The Quebec government said it will ban sport hunting of the Leaf River caribou herd indefinitely beginning in 2018.
According to CBC News, the Leaf River caribou herd has declined to only 199,000 from approximately 430,000 in 2011.
Although sport hunting will be on hold indefinitely starting in 2018, the Quebec government will allow the 2017 season. However, the available tags will decrease from 2,732 in 2016 to only 1,366 permits in 2017.
The economical and social impacts from a lack of hunting is unknown, and the government has formed an “inter-ministerial committee” to assess the implications.
However, Inuit advocates say that halting sport hunting is not enough. Adamie Delisle Alaku told CBC News:
In order for the herd to be sustainable and for it to be able to not decline, we have vocalized with the ministry that the sport hunt has to closed now.
With the sports hunting and the native harvest, we are already harvesting unsustainably. And that’s what we’ve been advocating to the ministry… and they have not been listening.
While I personally respect and understand Alaku’s opinion and sentiment, I find it difficult to believe that one additional harvest of, at most, less than 1% of the population will have a long-term impact on the Inuit’s harvest ability.
The goal of the Inuit and non-Inuit hunters is the same. They should be working together to find solutions to preserve both lifestyles.
Clearly, more is going on with this herd than hunter harvest.
Dominic Aiello is an avid hunter, angler, and wildlife policy expert. He is the President of the Oregon Outdoor Council, Cabela’s Prostaff, and Outdoor Writer. Follow his adventures on Instagram @daiello91 or Twitter @HunterInformant.