Upland Game Birds
Upland game birds usually have round, heavy bodies and short wings. They are not migratory, meaning they do not go south for the winter. Usually the male of the species will be brightly coloured, whereas the female is a little smaller and plainly coloured. Upland game birds will usually be found on dry land, but always close to a water source. Examples of upland game birds are turkeys, pheasants, and grouse.
The sharptail is the provincial bird of Saskatchewan. It is a relative of the greater prairie chicken, which is no longer found in the province. The grouse are a pale brown colour, with black and white speckles and can be distinguished as a Saskatchewan native bird by their feathered legs.
Sharp-tailed grouse make a nesting habitat in native grass-shrub areas. Due to the breaking and heavy grazing of their native habitat, the sharptail has virtually disappeared from many regions in the province.
Any species that is on the rare or endangered list will be protected from any type of hunting. There are many species, from every game category, on this list. There are several bird species that are protected by federal law and cannot be hunted under any circumstances. This includes species such as whooping cranes, pelicans and swans. Caution must be taken not to confuse these protected species with white geese and sandhill cranes.
It is every hunter’s responsibility to know which species are off limits. Be sure you are able to identify these animals up close and from a distance. NEVER take a shot if you are unsure of the target.
In Saskatchewan, whooping cranes are an endangered species and any sighting should be reported immediately. Since whooping cranes often travel with sandhill cranes, a whooping crane sighting will cause an open sandhill crane season to close immediately.