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Night Hunting Controversy in Saskatchewan

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Studies
Wordcount: 978 words Published: 4th Sep 2017

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Night hunting controversy has been in the news for quite some time in Saskatchewan. The province made amendments to the Wildlife Regulations on Feb 10 1998 to ban the use of artificial lighting for hunting. Now there is talk in Manitoba to try and do the same thing as Saskatchewan. Cathy Cox has yet to say if there would be a banning or not but is worried the Indigenous people would become very upset. In Manitoba the Indigenous night hunting rights are protected under the constitution but the Chiefs are open to discuss issues about the safety of night hunting.

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Similar issues arose in Saskatchewan about the safety of the public with night hunting going on. In 1997 farmers were signing a petition to ban night hunting because of a court hearing the year before saying Métis people would now have the same hunting rights as people with Indian Status. Hunters all over the province were putting there two bits in but at the same time First Nations Chiefs came out saying it was tradition to use moonlight but it is not tradition to be using artificial light to hunt. Métis have their own wildlife act that discourages the use of light as well.

Most people no matter where they come from agree that night hunting is a big safety problem with bullets flying around and not being able to see what’s beyond what you are shooting at, but it’s also about the animals and giving them a fair chance. People who are hunting are also getting a thrill out of it and it takes that thrill away if the animal doesn’t have much of a chance. In 1998 when they decided ban night hunting the province had lots of conversations with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and Métis Nation-Saskatchewan. They decided to ban any unsafe night hunting in the province but still respecting all the treaty and Aboriginal rights.

This issue is in the news because the province of Manitoba is trying to follow what Saskatchewan did back in 1998 but it is very tough to ban something that falls under someone’s tradition. The province is trying to work with both sides to come up with a solution but has not yet announced the decision they have come too. This issue is very hard to resolve because the right of night hunting for Indigenous people falls under the Constitution Act of 1982, stating that as long as the night hunting is done safely and is on the reserve, unoccupied crown land or private land with permission from the land owner then it is legal.

 Saskatchewan came to the conclusion because both sides thought that it was unsafe to the public to discharge a firearm at night but they both agreed that it was unethical to freeze an animal with artificial light to harvest it. Indigenous people are still practicing moonlight hunting because it is tradition and has been used for many years. The province prohibited spotlighting but they also put restrictions on night shooting and shooting from the side of the road, and if caught doing either of those there is a possibility of a $25,000 fine.

It has been 20 years since Saskatchewan banned night hunting and biologists say that the moose and deer population are much healthier especially the moose. The moose population has gone up and you can now see moose almost all across the province and no just the heavily wooded areas. Lorne Scott who was the former Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management Minister says that peer pressure was part of the swaying towards banning the night hunting because he said if you cant shoot an animal in the day light with all the newest advanced technology but your ancestors could shoot one with a bow and arrow they made, then should you really be hunting.

I agree with the banning of night hunting but also the fines they give out with night shooting and shooting from the side of the road. I am personally a hunter and the thrill of the chase is a big part of why I hunt along with the amount of meat you get with it, but if you have ever seen a deer in front of your car on the road they just stop and look at you, it’s the same thing with a spotlight to freeze the animal up so you can shoot it. I don’t think it is ethical to hunt the animals like that. The chase is part of the hunting experience and gives the animals a fair chance. In my opinion night hunting is unethical and should be banned across the whole country, it is also unsafe for the public in the area with stray bullets flying around. People who shoot at night have no idea what is on the other side of there intended target and it could hit a house or even live stalk which are worth a lot of money and affect people livelihood.


Malone, K. (2017, January 29). Consultations and treaty rights: Night hunting lessons from Saskatchewan. Retrieved February 21, 2017, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/spotlighting-night-hunting-manitoba-saskatchewan-1.3956974

Producer, W. (n.d.). Western Producer. Retrieved February 21, 2017, from http://www.producer.com/?q=respecting%2Btreaty%2Brights

PROVINCE ANNOUNCES NEW NIGHT HUNTING REGULATIONS. (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2017, from https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/1998/february/10/province-announces-new-night-hunting-regulations


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