Yukon has been always a place where its inhabitants have hunted, fished, trapped and harvested. Today we have the sad reality that there are people who have moved here that want to make us think we are a bunch of Neanderthals or something.
I raised my children on wild meat: moose, caribou, fish, and from time to time black bear. I’m not a trophy hunter. I hunt for meat, so I have never hunted grizzly.
I’m not a fan of trophy hunting, but it does provide jobs, and adds money to our economy. As long as the trophy hunts are well managed to protect the populations of those hunted species, I’m OK with it.
The latest controversy on road hunting is a joke. There are many quiet back roads, such as the south and north Canol highways, the Robert Campbell Highway, Nahanni Range Road, etc. where many hunt outside of tourist season. These areas are hunted by many native and non-native who have mobility and disability issues. To close hunting by roadways would be so wrong.
This would also cause many more lazy, able-bodied, less experienced hunters to go deeper in the bush, and on river trips. That will cause more missing hunters, more wounded animals from poorly placed shots, and more risk to inexperienced people’s lives, and cost our taxpayers more money on added search and rescue.
The two young men who killed the blond grizzly near Carcross last year were in such a situation. They spent much time and energy hunting in the bush for a grizzly, and happened upon the opportunity for this bear. To put them down for this situation shows very ignorant and poor judgement.
I watched this bear grow up. So I was sad to see it go, but I understand it as a fact of hunting.
It was born north of Tagish and had a female sibling. This bear worked its way over four years towards Carcross, while its sibling (which is just as blond) worked its way towards Little Atlin Lake, where it still resides today. I saw her two days ago.
The genetic profile of the Carcross bear is still alive and well. The mother has had several other cubs over her lifetime, and she’s still living in the Tagish area.
There is no danger of losing these bears. No more than five or six bears, black or grizzly, are annually taken off our roads, as documented by Yukon’s game branch, so this is not an epidemic.
What’s more, these hunts, both spring and fall, happen outside the tourist season. The Yukon government salts the bush over the summer to keep these animals away from the Alaska Highway in the summer months to cut down on human-wildlife conflicts, which is why, during the summer months, you see very few moose or grizzly along that main artery. Tourists wanting to see our wildlife soon learn they need to go to the back roads, or do a river canoe trip.
To those who don’t believe in hunting and trapping, and continue to push your views: You don’t belong here, as hunting and trapping is part of the history of this territory, and I for one plan to keep that history alive and strong.