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PROVINCE ANNOUNCES NEW NIGHT HUNTING REGULATIONS

Released on February 10, 1998

Environment and Resource Management Minister Lorne Scott today

announced amendments to The Wildlife Regulations banning the use of

spotlights, jacklights, night vision rifle scopes, or any artificial

light, including vehicle headlights, for the purpose of hunting any

wildlife.



"These amendments also include a province-wide ban on the discharge of

firearms at night from any road with a prepared surface, including the

road allowance and the road right-of-way," Scott said.



Virtually all night hunting in Saskatchewan is done by spotlighting.

The measures announced today prohibit this practice.



"The approach we have chosen prohibits all unsafe night hunting in

Saskatchewan, while respecting Treaty and Aboriginal rights," Scott

said. "This will mean minimal infringement of the Treaty and

Aboriginal people's right to hunt for food."



This action was developed through consultation with First Nation and

M‚tis people who indicated strong support for a restriction on night

hunting with lights. The added restriction against shooting at night

from roads is essential to ensure personal safety and protect the

property and livestock of rural and northern residents.



For the purposes of these regulations, a road is defined as a

prepared surface designed for vehicular traffic and includes any

highway, grid road, forest and farm access roads and oil service

roads.



During the consultations night hunting with spotlights received

very little support from Aboriginal people; almost everyone

recognized it as a safety concern, particularly in the southern

part of the province. Many Elders and others also identified

spiritual, ethical and conservation concerns with the practise.



Animals are more active at night and hunters use the spotlights

to blind and "freeze" an animal. Spotlights make an animal an

easy target but hunters are unable to identify what may be behind

the target.



The ban on shooting from roads will make it easier to enforce the

restriction on night hunting with lights and provides residents,

with property located near roads, an added level of security.

Existing regulations make it illegal to hunt within half a

kilometre of any occupied dwelling or corrals. The new

regulations will be monitored over the next year and further

changes made if required.



"I am particularly pleased that a consultation process was used

to reach this point," Scott said. "We placed priority on

respecting Treaty and Aboriginal rights. By working with First

Nations and M‚tis people we have reached a workable solution to

prohibit unsafe night hunting in Saskatchewan and opened the door

for continued co-operation on other vital conservation issues."



Scott noted that government is intent on continuing expanded

consultations to develop new allocation and resource use

strategies to maintain fish and game populations at sustainable

levels. The participation of Aboriginal people and all resource

users in the development and implementation of these strategies

is essential.



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For more information, contact:



Dennis Sherratt

Director, Fish and Wildlife Branch

Environment and Resource Management

Regina

Phone: (306) 787-2309

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