More than 80 caribou harvested illegally in past two weeks: ENR

Harvesters parked on the Tibbitt to Contwoyto winter road. (Photo retrieved from ENR's Facebook page).

Environment and Natural Resources Minister Shane Thompson, Lutsel k’e Dene First Nation Chief Darryl Marlowe and Tlicho Grand Chief George Mackenzie are calling for more responsible harvesting.

ENR officers say the caribou were killed within the Mobile Bathurst Caribou Management Zone.

They also found wasted meat from 12 caribou outside the zone last weekend.

Officers seized meat from caribou hunted in the zone and fined the hunters caught over the weekend.

In a joint statement from the leaders, they called on harvesters to follow physical distance recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Over the weekend, hunters along the winter road were observed travelling and gathering and visiting in groups. This behaviour goes against the advice of the Chief Public Health Officer, who supports people going out on the land, but only with their immediate family or people they live with,” it reads.

Minister Thompson encouraged harvesters to hunt other animals like moose, muskox, small game and other caribou herds.

ENR said it will continue to monitor the no-hunting zone with daily air and ground patrols.

ENR officers says a dozen caribou were left wasted near the no-hunting zone. (Photo retrieved on ENR’s Facebook page).