What Gear to Bring for Hunting in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan isn’t always a land of snow of ice, but, to be prepared, you my need hunting clothes that allow you to be comfortable during a day that seems to cross three seasons.
Waterfowl Hunting Recommendations
When packing your gear bag before you leave for a waterfowl hunting adventure in Saskatchewan, you will need to take into account the potential of wide swings in the weather. DO NOT rely on the weather forecast a week in advance, or even a day in advance. Weather systems in the Canadian central Prairies can shift quickly and severely. Be prepared. A waterfowl hunt in Saskatchewan in early to mid September could mean mid-day temperatures in the high 70’s, but might also mean the early morning decoy set up happens in temperatures below freezing. Add in the windchill in an open field and that’s a pretty wide swing in conditions.
An important tip for the early morning hunt, make sure you have layers of clothing. Starting off your day with setting decoys can mean working up a sweat if you have too many layers piled on, then getting chilled when laying in your ground blind. Instead, plan to wear just enough to be comfortable, without being hot enough to sweat, then adding a layer of warmth and wind protection just before getting in the blind.
A well-hidden waterfowl hunter is a well-dressed waterfowl hunter. For field hunts, you will most often have the added coverage of field blinds or box blinds but it is still critically important to have your upper body and head hidden with grassy field camo. A face mask to blend in is a helpful item as well. When hunting Snow Geese, white cover ups are often recommended. These may be supplied by your outfitter. Check before you pack. If in doubt, bring it all. Don’t forget insulated camo gloves. The metal of your gun will get cold and good gloves make for better shooting.
If you have waders, especially chest waders, bring them along. While most outfitter guided hunts are field hunts, the conditions may call for a set up near water and sometimes the best shooting opportunities are from hidden locations in the water, or you may have to pass through water to get to that prime spot. Another benefit of chest waders: they can be a fantastic insulator so many hunters will actually choose them for field hunting as well.
Big Game Hunting Regulations
It’s November, you are in Canada, northern Canada. Temperatures can drop to -25 and the trees barely seem to slow down the wind. Fortunately most outfitters will supply some sort of heat source in your hunting blind, but you will be out in the elements for significant periods when travelling to / from your hunting stand. The good news, the cold will keep the mosquitos away.
Bear hunters will have less extreme temperatures to deal with, whether spring or fall bear hunting. But keep in mind in Northern Saskatchewan there is a risk of snow through early June so it pays to bring a couple extra layers with you.
When hunting big game in Saskatchewan, whether from a ground blind or a tree stand, you are required by regulations to wear the following (copied from the Saskatchewan Hunters and Trappers Guide, 2019):
It is unlawful to: Hunt big game with a rifle, hunt in a designated rifle-only season or accompany a rifle hunter without wearing:
- A vest (an outer garment that covers the torso) of scarlet, bright yellow, blaze orange or white or any combination of these colours. The vest may include a label or crest not exceeding 100 centimetres² (15 inches²);
- A high-visibility garment carrying a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) label stating CAN/CSA Z96. This designation includes Z96-02, Z96-09 or Z9615 (indicates the year the standard was updated). Both class 2 (vest) or class 3 (coveralls) garments are lawful hunting apparel; and
- Scarlet, bright yellow or blaze orange headwear (white is not allowed). The headwear may include a small label or crest not exceeding 50 centimetres² (7.8 inches²).
Note that the above regulations are specifically for hunters hunting with a rifle or hunting during hunting season. If hunting with a bow or a muzzle loader, during non-rifle season, it is permissible to wear camouflage clothing. However, a bow hunter or muzzleloader hunter, hunting during rifle season, must abide by the clothing regulations above.
Even with a heat supply, there will still be a significant amount of fresh air which may be frigid and you may be sitting still for extended periods of time. When adding layers of clothing, remember to ensure that the outer layer complies with the clothing regulations above. Don’t forget that the most important parts of your body to keep warm in extreme conditions are your extremities. Warm clothing for your feet, hands and head are must haves.
Other Articles to Bring Hunting
Clearly clothing is the most important category of gear to bring when hunting in Saskatchewan. Let’s also run through the list of other essentials.
- Your weapons and ammunition
- A gear bag to carry gear, food, ammunition, and water to your stand or blind
- Your camera or phone
- Spare batteries or battery pack
- Any prescription medications you may need throughout the day