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Igloolik hunters land 8-metre bowhead whale

Hunters first spotted the catch, a young male, on Saturday evening and had landed it in the community by early Sunday morning.

1 of 5 communities approved to hunt a bowhead this year

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      People in Igloolik, Nunavut, are celebrating a successful bowhead hunt over the weekend, which netted an eight-metre-long whale.

      Hunters first spotted the catch, a young male, on Saturday evening and David Irngaut, the hunt captain, says things went pretty quickly after that.

      "It took 21 minutes from the first harpoon to the final shot," he said in Inuktitut.

      "The hunters chose this whale, because it wasn't that big."

      Irngaut says catching a bowhead takes "a great deal of teamwork and teaches young hunters to be patient."

      Children stand on the tail of the young bowhead whale harvested by hunters last weekend. (submitted by George Qulaut)

      While the whale was being towed back to Igloolik, hunters were already calling into local radio to congratulate each other. Early on Sunday morning the team landed the bowhead and by 4 a.m. most of the community had shown up to celebrate.

      The bowhead has already been butchered, but Irngaut says they may not have enough muktuk to share with other communities.

      Arviat, Kugaaruk, Pangnirtung and Coral Harbour are the other Nunavut communities approved to hunt a bowhead whale this year.