Muskoxen landed
It will take about 10 employees at Kitikmeot Foods about 10 weeks to process the meat.

by Doug Ashbury
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 06/98) - Some 217 muskoxen were harvested last month near Cambridge Bay, Ikaluktutiak Hunters and Trappers Association secretary manager Ikey Ivalik said.

Members of the association went out March 5 and completed the hunt about a week later.

The animals were harvested around Wellington Bay, about 70 kilometres west of the Victoria Island community.

Evalik said it has been a year since the association has conducted a muskox hunt of this size.

The project employed 19 people generating thousands of dollars in income.

Meat was processed at the Kitikmeot Foods plant in Cambridge Bay. The harvest generated just over 18,000 kilograms of meat to be sold in the NWT.

It will take about 10 employees at Kitikmeot Foods about 10 weeks to process the meat.

Evalik preferred not to discuss the financial details of the hunt. Releasing such information, he said, could effect negotiations on future hunts.

"Our objective is to generate employment and try to break even," he said.

The association has 42 members.

"We are looking at a federally inspected harvest in the fall," he said.

"We have to look at a federal inspection in the fall because of division."

For muskox meat to be sold outside NWT boundaries, it needs to be meet federal rules. That can be logistically difficult -- the major harvest last fall on Banks Island is the most recent example showing it can be done -- because of weather and location factors.

After division on April 1, 1999, the Cambridge Bay association will require federally inspected muskox hunts if it wants the meat to be sold outside Nunavut.

Meeting the requirements needed for sale outside the NWT are logistically difficult.

To sell NWT muskox meat outside the NWT, hunt organizers need a temporary abattoir with running hot water at the site of slaughter.

As well as the meat, Muskox hides and horns generate some revenue for the association.

Last week, the hides from the Ikaluktutiat Hunters and Trappers Association hunt were being scraped and dried at the association building in Cambridge Bay.

Some hides were purchased by Nunavut Mining Symposium delegates.

As well as the muskox harvest, the association conducts expeditions for muskox sport hunters.

The association, with a 10-polar bear quota, also has four polar bear hunts scheduled over the 1997-98 winter. Muskox quota is 1,000.

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