Ask­ing per­mis­sion is a good rule for hunters

The Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - LIND­SEY LEKO MIN­ISTRY OF EN­VI­RON­MENT CON­SER­VA­TION OF­FI­CER

With hunt­ing sea­son un­der­way, I have been get­ting lots of ques­tions about var­i­ous top­ics to dis­cuss. Some may be a bit of a re­minder, but some new top­ics are gen­er­at­ing some in­ter­est.

One of the first com­ments I re­ceived this year was from a gen­tle­man who had just pur­chased his hunt­ing li­cence. With the pur­chase of his li­cence, we pro­vided him with a copy of the Hunters’ and Trap­pers’ Guide. He com­mented that it was smaller than past years and he is cor­rect, as some of the con­tent has been moved to saskatchewan.ca/hunt­ing.

On­line users can sim­ply print spe­cific sec­tions of the guide (or the en­tire guide) at home, down­load it to their mo­bile de­vice, or link to it through some mo­bile hunt­ing ap­pli­ca­tions.

Over the last few weeks, I have heard some dis­cus­sion on var­i­ous so­cial me­dia venues about land ac­cess. The one thing that keeps com­ing up is when a wounded big game an­i­mal runs from land that you have ac­cess to onto land that you do not have per­mis­sion to be on be­cause it is posted.

What you should do in a sit­u­a­tion like that is make con­tact with the owner of the posted land. Ex­plain the sit­u­a­tion and ask for per­mis­sion to en­ter onto the land to re­trieve your har­vest.

If the landowner says no, which that per­son is en­ti­tled to do, con­tact your lo­cal con­ser­va­tion of­fi­cer, who will re­trieve the an­i­mal for you. Don’t en­ter onto the land with­out per­mis­sion or you could face pos­si­ble charges.

Here are a few more ques­tions from hunters and landown­ers.

Q: Can I use an ATV to hunt up­land birds?

All Ter­rain Ve­hi­cles (ATVS), side by sides or snow­mo­biles may not be used to hunt wildlife in all south­ern zones in Saskatchewan dur­ing an open big game sea­son. They can be used if there are no big game sea­sons open.

Q: Are there parcels of land out there that a hunter can hunt on that is not pri­vately owned?

Yes, there are Fish and Wildlife De­vel­op­ment Fund Lands, as well as Ducks Un­lim­ited Lands and even some pas­tures that are open to the pub­lic.

Wildlife lands are clearly marked and you may only hunt on foot. A ve­hi­cle can be used to re­trieve legally har­vested an­i­mals by the most di­rect route, but make sure your firearm is en­cased.

Ducks Un­lim­ited Land is also a good op­tion and these parcels are clearly marked as hunt on foot only.

The last parcels of land are com­mu­nity pas­tures. These are nor­mally closed to hunters un­til No­vem­ber 1, so that they have time to re­move the cat­tle. It is al­ways best to talk with the pas­ture man­ager re­gard­ing ac­cess rules.

Q: Can I legally shoot a moose from a boat?

The short an­swer to this is YES. A boat is not con­sid­ered a mo­tor ve­hi­cle un­der The Wildlife Act, so one can legally carry a loaded firearm in a boat and shoot from it. Make sure that if you har­vest your an­i­mal in the wa­ter that you have the means to re­trieve it. Also, en­sure that you are not ha­rass­ing or chas­ing that an­i­mal with a boat.

Q: Do you have any tips on tag­ging and or field dress­ing your big game? Re­mem­ber that when you are out hunt­ing big game, you should take spe­cial care in pre­par­ing your har­vest prior to tak­ing it to a meat cut­ter. Make sure that your li­cence is avail­able and the har­vest is tagged prop­erly, as the meat cut­ter has records that they must fill out.

If you de-boned your meat, make sure that it re­mains cool. The main rea­son for meat spoilage is body heat. En­sure you have good air cir­cu­la­tion around the car­cass and skin it, if pos­si­ble, to aid in the cool­ing.

Take note in what you put your de-boned meat into. Nor­mal garbage bags may not be the an­swer, as many of them are made with a dis­in­fec­tant that kills bac­te­ria and odour. They are prob­a­bly not some­thing that you want your de-boned meat sit­ting in.

Un­til next time…stay safe out there

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