The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) passed resolutions during their convention earlier this month concerning the overpopulation of mule deer, elk and moose.  

But how much of a problem is it throughout the province?  

Executive director of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation Darrell Crabbe said it really depends on which zone in the province you are in.  

He said some zones could very well have an overpopulation of deer and elk, while others have seen population declines as high as 80 per cent due to Chronic Wasting Disease. Right now, hunting is done through a draw system.  

“I think the best course of action would be for the ministry to investigate those specific zones that people have suggested those numbers are very high in. They very well might be, and certainly are probably in some zones, and the ministry then has to make some adjustments to their allocation,” Crabbe said.  

SARM cited the damage mule deer, elk and moose can do to crops, and gardens. Specifically, large game animals can damage haybales, while moose have a tendency to get through fences and act aggressively. 

Crabbe said the damage caused by deer and elk during the drought last summer must have been particularly frustrating.  

“A lot of our producers didn't have enough hay for their livestock, and then you get a large herd of, I'm not going to say just mule deer, but certainly mule deer are probably one of the more precarious of the big game animals we have, so you can get herds of hundreds and they move into a bale stack and the impact on that producer is devastating,” Crabbe said.  

He added that there are precautions farmers can take to keep wildlife away from crops and bales, but once the animals have found the food source it is too late.  

You can read the resolutions made by SARM here