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Alberta adds new sandhill crane season

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

Sandhill Crane, Alberta

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.” Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

“The Alberta Fish and Game Association is pleased that Alberta hunters will have the opportunity to participate in the sustainable harvest of sandhill cranes starting this fall. The multi-jurisdictional population and harvest monitoring undertaken by Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the support of this season by Alberta Environment and Parks, under the leadership of Minister Nixon, has made this opportunity possible.” Brian Dingreville, President, The Alberta Fish and Game Association

“This announcement opens up a great opportunity for Albertans to participate in the sustainable harvest of a waterfowl species that has been hunted for many years across the rest of its range. Sandhill crane makes excellent table fare and I am certain Alberta’s waterfowl hunters will find that putting in the effort to harvest a Sandhill crane for a family meal is well worth it.” Todd Zimmerling, President & CEO, Alberta Conservation Association

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.

Provincial Press Release July 5, 2020 @ 3:01 PM

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