Guide says more officers needed to stop caribou poaching
Christopher Fragassi said he’s seen poaching along the Dempster for the past decade
A Yukon guide says there aren't enough conservation officers to stop people from poaching caribou on the Dempster Highway near the border between Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
Yukon conservation officials said they keep a close eye on the animals’ migration and send officers out when the caribou are near the road.
Christopher Fragassi guides European tourists in and around the Dawson, Yukon, area. He said he has been watching poachers shoot caribou from the highway for the last decade.
"I know that the conservation officers in the Yukon are doing whatever they can with their resources, but obviously they do not have enough resources and obviously that keeps going on and getting worse," he said.
Yukon’s District Conservation Officer, Kirby Meister, said officers have been out the past two weekends and haven't seen any evidence of poaching.
"When the caribou migration brings more caribou out on the road, then we increase our patrols. Right now there are very few caribou out on the highway so we are only getting there infrequently," he said.
Kirby said the caribou herd has not migrated to the Dempster Highway in the last three years. He also said the conservation office appreciates hearing from the public when they see poaching on the highway.