Emergency order halts caribou hunting along Dempster

Hunting along the Dempster Highway is threatening the small Hart River Caribou herd. To protect it, the Environment department issued an emergency…

Hunting along the Dempster Highway is threatening the small Hart River Caribou herd.

To protect it, the Environment department issued an emergency order prohibiting caribou hunting between Chapman Lake and North Fork Pass on Saturday.

Although First Nations are allowed to hunt in the area, Environment is asking them to voluntarily avoid it.

“And the local First Nations are very concerned about the Hart caribou,” said wildlife management chief Doug Larsen.

This year, the Porcupine caribou herd didn’t move south of the Ogilvie River.

And because the Porcupine caribou share this region with the Hart caribou, hunters may unwittingly be harvesting from the small Hart herd of roughly 2,200 animals.

“When you’ve got 100,000 Porcupine caribou in the area, that’s generally what people are hunting,” said Environment spokesperson Dennis Senger on Monday.

“But at this moment in time, all those Porcupine caribou are north of the Ogilvie River, and in that area there are also the Hart River caribou.”

“So it’s a question of trying to ensure you don’t have a large number of caribou taken from the Hart River herd.”

As a result, the department had to put the closure in for all caribou hunting, he said.

Usually only four or five Hart caribou are harvested by resident hunters every year, said Larsen.

“But this year, we don’t know how many have been harvested.”

Usually people are quite responsible and don’t shoot many of the Hart River herd, said Larsen.

But with the herds mixed together, many people won’t be aware they’re shooting Hart River caribou, he said.

“Hopefully, by prohibiting hunting in this region, we’ve preempted the problem,” he added.

The emergency order will remain in place until August 1st, 2007.

“We don’t know why the Porcupine caribou haven’t moved south,” said Larsen.

“But big herd movements are not very consistent from year to year.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From Whitehorse to the Whitecaps

Joe Hanson is starting his second season with the Vancouver Whitecaps academy

Mount Lorne Mis-Adventure Trail Race doesn’t miss a step

Blue skies and sunshine for a chilly fall race

Canada Summer Games postponed

Yukon Canada Summer Games athletes will now work on mastering skills in preperation for 2022

Site selection for battery project draws ire of nearby landowners

Yukon Energy is accepting public comments on three possible sites for the project

Taking a closer look at the cosmos

Star gazing party scheduled for Sept. 18

Yukon government releases new guidelines for COVID-19 symptoms and sending children to school

The advice sorts symptoms into three categories: red, yellow and green

Nominations closed in Watson Lake byelection

Four candidates are running for mayor

Baggage screening changes begin

Passengers are asked to arrive earlier than normal in order to accommodate the new temporary system

Yukon Government extends education review

The final report is scheduled for release in March 2021

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Lawsuit against Freedom Trails settled

The suit was dismissed with consent of all parties

Tank farm takes another step towards development

OCP designation passes second reading

Climate change strategy targets 30 per cent reduction in territory greenhouse gases by 2030

The strategy includes rebates for electric vehicles but puts off mining targets for two years

Most Read