Farmers near Weekes Saskatchewan say wolves have killed some 30 cows and 300 calves in the last year and a half.
Photo Credit: Jeff Turner- CBC Natufre of Things

Wolf cull in Saskatchewan

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The central prairie province of Saskatchewan is about to begin a temporary wolf hunt, starting Monday.

Last winter was long and harsh and took its toll on wildlife. For wolves, a traditional prey, the whitetail deer, suffered greatly and the populations have crashed.

Wolves have sought new prey, and migrated from the forest into central Saskatchewan farmland where livestock is easy prey.

Don Gordon of the Saskatchewan Trappers Association said the neighbouring province of Manitoba began its own wolf cull to deal with a falling moose population.  He says this pushed more wolves into Saskatchewan.

The province is issuing 100 licences to hunters allowing them two wolf kills each until the programme ends in March next year. The cull will take place along the forest fringe in east central Saskatchewan.

Mike Gollop of the Saskatchewn Environment Ministry, says it’s likely few wolves will be killed.  He’s quoted in the Saskatchewan Leader-Post newspaper saying, “We want to see if there is any impact on the predation in this particular area. It’s the first crack at this, so we don’t know the numbers we’re working with.”

Open to Saskatchwan residents only, it’s the first time the province will issue wolf licences to those  who are not licenced trappers. They will also be allowed to sell the pelts. Quality pelts are worth between $200-$300 each.

The province estimates the wolf population at between 3,000 and 4,000 animals.

Don Gordon says taking a few wolves out of specific area should not have an effect upon the food chain.

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Posted in Economy, Environment

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6 comments on “Wolf cull in Saskatchewan
  1. Avatar Jack Janzen says:

    We own a farm in East central saskatchewan. Siteings of both timber wolf tracks and brush wolf tracks are common in our area. We also hear them howling at night. They come right down the driveway and into the yard as we have no dog. There is some concern as we have little children visiting from time to time. They also push out the whitetail deer from our area.

  2. How are they so sure they are timber wolves..they best make sure for timber wolves are hard to find and can smell a human from two miles away..there is a hybrid of wolf and coyote,called the Eastern Wolf, the Coy Wolf, and the Brush Wolf. These hybrid species will cause a lot of grief and havoc on farmers. They have the strength of a wolf but also no fear because of the coyote inbreeding. Let’s not be like our neighbors in the U.S. and kill our timber wolf population. They are a beautiful animal to behold and there are no know killings of humans from a healthy timber wolf. If you have no use for wolves please read up on the story of Isle Royale..the wolf is a much maligned animal.

  3. SASKATCHEWAN WOLF CULLING

    I am appalled at the quick decision to kill wolves in Saskatchewan. Quote “We are going to try this…” Where is the research? Where is the science? Where is the knowledge? Wolves are keystone species! Not vermin! They are not a problem. They have an important role to play in the ecosystem. Eliminating them causes more problems than those which this act attempts to solve. Wolves having been persecuted for a millennium choose to avoid humans. Depredation on ranches is often a last resort. Often done by the young of a pack whose parents have been killed. Having lost their leaders and lack the skills and experience go for easier prey in desperation. A shattered pack is more unpredictable than a large strong pack which will be successful with their prey species. Has anyone looked into the cause of the change in behavior? A bad winter, was stated. It is a normal environmental cause. The ecosystem if left alone will find its balance. Often it is due to habitat loss of their prey species. Has there been more logging in the area? A new highway built? Or a new industry as a mine? All are human interference. As is the case of the woodland caribou in Alberta, where the tar sand companies have so fragmented the boreal forest that the species population crashed. The solution that Alberta came up with is to cull the wolves. Wolves have been once again scapegoated. Culling is not a viable solution. It never has been. Predators are territorial. Another wolf pack will move in or coyotes will mate with the survivors creating the coywolf. A new unpredictable variable.

    It is best to know your pack and work with it. There have been many successful cases where predator friendly ranching solutions have been applied. Consult with http://www.defenders.org./livingwildlife, http://www.predatordefence.org./predators and http://www.predatorfriendly.org in the US.

    Here in Canada, wwww.grazerie.com.blog a sheep farm in Alberta, who is the first in Canada to be predator friendly certified. If there is a will for co-existence there is a way towards better lifestock management. Other resources are wwww.ytoy.net and of course Algonquin Park has been studying wolves for over 50 years.

    Please make informed decisions based on scientific research as

    CULLING IS GENOCIDE.

    • Well said and very true..many people are ignorant of wolves because they have never truly seen one…another instance in Manitoba was a farmer who lost a fair bit of cattle. He blamed the wolves. It was a bad year in Manitoba for the bears. the vet confirmed that his cattle had been killed by bears. Yes it is Genocide..glad you are on my side Ernie!!

  4. Avatar ernie meyer says:

    its time as Canadians to stop listing the wolf as big game and start protecting this animal from unnecessary culls. How much work did the rancher put in to stop depredation? My guess is not much. Probably left his herd out in the wilderness by themselves to feed without so much as a thought about faldry or riders etc. These cattle probably polluted water systems and overgrazed but is the rancher punished? No. Blames all his troubles on the lowly wolf who is only doing what comes natural. Yet this rancher gets paid out for his loss while the wolf looses his life. Cattle are the invaders here not wolves. Proper ranching practices would have prevented depredation.

    • Also true..I know a lot of farms out here keep many donkeys to watch their herds and those that do have no trouble with either coyotes or wolves. Lets not be like the U.S.A. A client of mine in Illinois told me you could not even eat the deer that roam there..they all have self starvation disease..there are no wolves there..surprise, surprise…also with the waning population of wolves on Isle Royale, the moose population is once again overflowing and causing disease amongst them..