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Big Game Draw FAQs

The Big Game Draw is a lottery system for allocating a limited number of available licences to hunters when demand exceeds available hunting opportunities. The Saskatchewan resident draw system uses a priority pool system in which applications are placed into pools based on the number of years since the applicants were last drawn. Applications are randomly drawn from within a pool beginning with the pool with applicants not drawn for at least four years, then moves to the next pool for applicants not drawn for three years, and so on.


1. Applying for the Big Game Draw

Who can apply for the Big Game Draw?

Anyone who is eligible to hold a Saskatchewan resident Big Game Hunting licence can apply for the Saskatchewan resident draws. Anyone who is eligible to hold a Canadian resident Big Game Hunting licence may apply for the Canadian resident white-tailed deer draw. Saskatchewan residents do not need to apply in the white-tailed deer draw. They may purchase a regular white-tailed deer licence beginning August 1.

How do I apply for the Big Game Draw?

Make sure you have reviewed important information including available hunts, tentative quotas, season dates and other additional information in the current Saskatchewan Resident Big Game Draw Supplement or Canadian Resident White-tailed Deer Draw Supplement, and that you meet the eligibility requirements for the draw. Big Game Draw applications must be submitted through your HAL web account by selecting “Big Game Draw” option at the top of the page. There is a $10.00 application for each application submitted so a valid MasterCard or Visa credit card is required. Each applicant may only submit one application per species.

What do I need to apply for the Big Game Draw?

Documentation: Saskatchewan residents require a Saskatchewan Health Card for residency verification purposes. Residents are not required to provide their health card number – the ministry uses an automated verification process with eHealth that requires the name and date of birth match the applicant's eHealth records. Health information is not accessed and remains protected. Visit eHealth Saskatchewan to apply for a health card or to update address/contact information.

Applicants born after January 1, 1971 are required have completed a recognized Firearm Safety/Hunter Education (FS/HE) course, either in Saskatchewan or in another province/state, prior to submitting a Big Game Draw application. Applicants born before January 1, 1971 are not required to have completed a course; however, all inexperienced hunters are strongly encouraged to complete a course.

Note that there are separate federal firearm requirements in addition to the requirement for FS/HE certification. A federal Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) does not exempt a hunter from requiring FS/HE certification. Remember, it is unlawful to provide false information about your training status.

Online Account: To apply for the Big Game Draw, you will need a HAL account. The HAL number and date of birth needs to be entered for all group members and sponsors (Canadian resident white-tailed deer draw). Ensure all members of your application meet the eligibility requirements ahead of time. A valid MasterCard or Visa is also required as there is a $10.00 application fee for each application. Also ensure that you have reviewed the information including available hunts, tentative quotas, season dates and other additional information in the current Saskatchewan Resident Big Game Draw Supplement or Canadian Resident White-tailed Deer Draw Supplement.

When can I apply for the Big Game Draw?

Applications for the Saskatchewan resident big game and Canadian resident white-tailed deer draws can be submitted from May 1 to 4 p.m. on the last Thursday in May. No applications will be accepted after the deadline. Your application also cannot be changed after the deadline.

What is the youth draw?

The youth draw is an extra opportunity for youth ages 12 to 15 to be draw for antlerless mule deer. Up to 25 per cent of the antlerless mule deer quota is allocated to the youth draw. Youth can submit both a youth draw application and an antlerless mule deer application but can only have one application drawn.

Why can’t someone who is 11 years old apply if they will be 12 years of age before hunting season?

Regulations require that anyone applying for a licence must be eligible to hold the licence. As an 11-year-old is not eligible to hold the licence, they cannot apply for it.

What hunting opportunities are available through the Big Game Draw?

For Saskatchewan residents, applications are available for elk, moose, pronghorn, either-sex mule deer, or antlerless only mule deer. Canadian residents can apply for white-tailed deer.

I made a mistake on my application. How do I fix it?

The group leader of an application (the person who submits the application) can edit the application any time before the application deadline by visiting the Draw Orders page of My Account.

Where can I find information on how many hunters are applying for each hunt?

Information on results from the previous year is available from the licensing website at Results include the number of applicants who applied and the number who were drawn from each priority pool for each hunt.

What is a Zone 99 application?

If in a particular year you do not wish to be drawn for a particular species, select Zone 99 and your application will be excluded from the draw, but your pool status will be retained (Legacy and Super A) or advanced (A to Super A). A Zone 99 application is not required if your pool status is D, C or B as you will automatically advance from D to C, C to B or from B to A regardless of whether an application is submitted.

Additionally, hunters with different pool statuses may apply together on a group Zone 99 application and their pool statuses will advance according to their individual pool statuses.

How do I check my Big Game Draw results?

Your Big Game Draw results will be available through your HAL web account by visiting the Draw Orders page of My Account.

I’m not a resident of Saskatchewan – can I apply for the Big Game Draw?

Non-resident hunters are required to use the services of a provincially licensed outfitter or may hunt big game on First Nation reserve land with prior permission from the First Nation’s Chief and Council. You can learn more by downloading the Quick Facts for Non-resident Hunters and Anglers in Saskatchewan fact sheet.

