When browsing through the winter 2016 Yukon Hospitals brochure, I noticed a large ad requesting donation of wild game meat for their traditional diet menu.
What I have to question here is: Why are the Yukon’s big game trophy outfitters not donating the necessary amounts of edible meat to hospitals in our territory for such programs?
Like prior letters which specified a lack of donated meat to Ross River elders, seniors and persons with disabilities, it certainly appears as if these trophy outfitters and non-resident hunters are not respecting the laws they are mandated to uphold under the Wildlife Act and the First Nations Umbrella Final Agreement principles. They are obligated to make certain all the meat from each big game animal harvested for commercial purposes by non-resident hunters is properly cared for, transported and distributed, ensuring no meat is wasted.
The latest statistics on non-resident hunters show 278 moose, 116 caribou 130 sheep were harvested in that year. This is, conservatively, some 300,000 pounds of edible meat and soup bones.
Here are some further questions to you as minister responsible for the commercial use of our wildlife:
—How will you ensure all the meat from these approximately 524 big game animals harvested yearly by non-resident trophy hunters is accurately accounted for before each trophy is allowed to leave our territory?
—Who is actually legally responsible for this meat to ensure none of it is wasted under the act: the non-resident hunter, the guide or the outfitter? Or all of them, as it should be? And all should be severely prosecuted for any infractions under the act, just as a Yukon citizen is.
—Does each non-resident hunter have to attach a seal to each animal upon a kill to be certain only one kill of that species per non-resident hunter or do you simply rely on the fidelity of the guide and outfitter?
—What are you going to do to tighten up these questionable methods of compliance which are to be applied to big game trophy outfitters?