REMINDER: Selling Game Meat is Illegal

Public Service Announcement

Yellowknife — March 23, 2022

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is reminding residents that under the Wildlife Act, game harvested in the NWT cannot be sold for profit unless you have a General Wildlife Permit.

Officers from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources are noticing an increase in reports of big game sales – especially online, through websites like YK Trader and Facebook.

Some land claim agreements allow for some non-commercial traditional trading and/or bartering of game meat, however these rules are complex and residents are encouraged to check the regulations before bartering or making a trade, to see if it’s legal. You can also talk to your regional ENR office or your local Indigenous government or Indigenous organization for more information.

The GNWT also wants to ensure residents are aware that they could be at risk of being charged under the Wildlife Act for taking part in online sales.  When the Wildlife Act was developed, Indigenous governments, Indigenous organizations, and other wildlife co-management partners wanted to include measures to help protect against over-hunting of wildlife and support conservation of natural resources in the NWT for the benefit of future generations.  Check the rules before you buy game meat to ensure the sale is allowed.


  • Share what you have – if you are not trading for cash or goods, you can share your harvest with others.
  • Connect with a local charity or community organization if you have meat to donate.

Report a violation

If you know of anyone selling game meat in-person or online, please report it.

Call: 1-866-762-2437



For media requests, please contact:

Mike Westwick

Manager, Communications and Public Affairs

Environment and Natural Resources

Government of the Northwest Territories