mi-caribou-meat-wastage-enr-may7-2013

Parts of 50 caribou were found wasted in April near Gameti. (N.W.T. Department of Environment and Natural Resources)

An elder from Gameti says he feels unfairly singled out by wildlife officials after he paid a fine for wasting meat in a recent incident where dead caribou were found.

Johnny Washie was fined $575 for his role in a meat wastage incident recently, where parts from around 50 caribou were discovered on Hottah Lake, near Gameti.

Washie admits he left one caribou behind, but says it was a wounded calf that he put out of its pain. 

"Whoever shot that caribou must have left it the way it is," Washie said. "As Tlicho we don't leave a wounded animal like that, so I went up to it, and I shot it and I left it there for the hunter."

Washie says hunters from many communities were in the area at the time.

He also says wildlife officers should do a better job of monitoring hunters on the Barrenlands.

"Whose job is it to monitor those hunters? It's the game wardens," he said. "They don't go on the land. They don't watch those … hunters."

The territorial government believes many hunters were involved in the wastage.

The investigation continues.