Saskatchewan Crop Insurance says 2,772 livestock predation claims were filed between April 1 and December 20, 2017.
That number includes cattle, horses, sheep and goats. Compensation is paid as as long as the adjustor has a carcass to identify.
Cows and calves account for more than half of the total with 1,518 predation claims paid since the beginning of April.
Coyotes were responsible for 64 per cent of those claims, or 979 head. Wolves were a distant second at nine per cent, or 138 head. Bears were number three at 55 head, with cougars at 51.
Sask Crop Insurance says cougars accounted for about three per cent of total predation claims, slightly higher than the traditional two per cent.
"Cougars are not terribly abundant, but relative to other areas of the province, the Cypress Hills area has the most actual incidents," according to Mike Gollop, a problem wildlife specialist with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. "Also, up in the Meadow Lake-Glaslyn area in the northwest. It seems to be a little more on the west side, even though there have been isolated incidents here and there."
Brooks Whitney has 275 cows on his ranch, located 40 kilometres south of Maple Creek, near Cypress Hills Provincial Park.
He says cougars are a bit of a nuisance, but not a major problem on his farm.
"Our biggest problem with cougars is that cattle get uneasy when they are around. We winter our calves and if a cougar is hanging around, the calves will go through the fence."
The biggest issues are with younger male cougars.
"The toms, if it isn't their kittens, they want to kill them if they find them. A lot of times the younger cougars get out of their area and are looking for a safe place. Unfortunately, a lot of times that is around farmsteads and peoples' homes."
Farmers and ranchers are allowed to kill cougars if they are creating safety issues for livestock or humans.