North

Porcupine caribou meat wastage cases stump Yukon officials

Yukon conservation officers will be patrolling the Dempster Highway this weekend in an area where several caribou were found abandoned earlier this month.

'I get angry when I see such total disregard,' says game association president

Conservation officers believe up to 12 caribou from the Porcupine herd have been shot and abandoned. (submitted by Environment Yukon)

Yukon conservation officers will be patrolling the Dempster Highway this weekend in an area where several caribou were found abandoned earlier this month.

They say they've received some tips, but they're still appealing for more information from the public.

One incident happened in Old Crow on Oct. 9, according to officer Shawn Hughes. The carcasses of a cow and her calf were discovered just outside the community. They had been shot, but Hughes said it may not be a case of abandoned meat. 

"On that one, we have since received some information from the public that suggests those caribou were actually wounded and eventually succumbed to their wounds at the location they were found," Hughes said.

He's asking anyone who was hunting in the Mountain Road area on that date to contact officials. 

Conservation officers have also received calls about dead caribou found near the N.W.T. border a few days later, but those calls yielded few details.

Both incidents involve the Porcupine caribou herd, which is migrating in northern Yukon. Conservation officers believe up to 12 caribou have been shot and abandoned in the area.

'Disgusted'

The executive director of the Yukon Fish and Game Association says he's disgusted that anyone might knowingly waste meat. 

"I get angry when I see such a total disregard for the bounties that the Yukon environment provides us," said Gord Zealand.

He says it's unclear what could be done to stop any illegal activity, but thinks governments on both sides of the territorial border need to find solutions.

Zealand believes it's an issue that's not going away. 

"What would happen if we had more enforcement up there?" Zealand asked. "Maybe we need video work up there in terms of, these are the individuals, these are the people that are causing these things to happen."

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