Well, October came with the opening day of pheasant season. Up until today, I have seen quite a few pheasant, some sharp-tails, but very few Hungarian Partridges. Not sure what the problem is with the huns, but they are a tough bird to find.
Today was a tough day to hunt with the powerful winds. Seems the hunters would flush a bird, it would jump up, hit the wind and be gone before anyone could get a shot. There were a few out there who were close to limit, especially now that the limit is two (2)roosters, down from three. The reasons for this lower limit number has to do with the lower populations and the potential effect of the long winter on the pheasant population..or this is what I have been told. The limit is the limit, and we have to live with and work within what we have been given, so let's move on.
I want to say a special thank you to the Weyburn Cubs and Scouts. A couple of weekends ago, they went out and picked up fifteen plus bags of garbage from along the shores of Nickel Lake. The sorry news is that these fine outstanding young folks had to pick up garbage on a lake that many of you use. When I talked to them, they told me that much of it was drink containers, minnow/bait containers, lots of fishing line, snack packaging, lure packaging and other garbage. I think we have to be much more responsible for this type of littering and I know that Dave and I will be keying in on it much more in the future, with fines given out to those who litter. Thanks again to the Scouts and Cubs for your hard work.
OK moving on…there has not been too many issues with the new licensing system, that I have seen in the field. I have to remind you all that it is not legal to simply take a photo of your license on your smart phone, IPhone, Blackberry or any other hand held device. It is also not legal to show me your license on one of these devices. You have to actually have the printed and signed copy of a license on you (in person) in order to be legal. Please make sure that you have a copy of your license on you.
Other things that I noted today is the fact that nothing has changed with laws surrounding the new system compared to the old system. Just because they are printed off on a family computer does not mean that you can carry your son's or wife's hunting license with you. If they are responsible enough to hunt, then they are responsible enough to carry their own license and tags.
The last thing I want to address this week is access to land. The law states that a hunter does not have implied right of access to your land if it is not posted, but the fact is that there is no charge section under the Wildlife Act or Petty Trespass Act for a hunter who does this. They still have to have written permission to drive off of roads and road allowances with trails while hunting big game during an open big game season. It does not apply to waterfowl and upland hunters. This law is regardless of if that land is posted or not. If your land is not posted and a hunter is hunting on it you can simply ask him to leave and he must do so. The Petty Trespass Act does not apply to people who are hunting or fishing.
I appreciate the fact that it is you, the land owner, who has to take the time and effort to post all of your land, but it is what we have to work within the boundaries of the law. If a person is hunting on your "un-posted land" there is no legal recourse I have that I can pursue. Like it or not, you are the land owner and the onus is on you to post your land as per your requirements.
Can you come and hunt on my front lawn in the city…no, but these are two totally different things and are not looked at as an urban vs rural issue. It is simply the law that we, as officers, have to work with. In addition, officers may enter onto any land while carrying out his or her duties of the wildlife act. If you are unhappy with this, you can file complaints within our department as that is the first step at getting things changed. I agree that ethically, all hunters should ask for permission as it is common courtesy, but not all people use that principle.
If you have any questions with hunting or fishing, please give me a call at the office. Next week, I will touch on posting your land correctly. Until then…keep hunting safety in your crosshairs.