Saskatchewan Moose Hunting Licenses Down 35 Percent

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Saskatchewan Environment is taking precautionary measures to protect the moose population in Saskatchewan. It is reducing the number of moose that hunters will be allowed to harvest during the draw moose season and closing the early rifle moose season across most of the forest fringe and forest moose range.

The change is a response to field reports that indicate a significant number of moose died this past winter and spring due to a higher than normal tick infestation. Too many ticks on a moose result in increased hair and blood loss, a deterioration of body condition and eventually death. The highest mortality rates were in the Pasquia and Porcupine Forests along the Manitoba border near Hudson Bay and in Greenwater Lake Provincial Park.

The decision to close the early rifle season throughout most of the range was made to avoid increased hunting pressure on other moose populations. It's estimated the number of moose licenses sold in 2002 will be approximately 6000. That's a 35 per cent reduction from the sales in 2001.

"We realize that closing parts of the moose season and reducing the harvest in other areas could have a negative impact on businesses in these areas that rely on hunting," Environment Minister Buckley Belanger said. "However this is a case where the need to preserve the moose population outweighs the costs."

The late regular moose season, the archery moose season and the guided moose seasons will not be affected for the 2002 season.

For more details about the Wildlife Management Zones affected by the changes to the moose seasons, please contact the local Saskatchewan Environment office.