Resident hunters in the Northwest Territories may be allowed to take one bull caribou this coming winter season.
The territorial government is proposing a limited resident harvest for the Bluenose East, Beverly and Ahiak caribou herds in certain areas.
"They're taking adult males, and that has much less of an impact on a population of caribou than taking the adult females," said Alistair Veitch, who has worked for 20 years in wildlife management in the Sahtu region with the Bluenose East herd.
"Given this is one tag for an adult male, I doubt very much that this will have any negative impact on the herd at all. It should be well within sustainable limits."
The government decided to go ahead with the proposal, as some caribou herd populations have shown some recovery over the past few years following steep declines.
Veitch said the proposal would not have been possible if resident hunters had not taken the hunting ban, which was put into place in 2006, so well.
"I think it's a testament to the process and the restrictions that we're now in the situation where a limited return to resident barren-land caribou hunting can be considered," he added.
The proposal is being reviewed by the various wildlife management boards that deal with the herds.