Labrador, which delayed their caribou hunting season back in August, has stepped in with some significant new regulations designed to protect the remaining herd. In a press release dated November 9, Labrador's Ministry of Environmental Affairs announced: "Effective immediately nonresident caribou hunting via the use of outfitters will be suspended," which shuts down the nonresident winter hunt. Also suspended was any commercial hunting and the resident license transfer system, which allowed for any resident of Labrador to legally transfer their license to harvest two caribou to another resident of Labrador who was qualified to hold a big game license. Additionally, the allowable harvest was reduced to one caribou per licensed hunter per year from the previous limit of two animals.
What remains to be seen are the steps Quebec will take to protect the dwindling George River herd while it is in their territory and what impact this will have on Schefferville-based outfitters who target the George River caribou. Certainly, a decision will have to be made before the upcoming show season, when many Quebec caribou hunts are sold. Any speculation at this point is just that, meaningless speculation. A meeting scheduled in early December should provide some answers. Stay tuned, we'll keep you informed as we hear of concrete developments.