It's definitely NOT been business-as-usual across the border in Labrador. As E-mail Extra subscribers are already aware, all caribou hunting in Labrador has been suspended pending the final outcome of a 2010 census of the George River herd.
While the actual census results were very tightly controlled at this writing, we've heard from a source we trust that, based on the 2010 census, the maximum estimated population for the George River herd is 100,000 animals. We've also heard a low figure of possibly only 45,000 animals. But we have it on good authority that the final number will come in between 75,000 and 100,000 animals. A Quebec newspaper has reported the 75,000 number. We must stress that these are not official census results, just the figures we've been able to pry through locked doors. But, especially given Labrador's reaction, we have every reason to believe these figures are accurate.
A little background is in order here. It's long been known that the George River herd has been in decline since an estimated high of 800,000 or more animals in 1993. By 2001 the estimate was down to under 400,000. This is not unexpected. Caribou, like........(continued)