White-tailed deer Opportunities
Population trend surveys for white-tailed deer indicate a stable or increasing trend across the province, nearing the long-term average.
Season structure remains the same in 2020 with white-tailed deer opportunities in all WMZs with additional antlerless opportunities to address locally increasing populations in WMZ 2E, 2W, 5, 6, 7E, 7W, 14W, 33, 34, 55 and the Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert WMZ for Saskatchewan resident hunters, maintaining the opportunities offered in 2019.
The draw for pronghorn will be conducted in July and final quotas will be determined after ground surveys are completed. Quotas will be adjusted or eliminated based on current year population estimates.
Pronghorn populations continue to show strong population growth across their range, as winter weather conditions continue to be mild in 2020. Wildlife managers are proposing increased hunting opportunities in 2020, with either-sex quotas in all eight pronghorn management units – zones 1-15, 18, 19 and 23-27.
Information from recent surveys shows a decline in southern forest moose populations, with surveyed zones 30 to 50 per cent below the long-term average. In response to this population decline, the ministry adjusted the regular season length to a restricted season in 2018. These dates will be maintained in the 2020 hunting season.
Draw quotas have been reduced in some forest WMZs and certain zones (56-59, 67 and 68S) have gone to a bulls-only draw.
Farmland moose populations are showing declines across the grassland region and remain stable in most parkland regions. Draw quotas have been reduced in zones where populations have significantly declined. Quotas were increased in WMZ 48, where an increasing population has been observed.
Mule Deer Opportunities
Provincial mule deer populations continue to benefit from several mild winters and appear to be at sustainable levels. As a result, there will be increased hunting opportunities, including higher quotas across much of their range. There will also be new antlerless mule deer hunting opportunities across many of the eastern WMZs.
Antlerless licences will be offered with a bag limit of one or two deer (one or two seals), depending on the zone.
Regular archery mule deer licences will be offered in the same zones as 2019, with the addition of WMZs 11, 16, 17, 18, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 48, 49 and 55.
A number of elk hunting opportunities have been added in 2020. Given recent mild winters, which have benefited elk population growth, elk quotas have been increased across a number of WMZs across the province. Additional antlerless elk shoulder seasons have been added in WMZs 6, 7E, 7W, 37, 39 and 43.
To reach elk population objectives in WMZ 33 (including Moose Mountain Provincial Park), a two-bag limit opportunity will be available for draw antlerless elk hunters. Regular elk season dates will remain unchanged from last year.
Waterfowl populations remain at or above target levels across much of the province, although they may be impacted by spring and summer conditions. Season dates and bag limits remain unchanged.
Saskatchewan's Upland Game Bird Management Plan was recently published and quotas align with the plan thresholds. Upland bird populations vary across the province. Sharp-tailed grouse and gray partridge populations continue to increase, so bag limits have been increased in some areas. Ring-necked pheasant populations declined, but remain relatively strong. Forest grouse populations recently went through a low point in their natural cycle, but seasons and bag limits remain unchanged in most cases.