The Northwest Territories is home to a wide range of wildlife. Caribou, moose, muskox, bison, wolves, polar bears, grizzly bears, black bears and Dall’s sheep are some of the big game animals found here.
Wildlife has sustained Aboriginal people for thousands of years by providing food, clothing, shelter, tools and goods for trade.
Harvesting continues to be an important source of food for many northern families. Big game hunting, trapping and some harvesting is done on a commercial basis.
Hunting in the NWT is regulated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. All residents and non-residents require a licence to hunt in the NWT.
During hunting season, Renewable Resource Officers inspect hunters for compliance with hunting regulations at check points, border crossings and in hunting areas throughout the NWT.
Hunting rights of Aboriginal people in the NWT are based on traditional use and are different from those of other hunters. Hunting by many Aboriginal people is controlled by Land Claim Agreements. Hunting by others may also be affected by Land Claim Agreements.
All hunters require a licence to hunt caribou, wood bison, polar bear, muskox or any other animal not being hunted for food, unless they are beneficiaries of a land claim specifically exempting them from requiring a licence.