Saskatchewan to thin out wolf pack along treeline

Aiming to prevent “wolf-livestock conflicts” in the region, Saskatchewan’s environment department will again offer a wolf hunting season along the provincial forest fringe starting Saturday.

The wolf hunt, running from Oct. 15, 2016 through to March 31, 2017, is to be allowed in wildlife management zones 43 (Melfort, Tisdale), 47 (North Battleford, Turtleford), 48 (Preeceville, Pelly), 49 (Hudson Bay, Porcupine Plain), 50 (Nipawin, Choiceland), 53 (Spiritwood, Shellbrook, Big River), 54 (Blaine Lake, Marcelin), 55 (Meadow Lake, Pierceland) and 68N (Loon Lake).

There is no limit on the number of licenses available, the province said, though the licenses are only available to Saskatchewan residents and are not available online. Licenses must be picked up at environment ministry offices in Meadow Lake, North Battleford, Spiritwood, Prince Albert, Nipawin, Saskatoon, Melfort, Greenwater Lake, Hudson Bay, Preeceville and/or Regina.

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For this hunt, wolves are considered a big game species, so all existing big-game regulations for weapon type, clothing requirements and baiting will apply, the province said.

“Livestock predation by wolves is an ongoing problem for producers in areas near the provincial forest,” Environment Minister Scott Moe said in the province’s release.

“Allowing a hunting season in these areas will remove some wolves and cause others to be more wary of moving into open areas where livestock are present.”

A previous wolf hunt ran in two zones from Dec. 15, 2015 to March 31, 2016, following a pilot project in the Weekes area in 2014, when it designated wolves as a big game species for that specific purpose.

The province said at the time it wasn’t planning to create a “general” wolf hunting season, but to focus on “specific areas which meet established criteria.”

A wolf hunt, the province said in 2014, would “only be considered after traditional control methods have failed to reduce livestock losses.”

Hunters who get a licence for this wolf hunt will have to report their results within 14 days of the end of the season, the province said Wednesday. Those who don’t comply with that requirement will be blocked from buying licences until they do. –– AGCanada.com Network

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