Newfoundland and Labrador authorities probe evidence of alleged illegal caribou hunting by Quebec group
March 11, 2021 By Canadian Press
March 11, 2021 – Newfoundland and Labrador wildlife officials are investigating evidence of alleged illegal hunting of caribou in southern Labrador.
Officers with the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture discovered the evidence at a campsite in southern Labrador that they say was used by a group of hunters from Quebec, according to a statement on Wednesday.
The department said it first became aware of the group from Quebec on Feb. 25. It said officers made regular visits to the site and noted there were more than 30 snowmobiles there at some points.
Caribou hunting is illegal in Labrador, and herd populations have been dwindling for decades.
Hollis Yetman, vice-president of the Labrador Hunting and Fishing Association, said he first heard about the group’s presence on the campsite and that they were hunting caribou in late February.
“I felt disappointed, because I know their vulnerability,” the former conservation officer said in an interview Wednesday. “When you fly for hours and hours and hours on quadrants and transects and you don’t see a track of a caribou in habitat that should be overwhelmed with caribou … we’re not going to be able to see caribou in some of this country the way things are going.”
Yetman said there are three main herds in southern Labrador: the Mealy Mountain herd, the Lac Joseph herd and Red Wine Mountain herd. All are protected from hunting under the provincial Endangered Species Act.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2021.
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