Saskatchewan’s big game draw opens May 1, and hunters have until midnight on May 25 to submit their online applications.
The big game draw is a transparent and equitable method of allocating a limited number of hunting licences to Saskatchewan residents. This year’s draw includes licences for elk, moose, pronghorn, either-sex mule deer and antlerless mule deer.
“The big game draw continues to be popular, and remains important to the hunting community,” Environment Minister Scott Moe said. “The number of hunters applying for Saskatchewan’s most favourable hunting opportunities has increased significantly over the last number of years. I encourage all hunters to apply early and wish all applicants good luck in this year’s draw.”
Hunters should apply early to prevent system outages, and use the online residency verification tool. Last year during the final day of the draw, the ministry received more than 11,000 applications, which is a significant increase from 7,000 on the final day in 2015. More than 92,000 applications were received in 2016, up from 71,445 in 2015.
Applicants are advised to review results from previous years, available on the website, to assist them with selecting hunt choices that will improve their chances of being drawn. Several hunts have a high number of applicants compared to available licences and, therefore, the likelihood of any one application being drawn is very low, even for applications in the top priority pool.
Due to the significant increase in applications in previous years, the ministry is undergoing a review of the big game draw priority pool structure and will be considering modifications for future years’ draws. The ministry is working with representatives from various stakeholder groups to review options.
The over-the-counter archery mule-deer season and moose season dates will remain the same in 2017. The ministry will be consulting with hunters and other groups during the next year to make decisions on these seasons for 2018.
Moose quotas have been maintained at the same increased levels from 2016 in a number of zones, including areas with higher vehicle collisions such as east of Saskatoon to the Yorkton region. In addition, the pronghorn draw is proposed to expand to include much of their core range in southwest Saskatchewan.
The big game draw is administered through HAL, the ministry’s online hunting, angling and trapping licence system. Through HAL, clients can submit, review and update their application, check pool status history and purchase a draw licence.
Clients who need help with their account or the draw application can contact the Active Network call centre at 1-888-773-8450 (8 a.m. to 9 p.m.), or a Ministry of Environment office.
Draw results will be available through HAL accounts by mid-June, with the exception of pronghorn, which will be available in mid-July. Although applicants with valid email addresses on their HAL account are sent a notification of their draw results, successful email delivery cannot be guaranteed. If you do not receive an email notification, do not assume your application was not drawn. All applicants are responsible for looking up their draw results through their HAL account.
If you are successful in the big game draw, the appropriate licence will be available for purchase on your HAL account. Select the licences you want to purchase and complete the transaction.
Find more information about the big game draw, visit http://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/parks-recreation-heritage-and-arts/hunting-trapping-and-angling/hunting/apply-for-the-big-game-draw.