A Little Known Opportunity For BIG Muskox


Published: June - 2003

We are indebted to subscriber Alasdair M. Veitch, who happens to be a wildlife management supervisor with the Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development in the Northwest Territories, for word of a little known hunting opportunity in his part of the world. It's for muskox around Great Bear Lake, where local hunters lately have been taking truly world-class trophies. Before we get into the specifics, however, a little history on the area is in order first.

Veitch says that the Sahtu Region, which lies about 100 miles west of Norman Wells in central NWT, was closed to muskox hunting from 1917 until 1992/93, when the government set a limited quota of 11 animals per year - 10 for aboriginal subsistence harvest and one for residents of the NWT by a lottery draw system. That quota was in place until a few years ago when Veitch completed a survey here and recommended a quota increase to 27 animals per year. Two of those tags were designated for residents; 10 went to the five communities for subsistence purposes; and 15 were made available for nonresident sport hunting out of the community of Deline on Great Bear Lake. Grey Goose Lodge in Deline, was designated as the outfitter for those hunts; and, to support outfitting for muskoxen, the government sponsored a guide training program here for some young men from the community to learn the 'ins and outs' of guiding muskox hunts.

According to Veitch, the quota for aboriginal subsistence harvest has never even come close to being met. Only two or three tags available since 1992 have been used. "There is just no desire by the aboriginal people in this region to hunt muskox," says Veitch. "They don't look at this species as a 'meat animal,' and they are not trophy hunters." So, while lots of tags have been available since 1992, there has been almost no subsistence harvest.

The same cannot be said for the resident tags. These are highly sought and have been filled just about every year since available. Significantly, Vietch says........(continued)

 
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