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SK Archery Seasons Under Attack
News came out on Monday about Saskatchewan's Ministry of Environment planning to eliminate the OTC archery mule deer season, and to move OTC archery moose seasons from Sept. 15-30 to Sept. 5-14. Their reasoning for the moose change is a declining moose population but let's be honest, moving the archery season to these dates is a feel good move for when someone calls to complain about reduced rifle seasons. The real kicker is the mule deer season. There is absolutely no science behind that proposal, rather they say they have had too many complaints from some bitter folks who don't like that archery guys can hunt annually and they can't. Our mule deer population is doing well and to take this away is simply senseless. I know this doesn't affect many of you guys but we're all in this together and if anyone was willing to take the time to send our Minister of Environment a quick email expressing your disappointment in these proposed changes, especially mule deer, that would be awesome. You can send emails to email@example.com Thanks
Are we aloud to hunt SK as non residents?
Not for mule deer, elk, or pronghorn and only in the northern areas for whitetail
I was going to write and support archery mule deer hunting. But if nonresidents aren't even allowed to hunt them then my support would be meaningless (to me and to the minister).
I would LOVE to go bowhunt muleys in Alberta someday.
That email from an alien that isn't even allowed to hunt ought to give the Minister of Environment a little chuckle as he hits delete!
To some extent I agree with you guys that non-resident complaints won't go far, and the email request maybe was foolish. That said, any SK bowhunters that read this site may benefit from seeing that. I guess what concerns me most is the anti-archery stance that our government is trying to take right now. That more than anything is what I hoped would resonate with everyone on here.
Each has to make her/his choice, but I'm going to write supporting his position. I'm planning to point out a similar issue Oregon had long ago which resulted in the weapon choice they have. Archers need to stick together since if simple majority rules, rifle hunters will kill all our seasons. Many would like to.
This is what I sent.
It may seem strange that a 69 year old Montana resident would be writing to address the proposal to stop allowing over the counter archery mule deer tags in a province where he will never be allowed to hunt mule deer.
Well, I've watched this transpire before and it does nothing except cause animosity while limiting a great recreational opportunity for your citizens. Your deer seasons are and should be based upon the resources ability to withstand the pressure of the current seasons. It's why I won't ever hunt mule deer there.
When teaching NROTC at Oregon State, I had the opportunity to view the resentment rifle hunters had for archers who would bow hunt all season, then take up a rifle during rifle season. Their solution was to make archers choose to rifle or bow hunt, not both
I don't know what your solution will be, but you should beware the "Rule of the Majority" in which the rifle hunters, through simple numbers which they will always have, can stop any archery hunts.
I want to help, I really do. But since your province doesn't allow me to hunt there and my state allows you to hunt here I'm having a hard time finding sympathy for you.
Here is the best that I could muster in the email that I sent:
Many US residents travel extensively throughout the US in order to bowhunt big game. Some provinces of Canada are premier destinations as well.
Alberta has very well known opportunities for bowhunting mule deer. A hunter from the US can expect to spend $7,000-$9,000 USD including travel, food, lodging, guide fees, tips, and license costs for a week's hunt to harvest one deer.
I've often wondered about the archery mule deer hunting opportunities in Saskatchewan but have come to learn that "aliens" from the US aren't allowed to hunt mule deer in Saskatchewan. I've often wondered why Saskatchewan hasn't welcomed the tourism income from US hunters. Most surprisingly I've heard that Saskatchewan is now even considering banning an archery season for mule deer hunters. Since archery hunters harvest far fewer animals but pay the same license costs (at least in the US) this seems like a surprising loss of income by Saskatchewan.
Would you mind explaining why Saskatchewan would not want to maximize the tourism income from US residents?
Curt Lytle Norfolk, VA
B19 if you think that the anti-archery guys are going to continue this assault then I would suggest that you push the Saskatchewan Bowhunters Association to push the Minister of Environment to allow US residents to hunt in SK. This will give you more allies in your future battles. And SK will have some $$$ to lose.
Elkstabber hits the nail on the head.
I sent several e-mails in protest to different SK government entities over the last week, all I've heard are crickets so far. Thanks to all trying to help save hunting opps.
For those who wonder why we can't hunt mulies there, it's all about numbers. Just as MT and other states severely limit NR hunting opportunities for sheep and other species, Saskatchewan has a small mule deer population. So small that it can take a resident 5 or more years to be able to hunt there own deer with a rifle.
It's disappointing that the attitude: "If it doesn't help me, why should I care?" is so prevalent. May explain American politics.
LKH, here in Alberta it can take a resident upwards of 10+ years to get a mule deer tag for rifle but we still allow non resident to come and hunt.
So bowhunting is being tenant and we should do nothing??? Some posts on this thread are good and some ???????......
Can someone post a link to who I should send emails to.. I'll do my .001% to help.
