Amid a rise in sales of big game in the Northwest Territories, particularly online, the Department of Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) is warning residents of the potential legal consequences of illegal game trading.

In a release on Wednesday, March 23, the Department of ENR said there has been a recent rise in sales of big game, particularly on websites like Facebook and YK trader.

Selling harvested game for profit is illegal in the NWT without a General Wildlife Permit. Although trading and bartering is permitted under some land-claim agreements, “these rules are complex and residents are encouraged to check the regulations before bartering or making a trade, to see if it’s legal,” the ENR statement reads.

The Department also warns there could be legal consequences for participating in illegal sales: Under the Wildlife Act, residents who engage in the sale or purchase of harvested game can face fines of up $250,000, up to a year in prison, or both.

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