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Muskoxen sports hunt brings in money and meat in Taloyoak

Taloyoak's first muskoxen sports hunt provided work for five local outfitters and three boat operators, and it also put meat on the tables of many homes in the community, said Jimmy Oleekatalik, manager of the Taloyoak Hunters and Trappers Organization (HTO).

Taloyoak held its first muskoxen sports hunt in late August. The initiative provided incomes for local guides and boat operators, as well as meat for community members. photo courtesy of NWT Arctic Tourism

The hunting party of four – comprising two clients from Calgary and two from the United States – managed to harvest three muskoxen with help from the local guides Aug. 21-25.

Oleekatalik said the HTO, based on direction from the community, decided a couple of years ago to designate some muskoxen tags for sports hunts because the huge animals are too numerous and they deter caribou from migrating and calving on Boothia Peninsula.

"The guides are happy that they got some money, some wages," he said, adding that there are plans to expand the sports hunt next year.

More than half of the muskoxen meat was divided among local residents, Oleekatalik noted.

"It's very beneficial for everybody," he said.