Mid Winter Deer Hunt

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The discovery of chronic wasting disease in the area around Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park during last fall's hunting season has prompted Saskatchewan Environment to take an unusual step.

A small area in and around the park is being opened up to people who want to hunt white-tailed deer or mule deer between now and March 31st. This is being done for two reasons, to get as many head samples as possible to estimate how many chronic wasting disease cases there may be in the area and to reduce the size of the local deer herds.

Hunters wishing to take advantage of this special hunt require chronic wasting disease control permits. Each hunter is eligible for two free permits, which will allow them to harvest two adult deer, which can be a combination of white-tailed and/or mule deer bucks and does. Hunters may receive more control permits after they submit the heads of the animals they take. The permits are available at Saskatchewan Environment offices in Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park, Swift Current, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Regina. Although deer heads may be dropped off at any Saskatchewan Environment office the collection and testing process will be faster if the heads are dropped off at these offices.

Hunters are reminded that Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park is only open to primitive weapons (such as archery or muzzleloaders) hunting and that they should ask for permission before hunting on privately owned land near the park. As well hunters must not waste the meat of animals taken. Hunters may wish to freeze the animal and wait until they receive the test results from heads they submit before consuming the meat.

Until last fall the majority of cases had been found in the Manito Sandhills area near Lloydminster. Seven cases of chronic wasting disease have now been found in the province.

Although much remains unknown about chronic wasting disease, current science indicates that it does not pose a known risk to the health of humans or traditional domestic livestock.

This mid-winter hunt is a trial only. Further options for managing chronic wasting disease will be developed in time for next fall's regular hunting season.