Top 5 Reasons to Hunt Waterfowl in SK

Top 5 Reasons to Hunt Waterfowl in SK - Featured Image

Top 5 Reasons to Hunt Waterfowl in SK

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More Birds Than you can Count

Try and count them. We dare you! From just before sunrise, until the hunt is done, it will be impossible to count how many birds you saw from your hunting blind. Ducks will swarm you, Canada Geese will announce their arrival with a sequence of honks and an average flock of snow geese is usually numbered in the thousands. From your blind, it may seem that you barely have time to reload before the next flight of birds is upon you.

The Saskatchewan “Prairie Pot Hole Region” has been referred to as the worlds greatest duck factory. Beyond an ample supply of the most sought after species of ducks, Saskatchewan fields are well known for producing a mixed bag hunting experience.

Fortunately, waterfowl will often leave the roost in large family groups so a flock of 1000 birds does not usually make one pass and gone. While that can, and does happen, a normal field hunt will see combinations of pairs, singles, and groups of 10 to 50 birds approaching your decoys at a time, often with multiple groups visible and locked-in from miles away. You can expect to hear your guide talking about “50 Snows low to the right, 20 Mallards coming up the gut, two groups of Canadas a mile off behind us, let’s take the ducks, wait for my call”.

Rich Agricultural Fields

The primary waterfowl hunting areas of Saskatchewan are south of the forest belt and are rich with agricultural fields growing the feed source for waterfowl, such as field peas, wheat and barley. Harvest in Saskatchewan typically begins in late August. As harvest progresses, it continues to open up fields for migrating birds, providing fresh sources of grain and attracting waterfowl from the start of hunting season at the beginning of September through late October and often beyond. Birds will roost on larger bodies of water and fly out to fields every morning, anywhere from a half mile to 10 miles or more. With plenty of water around, they will often spend the late morning and early afternoons on smaller “day water” spots, before returning to the fields in late afternoon to early evening. This can make for a number of exciting hunting opportunities where the scouting knowledge of your Outfitter become critically important.

First Stop on the Migration Trail

Saskatchewan may be shaped much like a large rectangle, but this Province is truly “On the X”. Migratory birds such as Snow Geese (including Ross’s Geese) will spend spring and summer farther north (as far as the arctic circle) but return each year to Saskatchewan as the first stop. These birds have not seen a hunting decoy spread or heard the sound of a gun for months and less wary than further south on the flyway. This first stop is a lengthy stop. In addition to thousands of local geese and ducks, migratory birds coming from the north will often spend several weeks on their first stop, in Saskatchewan. Then, when the conditions provoke them, large flocks will push out only to be replaced with fresh flocks from the north.

Species Variety with Generous Limits

It is common on a Saskatchewan waterfowl hunt to shoot 5 or more species of birds. With generous limits, that can mean a long session at the cleaning table where you revel in the shots made and laugh at the shots missed. Canada Geese, Snow Geese, Specklebelly Geese, Mallard Ducks, Pintails, Gadwall Ducks, Wigeons and Sandhill Cranes are all commonly found in the same areas and feeding on the same fields or nearby fields. Hunters are permitted to harvest 8 dark geese (includes Canada Geese and Specklebelly Geese), a total of 8 ducks (all species combined), 20 Snow Geese (including Ross’s Geese) and 5 Sandhill Cranes.

All species are in season during the Fall Waterfowl hunting season. In addition, Saskatchewan has a Spring Snow Goose hunting season. These white geese begin to arrive back in Saskatchewan on their journey to their northern breeding grounds in mid-April and can be successfully hunted often until the 2nd week of May. Your Saskatchewan bird hunting license and federal Migratory Game Bird Permit from the previous fall hunt is valid for the following year’s Spring Snow Goose hunt. Both Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese (a very similar species of geese which flocks together with Snow Geese) are included in the hunting limit of 20 per day.

Professional Outfitters Means Access to Hunting Land

Saskatchewan is rolling out new legislation that will be in effect for the 2020 hunting season regarding access to privately owned land. As 99% of the best waterfowl hunting opportunities will be on or adjacent to fields cropped with wheat, barley, or field peas, access to private land is critical to hunting success. Outfitters have long established relationships with local land owners who must provide consent to hunt on their land.

The Saskatchewan Commission of Professional Outfitters (SCPO) is an industry-driven, not-for-profit association made up of licensed professional outfitters. Our members know the lay of the land, the whims of weather, the habits of local fish & game. As licensed professional outfitters they operate within a code of ethics and to a standard that ensures your hunting experience will be everything you expect. Outstanding hospitality. Unmatched experienced guides. Ethical hunting and fishing practices.

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If you are a non-Canadian resident looking to hunt whitetail deer in Saskatchewan, you must hunt with outfitter. Click the button below to find an SCPO member outfitter.

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