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Quebec-Labrador Caribou

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I did this hunt in 2017 .....

 

I put this hunt in the books a couple years ago wanting to get back up there as it's been a few years. Lucky for me a couple of my friends agreed to take the trip up with me as they both been wanting to make this hunt for a long time. My friend Alex and I fish yearly out of the same steelhead camp and he drove to NY from NH and my buddy Paul drove up from WV. After a nice evening at my house with a great dinner and drinks, lots of laughs we departed the next morning for Montreal which is only about a 4 hour ride. Little did we know when we booked the the trip that this would be the last fall for sport hunting caribou in the province. Most likely not open again in the foreseeable future.

Travel consisted of a three hour charter flight north to base camp then flights out to different camps via otters and beavers. Our camp was about 125 miles north east of the base camp. We lost the first day's hunt due to weather. The camp we had consisted of 6 guys unguided. I had some experience in this so I told Paul and Alex that I would play guide for the trip. We ended up with a 7th hunter in camp who was 1-1 guided, he had paid extra for a hunt that would place him in the best camp and move him however times necessary throughout the week. Very nice guy from Washington.

Anyway we lucked out and hit it perfect. I hunted the full five days and saw well over 150 bulls despite terrible windy conditions and two days of sideways rain and fog. Alex who was rifle hunting shot a good bull the first after noon, he then proceeded to fish the rest of the week....how many pike he did he catch I can't tell you ...but we fried fish till everyone was sick of eating it! Paul shot and hit a bull the second day, unfortunately his arrow hit right in the shoulder and we didn't recover the bull. We saw the bull twice more over the next four hours and after sheading the arrow he didn't look much worse for the wear. Paul had one other shot opportunity with the bow but couldn't connect and he ended up borrowing Alex's rifle the final afternoon and killed a nice wide bull with long tops. I was fortunate to arrow my bull the third day. Paul and I hunted the full five days and logged 60.4 miles total.

All the other hunters in camp where gun hunting and they connected as well. The only other bow hunter that didn't connect was the one on one guided hunter. He stuck with the bow till the plane landed to return but unfortunately he didn't score.

All in all we hit it perfect, way better then we could have hoped. The other camps pretty much struggled and were shuffled around to get them in bulls. JHA did an excellent job as always on this hunt, no small thing considering the logistics involved.

You often hear people say that it was trip of a life time, and I don't like to think in those terms as I try to make a trip of a lifetime every year. However with the George and Leaf river herds closed to hunting it most likely was a trip of our lifetime.

Any way here are a few pictures.

 

Jimmy

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Outstanding! I have long thought of a caribou hunt, preferably in Quebec. I have been twice to Newfoundland and each time we had quite a few caribou sightings, once wandering within about 20 yards of one who just let us wander by....she certainly didn't know what we were. I understand NF still does have a very limited hunt, but generally all of the eastern herds have taken dramatic falls in population. From what I understand, the field biologists really aren't too worried, as they have a long history of similar population rises and sudden falls and are anticipated to recover. 

The terrain itself is so beautiful it makes it worthwhile. 

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Outstanding! I have long thought of a caribou hunt, preferably in Quebec. I have been twice to Newfoundland and each time we had quite a few caribou sightings, once wandering within about 20 yards of one who just let us wander by....she certainly didn't know what we were. I understand NF still does have a very limited hunt, but generally all of the eastern herds have taken dramatic falls in population. From what I understand, the field biologists really aren't too worried, as they have a long history of similar population rises and sudden falls and are anticipated to recover. 
The terrain itself is so beautiful it makes it worthwhile. 



Quebec has closed their season for the foreseeable future, from the reports its going to be a decade or longer at least. Right now close to 70% of worlds caribou herds are in decline. If your wanting to do a hunt i would schedule it sooner rather than later.
If all goes as planned i will be in alaska this august for western barren ground. I am also planning on central barren ground and mountain caribou hunt as well. They are one of my favorite animals to bow hunt.
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Great pictures and story...I hunted with JHA twice and was very impressed with both Richard himself, and his Operation...Very well organized.. I hunted out of Coursolles both times and in fact I recognize some of the terrain from your pictures..The one picture of you glassing looks like the spot where I shot 2 of my 4 bulls up there...

