"It is our information that wide-track, high-powered
snowmobiles, GPS and high-powered rifles are being used to chase down
and kill caribou. Hunters are firing the high-powered rifles at the
animals from the snowmobiles, which is foolhardy," the minister said.
"With that many hunters in a small area, they are a danger to themselves
and to our officers."
Given the number of people in the area, it is not safe
for provincial conservation officers to engage the hunters on the ground
at this time.
The Provincial Government recognizes caribou hunting
is an integral part of the traditional Innu life, but does not support
the hunting of a threatened species or disregard for the laws
established by government to protect threatened caribou herds.
Government supports hunting on non-protected, George River caribou in
open zones and there are healthy caribou herds in Labrador and zones
that are open to hunting.
"The Quebec Innu are fully aware of the regulations
and why they are required, and this was reiterated directly to the
hunting party by our officers," said Minister Dunderdale. "Our requests
that they respect provincial and federal laws designed to conserve these
threatened animals are being ignored. We have now brought our concerns
over the threat to our conservation efforts and officers to the Quebec
- 30 -
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
2009 03 27