Well it is that time of year when we are thinking about getting the kids back in school, packing up the RV and for those hunters out there, sighting in the rifle and making plans for the fall hunts. There are some changes this year that we should all be aware of.
Not much has changed at all with the season opening dates as the opening dates are the same every year now. Limits for pheasant and sharp-tailed grouse have DROPPED to two (2) roosters with a possession limit of (4). Sharp-tailed grouse have reduced limits of two (2) down from 3 last year. Possession limit is now (4). As for white tail deer, the limit stays the same at one either sex white tail deer. If you are interested in the draw numbers and what is available for mule deer, you should know by now if you have been drawn and what the quotas are in each zone.
One big change that is new this year is that the Ministry is no longer collecting hunter killed head samples from deer, moose or elk. The Ministry is also no longer paying for the testing of hunter killed animals in any zone. Hunters interested in testing their animal can contact Prairie Diagnostic Services in Saskatoon. There will be a charge of approximately $120.00 per sample. Let's see…what else can I tell you. Beginning Tuesday, August 6, all hunting, big game draw and angling licenses are available on the automated system. There are three options to purchase licenses through this system. These include online through your personal computer any time; through private issuers, Ministry of Environment and select provincial park offices; or by phoning 1-855-848-4773 (8 a.m. to 9 p.m.). Prior to purchasing a big game license online, hunters must first obtain a convenience pack of seals from a private issuer, Ministry of Environment or select provincial park office. There is no cost for these seals.
This fall, many customers will be accessing the automated licensing system for the second time. Hunters and license issuers are reminded that the advantage of HAL is that users do not need to supply any personal information. They can simply access their account by supplying their HAL ID or secondary identification number. The HAL number and secondary identification number are printed on any previous 2013 licenses. The automated licensing system uses newly designed generic tags or seals. There are no longer unique seals for each species and license type. All seals are three-part, pre-numbered and orange in color.
When a big game license is purchased, a generic seal will be registered with that license. The serial number of the seal will be recorded on the license. Once the generic seal is registered with the hunting license, it becomes a species-specific seal matching the species-specific license. For example, a regular moose license #123456 will be matched to a seal #654321. Both numbers will appear on the seal and the license. Hunters will be required to write the year, species, license number and sign the seal in the spaces provided on the seal or ledger. A convenience pack consists of six seals or two ledgers. Convenience packs are now available from private issuers, Ministry of Environment offices and select provincial park offices, or may be ordered online or by phone.
If you want to purchase a big game license online from home, you must first obtain a convenience pack of seals to complete the transaction. Once you have them, you can complete your transaction online, 24 hours a day. Convenience packs are free of charge and can be carried over for use next season. Hunters will be issued a maximum of two packs, or 12 seals in total. The ministry needs to ensure there is an adequate supply of seals for all hunters. Access to ledgers or seals from a convenience pack allows any person to purchase a license online. Convenience packs are not required if licenses are purchased by phone, from a private issuer, a Ministry of Environment office or select provincial park office. The seal or ledger will be supplied with the license. As with any new system there is bound to be a few hiccups along the way. Call our office if you have any questions and we will do our best to get you sorted out.
Until next time…keep your rod tip up.