Hunters in Kugluktuk will now have two weeks after the date of issue to make use of their Bluenose East caribou tags.

The Kugluktuk Hunters and Trappers Organization, at a meeting attended by close to 20 of its members on Nov. 1, voted to adopt the rule to ensure a greater number of members have access to caribou tags.

“More people will have a chance to hunt them,” said Larry Adjun, chair of the HTO. “As it stood, if you got your four tags per person, we had no time limit on it.”

Kugluktuk has a total of 340 tags per year available for Bluenose East caribou. The herd is on a management plan because the population has been dwindling. The last estimate – carried out by the Government of the Northwest Territories in 2015, because the herd’s range extends into the NWT – put the number of animals at 35,000 to 40,000. The Bluenose East herd consisted of more than 100,000 caribou in 2000.

“This herd is shared by the NWT so we have to be proactive and state that we are doing management of our caribou,” Adjun said, adding that commercial caribou harvesting and sports hunts for caribou were halted in 1994. “So we’ve been proactive a long time ago.”

He noted that a time limit on tags isn’t unprecedented. Muskox tags issued in Kugluktuk also must be used within two weeks, he said.

“It’s always worked out good in the past… so we’re going to do the same thing with the Bluenose East (caribou),” he said.

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