Caribou herd are in decline, but that doesn’t seem to stop hunters from crossing into no-hunt zones to gather meat.
According to Wildlife officials, there were two alleged caribou hunting incidents on January 21st and January 24th. Both incidents took place near MacKay Lake- which is a mobile no-hunting zone.
Mackay Lake is a mobile no-hunting zone, but many hunters continue to take the risk and cross into the zone for caribou.
Renewable Resource Officer Jordyn Siurko says that many of the hunters are in denial that caribou are in decline.
However, according to Siurko, the Bathurst Caribou population has been in decline for years.
The last estimate was in 2015 and it was about 19,000 animals in the Bathurst herd population. This has been about a 96% decline since the 1980’s, when it was estimated at around 400,070 animals.
Currently, the two alleged incidents of caribou hunting is under investigation. However, if charged it will go through the court process under the mobile zone regulation.
Siurko says that if people choose to hunt they should only take what they need and not more.