RM delegates had an opportunity to ask questions this week during SARM's bearpit session with Premier Scott Moe and his cabinet ministers.

The reeve of Val Marie Larry Grant brought up the issue of the growing deer and elk population destroying feed stacks noting that producers on the western side of the province have been going through drought and struggling to access feed.

Grant called for immediate action to reduce the numbers --- noting that in his area if they can get it producers are paying $200 a bale for hay delivered that is being destroyed.

"We don't need to study this situation any longer. It's in dire straits, because the livestock industry has dealt with drought and now feed shortages. We're not going to have a livestock industry if something isn't done."

Environment Minister Dana Skoropad says the situation is incredibly important and is touching the bulk of the province.

He says it can be very difficult trying to gather population numbers, but they try to manage wildlife populations in the province through hunting.

"This is certainly an immediate concern for many folks, trying to keep their livestock fed and then you have a herd of 200 elk come in and do incredible damage. We certainly encourage people to work through their conservation officers and there's some solutions that they can provide."

Skoropad says the department is currently in the process of setting their allocations for hunting based on their numbers, adding that in certain areas of the province they'll be looking at offering more tags to address the population concerns.

He says they'll continue to work with advisory committees like the Wildlife Advisory Committee.

Premier Scott Moe says it's an issue in his riding as well.

Moe suggested the Environment Minister look at issuing depredation tags through SARM so they could go out to where they're needed in the province as a way of trying to split up some of these herds.