WIIKWEMKOONG – A group of hunters from Wiikwemkoong had a great hunt this season, bagging three bull moose over the course of their hunt. The hunters decided to donate one of their moose from their bounty to the Wiikwemkoong food bank.
“We did good,” confirmed Wiikwemkoong Ogimaa Duke Peltier, who was one of the lucky hunters who made up the party of six. “We were able to harvest three bull moose.”
Ogimaa Peltier explained “a group of us decided to go out and see if we could be successful in the hunt, as it turned out we were really lucky as it turned very cold that night with frost, it was only five or six degrees when we woke up.”
The moose entered the hunters’ sights shortly thereafter. “As soon as we went out they were there,” he said. “I’d like to say we had skill,” he laughed.
The hunters decided to donate one of their moose to the food bank, which has a program running to encourage donations of wild game for distribution to families as part of a land-based program.
“The lands department put the program together,” noted Ogimaa Peltier. In return for one third of a hunting party’s harvest, the lands department will not only assist with the butchering and packaging of the meat, but also kick in for some of the cost of gas.
“The program encourages those who have the ability to go out, who are willing and able to hunt and successful, to donate one third of their harvest.”
While the Island sometimes hosts an accidental moose or two, hunting parties from the Unceded Territories, as well as United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising have traditionally hunted for moose further afield, travelling a wider range to harvest moose.
The program dovetails neatly with the Wiikwemkoong Lands Department vision: “To reclaim our rightful stewardship for the lands, waters, environment and natural resources consistent with the traditional beliefs and practices of the Anishnabek people of Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve.”