September 15, 2014 3:15 pm
Updated: September 15, 2014 5:13 pm

Saskatchewan wolf hunt will help livestock producers

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Watch above: Saskatchewan wolf hunt pilot project

SASKATOON – Saskatchewan’s environment minister says concerns from livestock producers got the province thinking about bringing in a wolf hunt.

Last week, the government announced it would issue up to 100 licences to hunt wolves in a region of northeast Saskatchewan known as Wildlife Management Zone 49.

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“They felt they were having in certain areas a larger number than normal of predator events on their livestock,” Environment Minister Scott Moe told Global Saskatoon’s Morning News.

“That’s where it began.”

But he said they heard the same concerns from other groups, including some rural municipalities – that a high number of livestock kills were being attributed to wolves.

“We came up with a pilot program to enhance the efforts of the trappers association to manage the wolf population numbers here in Saskatchewan,” said Moe.

The province’s environment ministry estimates there are between 3,000 and 4,000 timber wolves in Saskatchewan – but it’s a number that’s hard to pin down. Wolves are being blamed for the deaths of both cows and calves, much of it in the RM of Weekes in the province’s northeast.

The hunt is designed to reduce numbers in the wildlife management zone affected – which is in a “forest fringe” region that includes Hudson Bay and Carrot River. Hunters will also have to report their results to the Ministry of Environment.

Moe said if not all 100 licences are taken by the end of the year, there is the option to keep offering them until the end of March of 2015.

Timber wolves are not considered at risk in Saskatchewan.

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