Deline chief says hunters should harvest caribou like ancestors

Groups that hunt the Bluenose East herd need to work together to make sure no more than 1,800 caribou are hunted. Deline chief Leonard Kenny says they can reduce pressure on the herd by hunting traditionally.

Leonard Kenny calling for reduced pressure on the Bluenose East herd

Deline chief Leonard Kenny says hunters can reduce pressure on the herd by harvesting traditionally. ((CBC))
The chief of Deline says hunters should harvest the same way their ancestors did if they want to protect caribou.

Leaders from across the North met in Deline last week to discuss the future of the Bluenose East caribou herd.

The herd is not declining as rapidly as the Bathurst herd. But the Bluenose East harvest has been limited to 1,800 caribou. Eighty per cent of those animals must be bulls. How the allocation will be split up between aboriginal groups hasn't yet been decided. 

Deline chief Leonard Kenny says hunters should still try to reduce pressure on the herd.

“Today you can go out a couple hundred miles in one day on a big snow machine and you can take 10 caribou really easily and then be home the same day. In the past, you couldn't do that. It would take two weeks to come home and you'd take only three or four caribou in your sled. That's the difference.”

Kenny says young hunters should be educated about using as many parts of the caribou as possible.

Groups that hunt the Bluenose East herd need to work together to make sure no more than 1,800 caribou are hunted.
Deborah Simmons, executive director of the Sahtu Renewable Resources Board, says Kenny's ideas were warmly received.

“There's a strong understanding of the value of regional and location conservation,” she said.

But Simmons says that number of Bluenose East caribou that may be revisited after the territorial government does a photographic survey of the herd this spring.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story mis-stated the percentage of the Bluenose East herd harvest that must be bulls. Eighty per cent must be bulls, not eight per cent.
    Feb 04, 2015 11:26 AM CT