longer operated by the federal government, Waugh said. A patron committee has been set up which has hired the previous manager to take care of the daily operations.