The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Saskatchewan eyes more hunting to deal with loose moose causing car crashes

  • Print

REGINA - Saskatchewan is considering allowing hunters to kill more moose, fearing the animal's growing population roaming the rolling southern prairie is becoming a danger to drivers.

A funeral was planned Wednesday for RCMP Const. Derek Pineo, who was killed last week when his cruiser hit a moose while responding to a call near Wilkie, northwest of Saskatoon.

Saskatchewan Environment Minister Ken Cheveldayoff says the animals are being drawn south as farms expand in size and the threat of human interaction shrinks. There's ample water and food and a lack of predators.

The government estimates there are 50,000 moose in Saskatchewan and about 5,000 of those now live south of Prince Albert, where the vast, sparsely populated forest gives way to fields and a network or highways and grid roads.

"It is quite a serious concern," Cheveldayoff says. "With the increase in moose population come the increase in chances of collision."

A decade ago it was rare to see a moose in the south — there were probably fewer than 200, estimates Chuck Lees, wildlife manager with the Ministry of the Environment. Officials are now trying to come up with ways to control the numbers.

A total of 2,650 hunting licences were drawn in the south this year, up 455 from the previous year.

Currently, the province is looking at controlling the population only through hunting. A cull would be a more extreme step and Cheveldayoff says the department is not at that point.

Saskatchewan Government Insurance, the province's Crown-owned insurance company, doesn't keep track of the number of moose collisions reported each year, but Cheveldayoff says he is going to ask that it start.

There were slightly less than 16,000 wildlife-related claims last year, according to SGI. Of those, 11,015 involved deer. There were 304 injuries reported and two deaths related to wildlife crashes. The total damage cost was $47 million.

Spokeswoman Rebecca Rogoschewsky says those number have been fairly stable over the last few years. Still, she says the corporation is willing to track moose-specific data if the government thinks it will help.

Darrell Crabbe, executive director of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, says there is no simple solution to the southern moose issue.

Large moose populations pose the most problems on rural properties in the areas around larger cities such as Regina, Prince Albert and Saskatoon — not the easiest places to hunt, he says. Hunters will often face push-back from acreage owners who see moose as welcome additions to the landscape.

"There's a lot more to the issue than 'should we go kill all the moose in southern Saskatchewan?'," Crabbe said. "It's a difficult problem."

— By Tim Cook in Edmonton.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Travel getaway tips

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Young goslings are growing up quickly near Cresent Lake in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba- See Bryksa 30 Day goose project- Day 11- May 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Deer in Canola field near Elma, Manitoba. 060706.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Canada send heavy military equipment to Ukraine?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google