Listen: Monitoring the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road for illegal caribou harvesting

Nearly 150 caribou have been harvested illegally so far this winter.


Isaac Mantla, 24, was out hunting with his grandfather Cowboy Joe Mantla and harvested a young caribou. The harvest was done legally outside of the Bathurst no-hunting zone.

There has been a push in recent years to educate harvesters in the traditional hunting ways.

Despite this, there is illegal caribou harvesting every year.

CKLB’s Francis Tessier-Burns recently had the chance to join Environment and Natural Resources officers as they monitored hunting near the Tibbitt to Contwoyto winter road.

Over the weekend, ENR shared a notice to social media saying 40 caribou were illegally harvested near the Tibbitt to Contwoyto ice road.

Unfortunate news to finish up the winter road season. 40 caribou were harvested illegally during a blizzard when the…

Posted by Environment & Natural Resources – North Slave Region on Saturday, April 10, 2021

The hunt happened during a blizzard in the area, but did not specify whether all of the animals were taken within the Bathurst no hunting zone.

This brings the total number of illegally harvested caribou to 143 for this winter.

Below are photos from CKLB’s ride-along with ENR.


Correction: CKLB initially reported the 40 caribou mentioned in ENR’s Facebook post were in addition to the number of illegal harvests in the radio story. In fact, those caribou were already included in the total number.

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis has been a general news reporter with CKLB since January 2019. Originally from rural Ontario, he first came to the NWT in 2016 as an intern with Up Here magazine and fell in love with the North. In his time with CKLB, he's had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures. Otherwise, you can find him hanging around the Legislative Assembly. If you have a story or want to chat, reach out to francis@cklbradio.com