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Late narwhal harvest in Kugaaruk

A couple of Kugaaruk hunters got some bonus maktaaq earlier this month when they harvested a few narhwal.

A few narwhal were harvested in the open water of the fjords near Kugaaruk earlier this month.
Ansgar Walk/Wikimedia Commons photo

It's unusual to see the mammals at this point in the winter, said Mark Jr. Karlik, manager of the Kurtairujuark Hunters and Trappers Association.

"The hunters managed to see them or hear them in open water," Karlik said, adding that the remaining open water around Kugaaruk is mainly in the fjords. "(The whales are) a little skinny but it's still good to eat."

Narwhal hunts generally take place in the fall. The pods normally swim south in search of more abundant prey during the colder parts of the year.

"They have to find a good area to feed on. There's not much fish in the (Arctic) ocean right now," said Karlik.