Also a link to the SK-BAsso
Here is a link to the SBA website. I believe there was am email address in B19's original post.
A Colorado resident can apply their whole life and never draw a sheep, goat, or moose tag but we offer nonresidents opportunities for them.
I'll send an email. We all need to explain why bowhunters are a wildlife managers best friend when it come to limited resources. We pay the same, we take less, and our lower success rate allows more folks the opportunity to hunt per available animal. We also result in more recreation days per animal and we have less impact on other users due to being quiet and less visible.
As a sask resident thanks for the support! Sounds like something is going to change with our seasons here I just hope that archers are left with some opportunity to get out in sept, and oct. Currently our archery elk seasons are aug 20 - sep 4 and while I have been fortunate to harvest many elk in that season there is no rutting activity yet and due to the OTC rifle season starting sept 15-30 there are very few mature bulls taken from these zones. In fact all the Henry Kelsey (provincial record book) entries this year were taken by rifle hunters in draw seasons. I hope they consider the # of days a archery hunter spends afield to be successful vs a rifle hunter and success rates. I wonder what a "science" based approach means and how they will find "equality" between archery and rifle seasons.
When I posted this I'd have been thrilled with one email being sent. Every one they see counts and I want to thank everyone who has taken the time so far. Just the fact that they are seeing support from beyond our borders is something that I believe will be valuable.
B19 - I received a reply from Minister Scott Moe's assistant confirming that they received my email (posted above). I'll let you know if they give a thoughtful response.
I live 3 hours from Sask and would give my let nut to bowhunt mulies there. CDN provinces have stupid rules. In MB we have like 1.3 trillion black bears and don't let other Canadians hunt without an outfitter. So smart.
Before this thread was started I thought that only "aliens" from another country were banned from hunting in Canada. Now that it's come to light that Canadian provinces treat their own Canadian neighbors the same as "aliens" I'm seeing a bigger problem. If your provinces don't allow hunters from other provinces or countries to hunt the hunting opportunities will have less value. By value I mean to the residents, your game department (Minister of Environment), and other government officials. Wyoming, for example, allows something like 10%-15% of their hunting tags to go to non-residents. Wyoming's tourism is either their 2nd or 3rd largest industry (including skiing, hiking, and Yellowstone tourism too). My point is that your provinces are suppressing the hunting industry from growing within your provinces. You are losing significant potential income. While this might seem great because it keeps your costs down it also doesn't guarantee you a stable future as you're seeing with the attack on bowhunting seasons. Opening up hunting opportunities to your neighboring provinces and "aliens" would increase the value of hunting to your economy and bring allies to your side when facing anti-bow or anti-hunting attacks.
Elk stabber, the problem with your theory is while WY has a lot of mule deer, Saskatchewan doesn't. I got a PM from a resident informing me that it could take up to 10 years to draw a rifle mule deer tag.
Simply put, there isn't enough resource to grow any hunting industry when it comes to mule deer. They do have a hunting industry based on the whitetails and waterfowl. You can't sell what you don't have.
LKH: You said that Saskatchewan doesn't have many mule deer. That's not exactly true.
Attached is the link to the Saskatchewan tag numbers that were allocated in 2016 (look at the top of page 6). The total number of either sex mule deer tags was 3,740. That's all of the tags totaled up starting with 1(250), 2E(175), etc. That doesn't include doe tags. Most western states with a lot of demand for their tags still allow 10% of the tags to go to non-residents so if Saskatchewan was as generous they would allow non-residents to draw 374 tags. Clearly Saskatchewan could share but has chosen not to.
As I stated above I've written to the minister and will let you know if they respond. I want to help and hate to see an archery season go away, but Saskatchewan's current policies won't get much support from non-residents or "aliens".
I really think it's funny that I'm considered an alien :)
3,740 may seem like a big number until you compare it to western states, then it's obviously really minuscule. Montana issues tens of thousands of Non-resident tags for deer that can all be used to hunt mule deer.
In Wyoming, Non-residents get more tags than Saskatchewan residents get just in the random draws, let alone what we receive in the regular and special preference draws.
I too would like to hunt in Saskatchewan. It's close and would be a great experience, but I sure understand why they don't allow NR's when it can take up to 10 years for their own citizens to get a mule deer tag.
I'm site they're are more deer in SK, than there are sheep in new mexico. My point, NM offers NR sheep tags.
I would like to see states disqualify hunters applying for non-resident tags if their home state/province does not allocate tags for our residents. My point is someone from saskatchewan is treated the same as any non-resident U.S. citizen in terms of draw opportunities. I disagree. No offense to canadiens on here but if I can't drive up and purchase a tag and hunt without a guide in your province, why should we allow you to do the same in our country.
As an Alberta resident, this has been an interesting thread being able to read various opinions on Saskatchewan's Non-Resident exclusion for some species.
