Saskatchewan Antlerless Elk Hunts Available

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Hunters wanting to hunt antlerless elk will get a chance to do so this fall. The Ministry of Environment is holding special management hunts in the Cypress Hills area. Antlerless elk are the young of the year and females.

There will be a total of 500 individual antlerless elk licences available to hunters. Each licence will be valid for two hunting periods...one starts on September 10, 2008 and ends December 19, 2008. The second starts January 5, 2009 and ends on February 28, 2009. Splitting the hunt into two periods will give landowners and lessees a break over the Christmas period. The hunt will take place in Wildlife Management Zone 6 and the portion of Zone 7 located east of Highway 271 and Grid Road 615.

"This is a great opportunity for hunters to go out and try their luck at getting an antlerless elk," says Shawn Burke, Manager of the Ministry of Environment's Wildlife Management Unit. "Through these hunts Saskatchewan hunters reduce the stress on the environment and the herds that occurs when there are too many animals in an area. Hunting also helps the ministry meet the long-term sustainable population objectives for the elk herd in the Cypress Hills area."

The elk management licences are only available to Saskatchewan residents who possess a valid Wildlife Habitat Certificate.

The licences cost $19.62 and will be sold on a "first-come, first-served" basis beginning Thursday, August 21, 2008. Hunters may buy licences, in person, from Ministry of Environment offices located in Maple Creek, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park (Centre Block), Leader, Swift Current, Kindersley, Shaunavon, Assiniboia, Moose Jaw, Regina and Saskatoon. Hunters may also buy licences by calling 306-787-2847.

Hunters who are lucky enough to get a licence for the elk management hunt should note that the Bear-Piapot and Birch-Maple Grazing Co-op pastures will be closed to hunters until November 1, 2008. The Cypress Hills Park (Centre Block) is closed to all hunting and all firearms must be encased while traveling within the park boundaries.

The elk management hunt was developed through consultation and with the support of local First Nations representatives and area landowners and lessees.

"Access to private land often makes the difference between hunting success and failure," says the ministry's Burke. "Although the law says most hunters may not be required to have landowner or lessee consent before hunting on land that has not been posted, during this elk management hunt hunters must obtain permission from landowners or lessees before hunting or using vehicles on all private or Crown lease lands. Hunters are also reminded to plan well in advance, as landowners or lessees may restrict the number of hunters on their property and the firearms that will be allowed or they may restrict access while pastures are occupied by livestock."

Hunters will be limited to one license, with a bag limit of one antlerless elk. All other regular hunting regulations apply to the elk management hunt. Additional hunting conditions and requirements and a zone boundary map will be provided with each license upon purchase. Hunters are encouraged to turn elk heads in to any Ministry of Environment office for Chronic Wasting Disease testing. Hunters who submit heads will be entered into a special draw for free hunting licenses for the winner and three companions for the 2009 hunting season.

More information about the antlerless elk management hunt can be found on the Ministry of Environment website at www.environment.gov.sk.ca. For more information contact:

Shawn Burke
Wildlife Manager
Ministry of Environment
(306) 787-8665
Shawn.Burke@gov.sk.ca