Permits to import polar bear trophies, it should be noted, are available only after completion of a polar bear hunt. The rules also mandate that certain requirements be met before issuing a permit, such as no females with cubs, no pregnant females, etc. These are incidentals which cannot be confirmed until after the hunt has been consummated. At present, about 130 sporthunts are offered by the Arctic communities of Canada each year. The actual number fluctuates to some degree because annual allocation of polar bear quota tags to sporthunters is the decision of each Hunter-Trapper Organization. In the High Arctic communities named above, most of the tags are used for sporthunts, which usually exceed 50 per year. Resolute Bay alone has the highest number of total permits of any community in Canada - 35 per year, of which at least 25 are usually designated for sporthunts.
These High Arctic hunts are of the highest quality, with numerous large male bears available and the best success rate of any area from which import is allowed. There were only two unused sport tags during the 1998 season from the three communities in Lancaster Sound for an astounding 96 percent success rate on sporthunts. By contrast, the Western Arctic communities of Paulatuk, Tuktoyaktuk, Holman, Sachs Harbor, and Kugluktuk received 97 polar bear tags, and 61 of them went unused. Of these 61 unused tags, 32 of them were for sporthunts. The data on the........(continued)