Hunting Licenses go on Sale August 1st

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August 1 is one of the most important dates on a hunter's calendar-hunting licence sales begin in Alberta and the 2005 Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations will be available.

About 100,000 sports enthusiasts, mostly Albertans as well as many from around the world, enjoy hunting in the province each year. They can choose from a wide range of opportunities for many wildlife species and Alberta's varied landscapes add to their enjoyment of the sport.

"Hunting is key to wildlife management, contributes significantly to our economy and is part of our heritage," said David Coutts, Minister of Sustainable Resource Development. "Hunters are among our most committed conservationists."

Hunting helps wildlife managers deal with large wildlife populations in parts of Alberta and assists in reducing animal-vehicle collisions.

The 2005 season offers increased opportunities for deer, moose and elk. Important changes in the 2005 Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations include a trophy bighorn sheep hunt in the Cadomin area in November (a special draw has already been held). Compulsory registration of harvested elk is also no longer required-Alberta's elk population has grown significantly and sufficient information is provided by the annual hunter survey conducted by the Alberta Fish and Game Association.

Last hunting season, hunters bought more than 261,000 hunting licences, the greatest number sold in Alberta in the past seven years. Licences can be purchased at about 450 private licence issuers throughout the province.

Copies of the new guide will be available from licence issuers and Fish and Wildlife offices. An online version will also be available on the Alberta Sustainable Resource Development website: http://www3.gov.ab.ca/srd/fw/hunting.