New rules restrict sheep hunt in southwest

Hunters hoping to bag a Dall sheep from several areas west of Whitehorse will need a permit this year, Environment Minister Currie Dixon announced Tuesday.

Hunters hoping to bag a Dall sheep from several areas west of Whitehorse will need a permit this year, Environment Minister Currie Dixon announced Tuesday.

The areas were previously open hunts, but territorial biologists have warned that few rams are left in the area due to overhunting.

The situation is most critical around Fish Lake. Under the new regulation, there will be a maximum of one sheep-hunting permit issued for that subzone.

Fifteen hunting permits will be issued at two other subzones. One encompasses Mount Arkell and Mount Ingram. The other abuts the northeast end of Kusawa Lake.

Another new regulation protects the Chisana caribou herd from hunting this year. The herd is already supposed to be protected, but several subzones near Beaver Creek had until now been “overlooked,” said Environment Yukon.

The Chisana herd’s size was estimated at 700 animals in 2010. That’s down from 1,800 animals in 1989. Captive rearing was used to stabilize the herd from 2003 to 2006.

The herd ranges in the Kluane Wildlife Sanctuary and in Alaska’s Wrangell/Saint Elias National Park, where it’s also protected from hunting.

Other rules for hunting woodland caribou have been made consistent so that only bulls can be hunted from the Bonnet Plume, Tay and Redstone caribou herds in northeast Yukon. The bag limit will be changed to one bull, with the extended winter hunt removed.

And a mistake in the hunting guidelines has been fixed. Poor phrasing inadvertently banned hunters from transporting harvested wildlife on the Old Alaska Highway, between the Alaska Highway and Silver City.

The new wildlife regulations have been a long time coming. They were first proposed in 2010. That’s nearly a year later than when these regulations were expected to be in place.

Proposals were first floated to the public in the autumn of 2010, with an aim to having the regulations approved by the spring of 2011. But governments usually move slower during an election year and 2011 was no different for the territorial bureaucracy.

Four other proposed changes were dropped on the advice of the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board.

The most controversial would have created a no-hunting corridor along the Atlin Road.

Grizzlies frequent the area during the summer. Roadside shootings of the animals have prompted complaints from an area resident, who says the practice is a safety hazard and unsporting.

The board recommended setting aside the restriction after it was panned by hunters at a meeting. But the board wants “the public concern with respect to roadside hunting of grizzly bears” to be addressed with another draft measure to be floated this year.

Contact John Thompson at

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

Just Posted

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Most Read