- Herd size (2018) 21,000
This is one of three herds once simply known as the “Bluenose Herd”. In the mid 1990s, research showed that the Bluenose Herd was split into three herds all using different calving grounds, so the management units of Bluenose-East, Bluenose-West, and Cape Bathurst herds were created. There is no management board for this herd, but there is a management plan covering all three herds. The Bluenose-West herd was estimated at about 112,000 animals in 1992. the most recent (2018) estimate puts the herd size at 21,000. Resident, outfitted and commercial harvest of the Bluenose-West herd has been suspended since 2006. Aboriginal harvest of the herd is limited with a current quota of 345 animals for the Inuvialuit, 350 animals for the Sahtú and 22 animals for the Gwich’in. An 80 per cent bull harvest is recommended.
The herd calves on and near the Arctic coast just to the west of the NWT/Nunavut border and ranges to the south and west in the NWT. Communities within its range are Paulatuk and Colville Lake. It is typically harvested by 13 communities in the NWT; Aklavik, Fort McPherson, Tsiigehtchic, Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk, Paulatuk, Colville Lake, Fort Good Hope, Norman Wells, Tulít’a, Délı̨nę, Ulukhaktok, and Sachs Harbour.