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A successful caribou hunt

Stephanie McDonald
Northern News Services
Published Monday, October 22, 2007

CAMBRIDGE BAY - On the morning of Oct. 5, four Kiilinik high school students bundled up, packed their gear, and headed out to Mount Pelly for a day of caribou hunting.

It was a chance to build their hunting and their leadership skills.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Gilbert Tikhak and Tracy Okhina pose with one of five caribou they harvested with two other classmates from Kiilinik high school on a hunting trip on Oct. 5. - photo courtesy of Eric Hoogstraten

The four students chosen to participate in the hunt, Gilbert Tikhak, Tracy Okhina, Norman Komak, and Brandon Klengenberg, are considered leaders among the school's population.

The hunt is something that was done with students in the past and is an activity that Principal Mike Simms is trying to resurrect. On future hunts, this first group of four will be able to share their experience with less seasoned hunters.

For most students, the hunting bit was old hat.

"I go out with my family a lot," Tikhak said.

Okhina said that it's fun to go out on the land and that she has been doing it for a long time.

For Komak, the day was extra special as he caught his first and second caribou.

The group ran into a herd of bulls while travelling out beside Mount Pelly. Each of the students harvested a caribou with the exception of Okhina. No matter though, "I had lots of fun," she said.

Brenda Sitatak, the language specialist teacher at the school, and an elder went with the students onto the land and showed them how to carve up the meat. A guide also helped Komak preserve the full mount of his caribou.

"It was a really beautiful job that he did," Sitatak said of the guide's handiwork.

Upon arrival back in town, the caribou were laid out in front of the school for all to examine. The meat was bagged and put in the freezer, and each class will receive one bag to learn what can be done with it. Some will dry it and others will cook the meat, Sitatak said. The students on the hunt also got to take some meat home for their families.

"Hopefully we'll have enough left to do a feast," Sitatak said.

The hunt proved so successful that another group of students were to travel out onto the land for a hunt last Thursday.