With hunting season for many animals firing up, West Central Online talked to SGT Jared Yeo, a Conservation Officer Supervisor from the Leader area. He explains how whitetail deer season works. 

“We've got a number of species seasons that are running right now, probably the one that most Saskatchewan residents look forward throughout the year is the white-tailed deer season that opened up on November 15th. So, that's an over-the-counter season that any eligible Saskatchewan resident can purchase a license for, and that season runs till December 2nd.” 

There are also some new trespassing rules which came into effect on January 1 of this year, as Yeo elaborates.  

“There are some significant changes with the new trespass to property act coming into force on January 1st of this year. So, obviously it's always been best practice for all hunters and people accessing land to seek landowner permission before gaining access onto that land. But as of the new law, that's actually a requirement now by law, so gone are the days where hunters can rely on hunting land being posted with access restrictions on it. All hunters need to get consent from the landowners, either in writing, through verbal or sign that identifies that consent is implied.” 

With hunting there is always the possibility of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), something that is fairly prevalent in the Leader and parts of the West Central region, according to Yeo. 

“CWD, unfortunately, is fairly prevalent in the area, especially around the Leader Area, there are some hotspots there. So, the Ministry of Environment encourages hunters to test animals for chronic wasting disease to help monitor and support the management of wildlife populations. The best information that hunters can get on that is on the saskatchewan.ca/CWD website, but also there's a lot of self-serve kiosk boxes around the area as well. There's actually one located right in Leader, situated behind Miller Auto Tech. Basically, hunters are directed to the CWD website to pre-register their sample or their head and then they can attend a self-serve kiosk box. And tag their specimens and leave them in the kiosk. Otherwise, they'd have to attend one of the open field offices that still provides front counter service.” 

There are lots of different new apps available for hunting and fishing in the province, as Yeo explains.  He also elaborated on ice fishing safety.