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Alberta adds new sandhill crane season

Posted on July 29, 2020 by Taber Times

An exciting new hunting opportunity awaits Alberta’s game bird hunters for the fall 2020 season.

A sandhill crane hunt launches on September 1 in more than 50 wildlife management units in southern and east-central Alberta.

“It’s great to see widespread support for a sandhill crane season in Alberta, which will support the province’s wildlife management goals and boost local economies. Alberta hunters care deeply about the province’s environment, species and wild places, and providing another opportunity to engage in a pursuit that supports conservation as well as economic activity is a win-win,” said Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks.

The Alberta sandhill crane hunt will be similar to sandhill crane hunts in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, with Alberta taking additional precautions by limiting sandhill crane hunting season to areas that are not known to overlap with the whooping crane migration or breeding range.

The number of sandhill cranes in the province has increased steadily in recent years with exceptional survival rates for both young and adult birds.

Alberta’s new sandhill crane hunt is supported by Alberta hunting stakeholders, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the Central Flyway Council.

Quick facts

• The new sandhill crane hunt will run concurrently with Alberta’s waterfowl season.

• Participating in the sandhill crane hunt requires a provincial game bird licence and a federal migratory bird licence.

• Sandhill cranes are hunted and eaten throughout their range. The Alberta hunt is expected to add only two per cent to the number of sandhill cranes harvested across North America.

• Sandhill crane hunting seasons have existed in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba for more than 50 years, with the sandhill crane population remaining healthy.

• In 2018 – the latest year for which we have numbers –fishing, hunting, trapping, and sport-shooting activities contributed $1.8 billion to Alberta’s GDP supporting 11,700 jobs, and generating $875 million in labour income.

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