"I would like to see states disqualify hunters applying for non-resident tags if their home state/province does not allocate tags for our residents."
^ This is actually covered in the North American Model of Wildlife Management (NAMWC), the core agreement that is used by both the USA and Canadian governments.
Saskatchewan and ALL other provinces and states SHOULD make a portion of harvestable wildlife available to non-residents.
By law "We" all have an interest and a stake in ALL wildlife. The decision by Saskatchewan to exclude Non-residents (Canadian and Alien) is in opposition to this pillar of the NAMWC, and is now facing the predetermined erosion of Public support for their management decisions.
You made your bed Sask. Maybe it is time to change the sheets.
I am with Leo and Walking Buffalo...share the resources people.
This is always a tough discussion and emotions can run high, with extremes from opposite sides.
I live in British Columbia and we have sixteen huntable big game species with grizzly, Roosevelt elk and bison being on strictly draw. Grizzly have plenty of under applied for areas, so you can un them every year. We are definitely not a deer destination, but have good populations, same for RM elk.
All of our draws are random draws. Every year you have the same chance, with the exception of moose where you incur a fifty percent reduction in your chance if you were successful in the previous draw. We also have group draws for moose and bison. Most are satisfied with the system and it cost a hunter seven dollars per entry per species.
We allow other Canadians to hunt with a hunter host. We allow BC residents to bring family members from outside of Canada. There is a growing sentiment that there should be a portion of tags set aside for non-residents and "aliens", in a random draw.
In particular black bears would be a great place to start, because we can't or don't shoot enough of them. Wolves should be OTC for everyone.
The biggest obstacle here is that wildlife is managed politically instead of scientifically. We have seen a very recent, incremental shift to the scientific side and hopefully that will gain traction past the upcoming. provincial election. Lots of flowery promises floating in the air right now.
But as usual, if you follow the money, you can find the main obstacles to a more open, inclusive or "sharing" system pretty quickly. Science and fairness almost always take back seat to money and power.
Most hunters are just as protective of their hunting/home state or province as they are about their personal Honey Hole. But it is particularly easy to have a harsh view of a state or province that has fantastic opportunities when perhaps your own home has a very limited resource to offer.
I have hunted Wyoming antelope a couple of times and should draw again this year, plus I bought my first AZ licence and OTC archery javelina tag. And, frankly, I find it discouraging and embarrassing when I have to tell my US friends that I can't reciprocate by having them come up a hunt in my province. If they cut me off, I wouldn't blame them. I hope they don't.
So in the end, although I am privileged to have some of the best hunting in NA, I have to agree that any province or state that shares with me should have at least some access to my wildlife.
I believe our Mule Deer herd in SK is as healthy or healthier than our whitetail herd. With our regular whitetail season running through the heart of the rut bucks rarely make it to maturity in the farmland. With that in mind, I think there would be an opportunity for a limited NR draw for Mule Deer and I would be in favor of it. That said, I'm fairly confident that the people in this province who are choosing to complain about the OTC archery mule deer season instead of buying a bow and hunting it would also turn inside out if NR's were given an opportunity to apply here.
A NR draw would be a fantastic source of income, would have a minimal impact on our herd and would give much more value to SK's wildlife. Those of us who understand the value of what we have here and what it would cost to hunt an opportunity like this outside of our borders get it. The weekend warriors who apply for the draw and shoot a whitetail in the first few days of the regular season maybe don't. Unfortunately, they outnumber us.
Thanks again to anyone who took the time to send something. As a SK resident right now I obviously can't offer much help with a MD opportunity but if anyone is ever looking to hunt waterfowl feel free to get in touch.
I think a good place to start would be a Ministers Tag for Mule Deer similar to what Alberta does. Auction off 1 Ministers tag available to anyone world wide and then have a raffle for a second tag only open to Sask residents. With the caliber of deer that Sask is producing I speculate that the tag would bring some serious $$$ to the table. To add to that, the successful bidder would be required to secure an outfitter that would add more outside revenue to the Sask economy. Adding this one tag could bring in more than $100,000 USD once all said and done on only impact the herd by one animal.
First off, great to see some local Saskatchewan content on Bowsite, I thought I was the only one here! Unfortunately it's not the content I wish to see. If I had my druthers, we could share the content of the fantastic mule deer hunt our friend from a neighbouring province or state had been on with one of us after they drew a great tag. A percentage of these licenses available to NR hunters of any type would be agreeable to me, no doubt. Unfortunatley our internal problems within the province are pushing us further from that end, not closer. The threat toward the ending of a season for a relatively small number of bowhunters, to me, is indicative of a group that would boycott the idea of NR hunters allowed in the province. They are looking out for their own interests, and no one else'. This of course is a pretty general statement, as I am confident there are lots of folks who hunt the draw rifle seasons with no opposition to the archery season, and often utilize the regular archery season when they don't pull a tag. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their opinion on the matter with our ministry, it certainly can't hurt and I'm sure it will help the voice of the SBA.
