The land of open skies may soon be the land of permission only access. It has been a topic for a few years, and some day maybe it will be true to say Saskatchewan Land Permission Laws are Changing. The Government of Saskatchewan held a series of forums to discuss the pros and cons of requiring anyone wanting to hunt on private land to get the permission of the landowner. This is the future direction of requiring permission to hunt, but this is not yet in effect. The The Trespass to Property Act is still pending being enacted. The biggest effect on duck and goose hunters will simply be that you can no longer pull up to the middle of a field and set out your decoys and blinds to lure in Saskatchewan waterfowl. You will soon need advance permission from the owner. Waterfowl outfitters currently are required to gain permission for the fields they hunt on, and anyone with permission, vs. those private citizens that simply choose to access the land, have precedence. Along with making the announcement that some day in the future, hunters, bird watchers, nature photographers, snowmobile riders, hikers, and anyone else wanting to enter private land for recreational purposes will need permission, the Provincial Government also dangled out an RFP with a grant for the development of a mobile app intended to help the recreational land user get permission from land owners. A prototype app has been developed, and a pilot project in the Rural Municipality of Shellbrook is underway. Results regarding the success of the app are not yet available, the trial is expected to conclude by the end of 2020. So, for now, private citizens still have the legal right to hunt on private land, but in the interest of being a responsible, safe, and ethical hunter, we would strongly encourage all outdoor enthusiasts to ask for permission. Land owners do have the right to restrict access to their property, by posting no trespassing signs, or asking you to leave if they do not wish you to be on their land. The easiest way is to simply have the courtesy to ask permission. Besides, after spending an hour laying out your goose decoy spread, it would be a shame to have to pick it all up without firing a shot simply because you failed to ask for permission.
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