News Release - November 27, 2006
HUNTERS SHOULD ASK TO HUNT ON PRIVATE LAND
Saskatchewan Environment, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation have joined forces to remind hunters that they should respect the rights of province's landowners and lessees. They say one way to do that is to ask permission before hunting, especially in areas south of the forest where the majority of hunting takes place on private land.
"Access to private land often makes the difference in a successful hunt," Environment Minister John Nilson said. "Even if the land is not posted, hunters should request the permission of landowners. Landowners still have the common-law right to tell people to leave. It would benefit all hunters to show good ethics and ask for permission before hunting on private land."
Landowners and leaseholders can grant permission to allow hunting on their own posted land. Status Indians hunting under their treaty rights may hunt on private land, with permission. Hunters who are hunting on private land should be careful where they drive and should be sure to close all gates behind them. A number of landowners have posted their land mainly because of the actions of a few irresponsible hunters.
"Many rural landowners and lessees are also hunters and they recognize the value of hunting on private land," Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities Executive Director Ken Engel said. "While a landowner or lessee may welcome hunters, they may also want to limit the number of hunters on their property for safety or other reasons. Asking permission may also result in hunters being told where others are hunting or where to find the best spots to hunt."
The Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation suggests hunters should be contacting landowners or lessees to get permission well before the hunting season.
"We view hunting on private land as a privilege, not a right," Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation Executive Director Darrell Crabbe said. "We have produced free Hunter Courtesy Cards that hunters can use to provide a landowner or lessee with personal information and a signed pledge to act in a respectful and responsible manner. The landowner or lessee, in turn, provides written permission to hunt on the property. By asking permission, hunters show respect and consideration."
The free Hunter Courtesy Cards are available from the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation or from any Saskatchewan Environment office.
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