Recently, attention has been drawn to the problem of wild/feral boar roaming and breeding quickly throughout the prairies. As people get their gun licenses, they often ask us for more information on wild boar.
Hunting boar in Saskatchewan requires only permission from the landowner or RM itself. Hunters must comply with all federal firearms regulations, as well as provincial and municipal laws regarding firearm use and hunting practices.
In order to a gun to shoot boar, you need a valid PAL (gun license), or you need to be under the direct supervision of an individual with a PAL (within arm’s reach of the person). Importantly, you can only hunt game in Canada with Non-Restricted Firearms (most rifles and shotguns).
You do not need the Saskatchewan Hunter Safety Course to hunt boar (hunting defined pests does not require this), but you do need to follow Saskatchewan’s Wildlife Act rules. Despite this, RGSL recommends all hunters take the Saskatchewan Hunter Safety Course from a S.A.F.E. instructor to learn about hunting ethics, game identification and more intrinsic hunting ethos.
An email from Ken Cheveldayoff (MLA for Saskatoon-Silver Springs) to WildBoarCanada.ca regarding the legality of hunting boar reads:
Thank you for your inquiry regarding regulations surrounding wild boars. You are correct that feral or free ranging wild boars are not a game animals and do not require a hunting licence. Legally, free ranging or feral wild boars are regulated under two pieces of Legislation; The Stray Animals Act and The Wildlife Act.
A declaration made under The Stray Animals Act designates free-ranging wild boars as dangerous stray animals. Dangerous stray animals may be hunted with the approval of the local Rural Municipality and the owner of the land on which the hunting is occurring. The Wildlife Act definition of ‘wildlife’ and specifically ‘exotic wildlife’ applies to free ranging or feral wild boars. Therefore feral wild boars are wildlife but are not defined as a game species requiring a hunting licence. However as wildlife The Wildlife Act and regulations do apply.
So to your question regarding the hunting of wild boar at night – It is unlawful to hunt any wildlife at night or with the use of lights. Therefore it is unlawful to hunt feral wild boars at night or with a light.
Our advice is to always check with your local conservation officer and the rural municipality before hunting wild boars. If you have any further questions please call Brad Tokaruk with our Fish and wildlife branch at [Phone number changed – Ministry of Environment website is at http://www.saskatchewan.ca/environment].
A CBC article on May 28, 2014 outlined how U of S biologists have done peer-reviewed studies showing that more than 70 rural municipalities are now believed to have wild boar in them, and that soon there will be more wild boar than people in Saskatchewan.
Groups such as the Moose Mountain Wild Boar Eradication Committee are engaged in ongoing effort to wipe out nests during the winter season. According to a Canadian Geographic article, in the eight years prior to July 2013 728 boar in Moose Mountain Provincial Park were killed and it is thought that without the intervention of the Committee, thousands of boar would be in the area of the park today.
For more information on wild boar in Saskatchewan (and an interactive heat map showing the last reported sightings, tracks and kills) please head over to http://wildboarcanada.ca/
UPDATE (March 10 2015, CBC Saskatchewan): Ryan Brooks at the University of Saskatchewan is still predicting that without solid eradication efforts, wild boar will outnumber the 1.1 million residents of the province within a decade.