Maybe they should train hunters to shoot only desirable animals and to look out for animals that are diseased, etc... That sounds more like common sense to me. Maybe that's not "traditional"?
Article from the Alaska Dispatch:
Arctic hunters push for rewrite of game rules
Sep 22, 2009
Arguing that "commonsense" hunting practices are in conflict with state law, an advisory committee wants the state to rewrite its regulations governing how animal meat is salvaged.
The proposal comes after a 2008 summer caribou hunt in which Alaska State Troopers claim meat from dozens of animals outside the Inupiat Eskimo village of Point Hope was wasted. Eight hunters from the village are accused of leaving the meat to rot and are fighting criminal charges in state court. They argue their actions were justified because the animals looked sick.
The Arctic Advisory Committee to the Alaska State Board of Game proposes changing the legal definition of the word "edible" so that hunters "are no longer forced to break the law." The Board of Game is scheduled to meet in Nome in November to discuss this and other proposals.
Under current law "people are legally required to salvage meat that is in fact inedible and could present a health risk to a person that consumes it," according to the committee, which includes a mix of North Slope Borough employees and residents.
Hunters are trained to look for swollen joints, abscesses, infection, parasites and other symptoms of disease, and to leave those animals behind, according to the committee. Its proposal states that hunters are taught to kill some animals for purposes other than hunting. One is humane killings to put severely wounded animals out of their misery. The other is killing sick animals to prevent the spread of disease.
State law makes no provision to allow meat that a hunter perceives as diseased to be left behind. "The hunter is doing the right thing, but under the current regulations, he is breaking the law," the Arctic Advisory Committee writes in its proposal.
The committee says forcing hunters to salvage diseased or contaminated meat puts them at risk of ingesting infectious agents. In the case of Point Hope, the hunters and the village council say that any caribou left behind in summer 2008 looked ill or had prior wounds, and thus were unfit to eat.
State troopers said their investigation into last year's caribou hunt found 60 carcasses that had either been fully or partially wasted, and they suspected even more dead caribou were left on the tundra. Troopers, who called the kill "by far the worst case of blatant waste they had ever seen," circulated photos showing calves suckling dead cows shortly after the hunt.
But the village council, which views the criminal cases as an attack on its community's subsistence way of life, questions the troopers' numbers. Court records reference 37 wasted caribou, while an investigation by local community members found nine carcasses.