Additional information:

Saskatchewan Resident Big Game Draw overview

Video on how to apply for the Big Game Draw

How to apply for the Big Game Draw infographic


2. Pool Status

The Big Game Draw uses a system of priority pools to provide higher priority for applicants who have not been drawn for a greater number of years. Pool statuses are established based on the last time a hunter was drawn for a particular species. In recent years, the number of applications received has increased significantly, which has reduced the odds of being drawn for many species. In response, the Big Game Draw process was modified with the addition of two new priority pools. The Legacy pool was implemented in 2018 to provide long-term applicants with an increased opportunity of being drawn. In 2019, a new lowest priority D pool was implemented for all hunters drawn the previous year as well as all first-time applicants for a species. This extends the time required for drawn applicants to reach the top priority pools.

Hunters will automatically advance through D, C, and B pools; once clients are in A pool, they must begin applying to advance to Super A and beyond and stay in Super A or Legacy pools. 

If a client does not wish to hunt, but would like to continue advancing through the pools, they can choose Zone 99; this is typically used so that clients can get to a higher pool where they are more likely to be drawn in the zone they want. 

How do I know my pool status?

Your pool status history can be viewed through your HAL web account by visiting the Pool Status page in My Account.

How do I know if I am eligible for the Legacy pool?

Hunters who have previously applied for the Big Game Draw can check their pool status through their HAL account by visiting the My Account section. If you are in Super A, the number of consecutive years in Super A will be displayed. For example, Super A (5 years). Applicants who have been in Super A for 10 or more consecutive years will be placed in the Legacy pool for the draw, provided the application does not include any group members with a lower pool status.

Do applicants who have been in Super A for a longer period of time have priority over applicants who have been in Super A for a shorter period?

All hunters who are in Super A are placed in the same priority pool for the draw. For example, a hunter who has been in Super A for nine years can apply on the same application as someone who has been in Super A for three years. If the application is unsuccessful, the first applicant will advance to Legacy pool status and the second will then have four consecutive years in Super A.

Why is the number of consecutive years in Super A to reach Legacy pool set at 10 years?

The Legacy pool provides increased opportunity to be drawn over time. The number of years to reach the Legacy pool was set at 10 consecutive unsuccessful years in Super A to:

  • balance higher priority in the draw for long-time unsuccessful applicants while maintaining opportunity for success in the Super A pool; and
  • ensure that an appropriate number of hunters reach the Legacy pool to avoid the situation that is currently happening in Super A.

Additional information:

Pool status process infographic


3. Post-draw Information and Licences

If I am drawn, how do I purchase my licence?

If drawn, your licence(s) will be available through your HAL account beginning August 1 and can be purchased online, by visiting a Saskatchewan field office or select park office, visiting a licence issuer, or ordering by phone at 1-855-848-4773.

If I am drawn, can I decline my licence or transfer my licence to another person?

If drawn you are not required to purchase your licence. However, once drawn you cannot purchase a regular licence for the same species, and if you are a Saskatchewan resident applicant, your pool status will move to “D” for the following year, regardless of whether or not you purchase the draw licence. If drawn for antlerless mule deer, you may purchase a regular archery mule deer licence. All licences are non-transferable.

Only applicants drawn for more than two species in the Big Game Draw may decline a draw licence. Applicants drawn for three species may decline their licence for one species only, applicants drawn for four species may decline their licences for one or two species, and in the rare case of applicants drawn for three species they may decline licences for one, two or three species. To decline a licence, an email must be sent to by July 31 and must clearly indicate the applicant’s HAL number and the species they wish to decline for.

Why can’t licences that won’t be used by drawn hunters be reallocated to other hunters?

There are several challenges with reallocating licences declined by drawn hunters. It is expected between 250 and 300 hunters will be drawn for three or more species and that some of them will choose to hunt all species. Therefore, there is little impact to the management of the species across the province.

There are significant administration challenges with reallocating licences. The next hunter in line for a licence could be in the same position and may also choose to decline the licence.

Reallocating licences would require all drawn applicants to confirm whether they want their awarded licence(s), which could require multiple cycles of reallocation to reach the quota. There is only a short time between the draw taking place and licences being available to purchase, so reallocation would not be feasible.


4. Additional Questions

Antlerless/either-sex Mule Deer draw clarification

Hunters holding both a draw either-sex and a quota-limited antlerless mule deer licence may hunt antlerless mule deer during the either-sex season dates if the antlerless mule deer is harvested in the zone in which their antlerless licence is valid. 

WMZ/Bag Limits

When entering the Big Game Draw, hunters should ensure that they’re applying for their preferred Wildlife Management Zone and preferred season type.

It’s important to double check applications prior to the deadline (last Thursday of May) to make sure the selected WMZ/Bag limit is the one you want and make edits to the application if it is not.

I have ideas of how the big game draw should work, how can I make sure my ideas are heard and considered?

The Ministry of Environment relies on stakeholder group representatives within the Wildlife Advisory Committee to voice the concerns of their membership and provide recommendations. Hunters wishing to express their ideas and concerns are encouraged to contact or become involved with a represented stakeholder group (e.g. wildlife federations).

More information

Additional information is available on the Saskatchewan HAL Big Game Draw information site and the Big Game Draw Overview document that provides a detailed explanation of the draw process and rules.

If you have further questions, you can contact the Ministry of Environment Inquiry Line at 1- 800-567-4224 or

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