Thinking about doing some Saskatchewan hunting? Here's a guide to get you started.
Sure, you may have heard of Saskatchewan, the Canadian Province that sits between the provinces of Manitoba and Alberta in the western half of Canada.
What you may not know is that this unique and beautiful place holds an amazing array of hunting and fishing opportunities. There are coniferous forests, grassland plains, and a plethora of rivers and lakes, but Saskatchewan is also home to Boreal forests and some incredible open lands that aren't surrounded by much in the way of any major cities.
This is what makes a Saskatchewan hunting trip an opportunity that shouldn't be missed.
Since the land in this province is so fertile and rich with nutrients, a full 10 percent of all the wheat grown and harvested in the world is produced in what is fondly called "The Bread Basket of Canada."
Since you may already be thinking of hunting here you will need to understand some basic rules for non-resident hunters which, as Tourism Saskatchewan describes, "To hunt big game (white-tailed deer, moose and black bear), all hunters require a Saskatchewan Wildlife Habitat Certificate and a species license. Some big game require special protection, and may only be hunted by Saskatchewan residents."
Let's talk a little about what you can hunt here, when the seasons generally open, and show you a few examples of what hunting in Saskatchewan really looks like.
Whitetail Deer Hunting
Don't think you can't knock a 300 pound deer down with a muzzle loader. Here's my biggest bodied buck to date - Saskatchewan, Canada at 120 yards, 100 grains powder, 250 grain power belt, CVA muzzle loader, field dressed 283. His age and rack size - Old enough, big enough!
Posted by Roger Raglin Outdoors on Friday, May 11, 2018
We almost don't need to say much more about this subject after watching that video, but hold on.
Saskatchewan doesn't just hold good numbers of whitetail deer, it is one of the biggest bucket list places for trophy whitetail deer hunts across all of North America.
While the provincial rules state that non-residents of Canada hunting on either Crown lands (public hunting areas) or even private lands must hire the services of a licensed outfitter for their hunt, that is probably for the best since not many non-resident hunters will know the area or the tactics.
As you may think that you'll spend a bundle to hunt this amazing place, let us remind you that as of October, 2020 your U.S. dollar is worth $1.33 in Canada. Let us put it this way: if your hunt costs you $1,500 Canadian, you will pay only $1,130.34 in U.S. dollars. Those are significant savings!
Just in case you are interested, Book Your Hunt tells us that, "Saskatchewan is considered a mecca for white-tailed deer hunting. The record typical whitetail from Saskatchewan scored 214 4/8 B&C points, while the non-typical record stands at 265 3/8," and that "These deer are also some of the largest whitetails in the world in terms of body size."
Need we say more? Let the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment website help you with the details. Deer season in Saskatchewan starts as early as the first of September (archery, muzzleloader, and crossbow) and runs until the first week of December.
Black Bear Hunting
The black bear population in the province seems to rise every year, and 2020 was no different. With the numbers of bears estimated at almost 44,000 (a low estimate), it would seem as if anyone with a respectable outfitting service could fill their tag, especially since they offer both spring and fall hunting.
Since we all are, unfortunately, familiar with the restrictions on travel to Canada due to the coronavirus, it almost goes without saying that black bears did not see as many hunters this season as in the past.
The CBC reports that, "Northern Saskatchewan outfitters take approximately 2,500 non-resident clients each year, most of whom are U.S. residents. Those hunters typically harvest 2,000 bears each season."
Jef Smith of Kutawagan Outfitters says, "Without any 2020 U.S. bear clients, it's fair to say the provincial forest now has 2,000 more bears roaming about than normal."
This could mean a huge boon for hunters in the coming years, as not only will there be more bears, but likely more tags available as well. Spring dates in 2020 for archery, muzzleloader, crossbow, shotgun and rifle run from April 15 to June 30 with the fall season starting on September 10 and running to October 14.
Saskatchewan Moose shot recently congrats to the hunter let’s book your next hunting adventure for 2020 #huntingtheworld #shootingstixsafari #godfatheroutdoors #moosehunting #saskatchewan #canada
The moose hunting seasons in Saskatchewan are short but sweet, generally for two weeks in the beginning of October and closing until the first two weeks of November.
WMZ 69 has an early archery season that runs the last two weeks of September and WMZs 70 to 76 has an archery, muzzleloader, crossbow, shotgun and rifle season that runs all the way from September 1 to the end of November.
All of these are listed as seasons for a non-resident, guided moose hunt.
Waterfowl and Upland Game Bird Hunting
Day #2 in Saskatchewan. With heavy winds we decided to chase snows !! On The Road Outdoors Dead Ringer #cuppedwaterfowl #leadtheflock #sickforit
We may all immediately think of big game hunting when we think of these remote and vast Canadian provinces, but Saskatchewan in particular has some excellent wing shooting opportunities for sportsmen and women.
Most of the major North American flyways have birds with origins in this region. The farm fields make such great bird habitat, and some have come to call this area the Duck Factory.
Migratory game birds such as ducks and certainly Canada geese are there for the taking, but did you know that the Sandhill crane hunting is spectacular? And for the hunter that is also a dog handler, how about exceptional hunting for Hungarian partridge, ptarmigan, sharp-tailed, ruffed, and spruce grouse?
It seems that the hunting possibilities in this province are close to unlimited. The Saskatchewan Outfitter Association is a good place to find information on hunting in Saskatchewan and offers a list of accredited outfitters right here: www.SOA.ca.
Waterfowl Heritage Days (youth hunters only) open September 5-7 in the north, and from October 10-12 in the south region. Regular season hunting opens September 1 and runs until December 16 for both north and south regions.
Did you know that Saskatchewan has an "Overabundant Species" season? From March 15 to June 15 both snow geese and Ross's geese may be taken in the entire province, even by using recorded bird calls.
If you've ever wanted to see more hunt-able birds than you thought possible, Saskatchewan might be the place to do it.
The hunting experience for Saskatchewan whitetail deer alone is world class enough to make using a hunting outfitter well worth it, but when you factor in the black bear hunts, moose hunts, waterfowl hunts, and upland game bird hunts, it could be the hunting adventure of a lifetime.
Even with some of the coldest hunting temperatures you've likely encountered, it shouldn't stop you from considering a search for the online hunting opportunities that await us in this amazing province. Even the quality angling is reason enough to make a trip.
Obviously, wildlife management has found a home in western Canada.