One more general comment here:
The current SK (resident) deer tag costs $37.29. For 3,740 tags that's a total income of $139,464.60 currently. (See my post and link further up on this thread)
On the other hand if non-residents and aliens were allowed to purchase tags we would probably expect to pay about $350 (note that $350 canadian is equal to about $262 US dollars) for a deer tag. If 90% of the tags were reserved for SK residents and 10% were reserved for non-residents and aliens here is what it would look like:
3,470 x 90% x $37.29 = $116,456.67
3,470 x 10% x $350.00 = $121,450.00
For a grand total of : $ 237,906.67
The result is that SK would make about $100,000.00 more per year on mule deer tags and residents would only give up 10% of the tags. Hopefully, SK would use this money to help the resource or at least hunting access.
Typically, when outdoorsmen tax ourselves this way we solidify our own future.
Unfortunately the SK game department has always had a grudge against bowhunting. When I was on the executive of the SBA I went to see a biologist at the wildlife department and ran into a Sask. Environment employee (who was a widely published magazine writer/photographer). He had numerous cover shots on Bowhunter mag and other archery publications. When I told him I was there to see a biologist regarding some questions I had about archery seasons he told me and this is a direct quote: "Around here we call it the wounding season." I asked him if M.R. James knew that he and his department called it that and he suddenly remembered a meeting he was late for. I was at the first ever meeting with SBA and the SK Wildlife Aadvisory Board and the Director's dislike for bowhunting was blatantly obvious. When the first Canadian hunting channel went on air a bunch of shows filmed in SK showed bowhunters stacking up the giant mule deer. I told my pals to watch out because all the gun hunters will think it is easy and unfair and these shows are gonna be the start of the end of archery seasons. Even though 90% of rifle hunters in the province rarely get more than 10 feet from a truck they think bowhunting is easy from what they only know and see of it sitting on their couch.
Really wilhille? Nm offers one diy non resident tag at 3,300$. Is that a good comparison? I don't think so.
Kudos to the guys that sent emails. But by ending the season altogether I'm sure that any chance for us to ever hunt mule deer in Sk will never happen.. We don't anyways have to get something to do something good.. It's only take 5 minutes or less to shoot off and email to help our fellow bowhunters out.
Elkstabber, I hope you sent or will sent an email with your math figures for licenses sales in it. Plus the revenue from the non res that pay to hunt with outfitters, food, gas sales and so on.
Here in my home state there was just an article in the paper about how muck money is coming into the small towns along the rails to trails now that they are opened up to snowmobiling. The article stated that businesses are putting up snowmobile friend signs. It would be a win win for all of SK. If I never get to hunt SK I still did my .001% to help my fellow bowhunter by sending a email that took me less than 5 mins to send.
Teeton, I put up those estimates of license sales so that somebody in SK would pursue it. It really wouldn't mean much coming from me. It's up to them to push for non-resident licenses in order to secure their bowhunting future.
What I also did was send an email to the fine people at TourismSaskatchewan.com (link attached). I asked why they only promoted fishing and not hunting to tourists. I told them that I wouldn't go fishing if I couldn't do some hunting also. Hee hee !!!
Draw supplement just came out and archery mule deer season is the same as last year with an OTC tag for archery
Like walleyes said, we managed to keep the mule deer season for this year. No doubt the discussion will come back though. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to send an email!
Good to hear it still on for now.
Hopefully the SBA will lobby the government to open 10% of the tags to non-residents/aliens. The additional income from the tags and tourism will make it nearly impossible for the government to justify removing archery seasons in the future. It's up to you if you want a secure future.
The way Canadian governments handle wildlife seasons, income is another mystery I've never been able to solve. In Manitoba we have no $$ for resources, and our tag money doesn't even go towards resources, it gets absolved into the giant slush fund so surprise surprise there's no money left over. We don't let non-res hunt, and I swear they don't even think of animals as a resource that could generate $. If our animals were managed properly MB could be just like Saskatchewan for amazing deer, moose, elk, and bear hunting. Instead, we have great bear hunting cause nobody wants them, and pockets of decent deer.
Nice to see the opportunities remaining the same for the time being. To a few of the folks noting the future being up to us, or that Sask bowhunters have made our bed, this is only partly true. We lobby and fight for fair seasons for all and mostly for the health of the wildlife we choose to pursue every year, but ultimately it doesn't go to a vote and the ministry decides what it thinks is best. Given the opportunity to send it to a vote and there was an option to add a NR draw tag allocation, a steady regular OTC archery season, and an adequate draw general weapons season, while maintaining herd health, I'm sure the majority of bowhunters would be in favour of this.