On my first hunt we hit the migration perfect...Saw hundreds of bulls and everyone tagged out on big bulls..Our one bowhunter in camp  had not taken a bull  when all the rifles hunters had tagged out, but he held out and ended up with two of the biggest bulls of the trip..  On my second hunt   we had animals coming through,  but they were mostly cows, calves and small bulls  everyone once again tagged out, but only a couple were good bulls...

It is sad that hunt is no longer available....

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Great pictures and story...I hunted with JHA twice and was very impressed with both Richard himself, and his Operation...Very well organized.. I hunted out of Coursolles both times and in fact I recognize some of the terrain from your pictures..The one picture of you glassing looks like the spot where I shot 2 of my 4 bulls up there...
On my first hunt we hit the migration perfect...Saw hundreds of bulls and everyone tagged out on big bulls..Our one bowhunter in camp  had not taken a bull  when all the rifles hunters had tagged out, but he held out and ended up with two of the biggest bulls of the trip..  On my second hunt   we had animals coming through,  but they were mostly cows, calves and small bulls  everyone once again tagged out, but only a couple were good bulls...
It is sad that hunt is no longer available....
You cant find better people then Richard and Amanda. I am going to book a fishing trip with them shortly at their new camp.
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1 hour ago, Daveboone said:

Outstanding! I have long thought of a caribou hunt, preferably in Quebec. I have been twice to Newfoundland and each time we had quite a few caribou sightings, once wandering within about 20 yards of one who just let us wander by....she certainly didn't know what we were. I understand NF still does have a very limited hunt, but generally all of the eastern herds have taken dramatic falls in population. From what I understand, the field biologists really aren't too worried, as they have a long history of similar population rises and sudden falls and are anticipated to recover. 

The terrain itself is so beautiful it makes it worthwhile. 

Do Alaska NOW...It's beautiful up there, too...

There is still good  DIY  and outfitted/unguided hunts available, but it isn't getting any cheaper or easier...From what I understand, some outfits are booked a year  more in advance just for air transportation to a hunting area.

If you wait for Quebec to re-open,  you may never go...

Don't put it off...You must do these things while you are physically and fiscally able... I'm sure glad that I did it while I could, because those days are behind me now...

I still have my memories and my pictures/videos,  but I sure wish I could experience it one more time<< a tear trickles down Pygmy's  ruddy, weathered face>>…...

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21 hours ago, Pygmy said:

Do Alaska NOW...It's beautiful up there, too...

There is still good  DIY  and outfitted/unguided hunts available, but it isn't getting any cheaper or easier...From what I understand, some outfits are booked a year  more in advance just for air transportation to a hunting area.

If you wait for Quebec to re-open,  you may never go...

Don't put it off...You must do these things while you are physically and fiscally able... I'm sure glad that I did it while I could, because those days are behind me now...

I still have my memories and my pictures/videos,  but I sure wish I could experience it one more time<< a tear trickles down Pygmy's  ruddy, weathered face>>…...

Alaska is on the list...not enough time OR Money ! We have been saving for three years for our next spring trip to South Africa for plains game and to do the game reserve thing, partially because my wife wants to go to. 10 days with a private outfitter/ guide with five species, 5500.oo (Kudu, Impala, Zebra, Black Wildebeest and Wart Hog!!. We finalize air travel in a couple months. Of course air fare  and trophy shipping is separate. It will be at least several years after that before I would think of another go away hunt, and probably wont wander from the NE.

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13 minutes ago, Daveboone said:

Alaska is on the list...not enough time OR Money ! We have been saving for three years for our next spring trip to South Africa for plains game and to do the game reserve thing, partially because my wife wants to go to. 10 days with a private outfitter/ guide with five species, 5500.oo (Kudu, Impala, Zebra, Black Wildebeest and Wart Hog!!. We finalize air travel in a couple months. Of course air fare  and trophy shipping is separate. It will be at least several years after that before I would think of another go away hunt, and probably wont wander from the NE.

Sounds like a wonderful trip, Dave...Good luck to you and your missus.....

Just don't wait TOO long to do the Alaska thing..It is definitely a young man's hunt..You are required by law to bring out ALL the meat, and the only way to get it from the kill site to a place where a boat or an airplane can pick it up is on your back.

I went five times, all DIY when I was in my late 30s and 40s..I was in the best physical condition of my life and they still damn near killed me....!!...

Edited by Pygmy
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Great bulls ! I was there around 25 years ago when you could take 2 bulls per hunter.  Saw hundreds of animals a day. We caught the migration just right. Too bad the hunting is closed there now. It was a money maker for the locals.

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