Manitoba caribou outfitters were recently invited to attend the annual meeting of the Beverly-Kaminuriak Caribou Management Board in Winnipeg. This board consists of government and First Nations representatives and biologists from Nunavut, Manitoba, NWT, and Saskatchewan whom monitor and manage the herd. As many know, caribou herds have seen some drastic declines over the last several years. The Nunavut/Manitoba Kaminuriak herd has been the lone positive point, an extremely healthy herd and consistent migration, one of the last places on Earth to hunt trophy caribou. What has been perplexing is a delayed migration the last two years affecting the hunt. What came out of the meeting was excellent. While the herd has had a slight decline (not abnormal), it still is by far North America’s healthiest herd, with close to 300,000 animals estimated. There were some reassuring signs from 2016 studies of good calving rates. There is no explanation for the recent migratory delay and biologists and game managers advised it could be an anomaly with a return to normal patterns in 2017. The caribou actually got within 25 miles of the Nunavut/Manitoba border before ‘hanging up’, a minor distance in the vast scope of the area the herd actually travels but enough to cause an issue. As of today, they are 200 miles south of the border in Manitoba.
To better accommodate our hunters, we have changed our hunt package to a basic hunt fee with trophy fees paid upon success. We feel it is a very fair package for hunting this migratory animal.