Delta News

Saskatchewan Rejects Mandatory Outfitting

WINNIPEG, Manitoba—Delta Waterfowl has been informed that the government of Saskatchewan has rejected a proposal by the Saskatchewan Outfitters Association (SOA) that would have required non-resident hunters to hire a licensed guide or use an unpaid host while hunting in the province.

Hugh Hunt, executive director of Saskatchewan Environment’s Resource Stewardship Branch, said in a letter to Delta, “A recent review by Saskatchewan Environment has resulted in the conclusion that it is inappropriate to implement mandatory outfitting for non-resident bird hunting.”

Delta contacted the Saskatchewan government and issued a press release in opposition of the proposal, which would have applied to everyone who was not a Saskatchewan resident.

“We applaud Saskatchewan Environment for its decision,” says Delta President Rob Olson, who publicly opposed the proposal in his President’s Message column in Delta Waterfowl magazine. “The proposal by the outfitter associations is not the best long-term solution to the conflict, and Delta does not support it,” Olson wrote last year.

Olson praised the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation and Executive Director Darrell Crabbe who worked alongside Delta in opposing the outfitters’ proposal.

In February of 2005, the SOA published a paper in which it proposed that non-residents would be required to hunt with a paid guide or be accompanied by an unpaid resident hunter-host who would not be allowed to carry a gun.

The SOA paper portrayed illegal outfitting as a major problem on the prairies, a contention that was vigorously disputed by Delta’s Vice President of Policy for Canada, Dr. Robert Bailey.

Robert D. Sopuck, Delta’s vice president of policy for prairie Canada, predicted the proposal would hurt the economies of rural communities across the prairie provinces. Sopuck also pointed out that mandatory outfitting would jeopardize access to hunting land for residents and non-residents alike.