NWT or Quebec Caribou hunt?

ChrisS

Active member
I'm still trying to decide which outfitter I want to go with for my 2005 or 2006 Caribou hunt in either NWT or Quebec. I've been looking at a couple different outfitters in the NWT which leads me to the questions of which would be the better trip and hunt? What would the major differences be between a quebec hunt and a NWT hunt? NWT seems intriguing because it seems more remote and may offer a better experience? Anyone that has hunted both places, I would love to hear from you. NWT does seem a little more expensive and you can only take one Caribou unless you want to pay a premium for another license. Any tips or information on the subject is greatly appreciated.
 

bou-hunter

Well-known member
The hunting itself is very similar in regards to terrain, weather, etc.

Yellowknife is a cool place to visit in the middle of nowhere.

Montreal is just another big city, where they like to steal your trucks
 

Keef2

New member
I'm going to the Northwest Territories this fall with True North Safaris. They come pretty highly touted. I've had several friends hunt with them and spoke well of the operation.
 

HaveGunWillTravel

Well-known member
if you go for an early mountain caribou hunt you get a similar experience to a dall sheep hunt, for a lot less money. early on the bulls are up higher and more challenging/fun to hunt. i prefer that type of hunting to hunting the flat bog country. ive never hunted quebec but ive heard its pretty flat. try the mackenzie mountains of the NWT, its quite an experience.
 

bou-hunter

Well-known member
The MacKenzies are definitely on my list of places to go. I have a friend who's hunted sheep there twice and the pictures are awesome!

Quebec and NWT aren't "bog country". The ground is rocky and rolling, not flat as a pancake, and still very beautiful though not mountainous. Alaska bou' hunting sounds like it can be wet and bog-like in many places.
 

Pa Ridge Runner

Well-known member
I'd look into Alaska, less $ than NWT and talk about remote! I've hunted all 3 and Manitoba. Quebec is at the bottom of my list. There are a few (very few) outfitters in Quebec that will treat you fair. But as a whole I've always felt like a walking wallet to the Canuks there. Also the outfitters I've used there always are known for saying they'll move you if no 'bou around. But geting them to do it is another thing.
I live in NE USA so Quebec is alot closer than flying to AK, and that's where I go now. That alone should tell you something.
If you do opt for Quebec go as far north as possible, not Scheffersville, not Fort Chimo but up to Deception Bay area ( check with Canguk.com) it is pricey but that is a good Quebec hunt and you'll see 'bou every day, at most times you simply need to look out the camp window and there are bulls lying in the camp. They do not migrate there, as it is heavily grasses because of sea breezes.
To date I have hunted 'bou 12 times on guided hunts an 3 times on drop hunts.
 

bou-hunter

Well-known member
There are guys on other forums who were not happy with Kanguk (it's spelled with a K)- claimed they are interested in nothing but the money, just like others in Quebec as you mentioned. Another reason to go elsewhere. I've been to NWT, Nunavut, Newfoundland and Quebec. I rank them in that order. Will go to Alaska sooner or later, but money isn't the only factor, and I havent' gotten excited about the stories there of lots of rain and wet ground.
 

Pa Ridge Runner

Well-known member
you are correct it is spelled with a K (Kanguk means snowgoose in Inuit), I've hunted with them,Jack Hume,Club Chamibuex(?) and Cargair. As far as Quebec goes Kanguk was the best for accomodations,food ( was fair), and remoteness( it is so far north we saw Muskox on my trip!). The Artic Ocean is what you'll be standing in when you fish for Char! (take enough lures;ie. Blue Fox Pixie- silver and pink 'cause they get $5 each up there).
Keep in mind that what some may mistake for money grubbing is actually the high costs associated with air freighting EVERYTHING so very far north.
With that said I still prefer Alaska, but remember it is a different sub species you'll tag out on there.
I feel Newfoundland was my worst trip. followed reclosely by a Quebec trip with Cargair out of Scheffersville.
I booked Cargair cause I was price shopping. Frankly it was all I could afford at the time. I knew we were in trouble when flying out to camp we did not see a single 'bou. And the pilot said,"for $500 each we'll fly you guys out to the herd in a few days"...NOW THAT IS BEING ONLY INTERESTED IN $$$$$$$$
Go to AK, check Talon Air service out of McKay Lake in Soldotna area! They'll land you and your gear which you can rent there, out onto the tundra and pick you up when YOU tell them to. They do not care if it is 1 day or 1 month. for around $1200.00. Or try Lake Clark Air, Illamna, AK I've used them too..honest and fair about $1600. email me at [email protected] if I can help more.

"bou- hunter: If you do not like wet ground or winds...why are you 'bou hunting? Of the trips I took in easter NA I can only recall a very few days out of around 90 or so without rain,sleet,snow, gnats, and wind.
Of the 35-40 days I spent in Alaska I think I saw snow/sleet on 1 or 2 and light rain a few hours on about half of them. Just enough breeze to keep the bugs down with the exception of maybe 3 days of hard wind. Course we also saw grizzlies and wolves many of those days too!
You should give Ak a try, and pack a rod along there's always some sort of salmon spawning during hunting saeason.
 

Pa Ridge Runner

Well-known member
Hume is one of a very few quality outfitters operating in Quebec. From their original contact at Duval (sp ?) airport in Montreal right thru their meat/cape handeling back in Montreal on return, they did as promised. JHA is not the cheapest 'bou hunt but they are fairly priced
JHA has their own booth at the Scheffersville airport where you will check in with their people, from there on they handel the operations such as baggae,transportation,etc.. The food was good the camps clean.
If there is a down side and a minor one at that it is the mobility of camps. This is a problem not to fall on JHA alone. In Quebec the outfitters must declare the sites of their camps well in advance of hunting season. Going basically on an educated guess of just where the 'bou will show up and when. This is a moot point as the 'bou don't even know what they are doing as they do it...they are odd critters.
JHA was not eager to move us on day three of the hunt as we had seen few animals, but 1 of the guys killed a med. size bull. We were seeing some cows.calves, and small bulls ( whom migrate first). When we asked to be moved they did this reluctanlty and even then split our group up and put us in camps already occupied. Where those hunters were seeing the same thing we had been seeing. *** I should note I've been in other Quebec 'bou camps where even though the contract said we'd be moved if need be we weren't moved at all***at least JHA tried to accomodate us, fact is the 'bou just weren't there till the very last hunting day. Then we all killed a decent bull. Such is 'bou hunting.
Regardless of what anyone will tell you ,hunting a migratory animal is hit and miss! They are either there or not...it's that simple!
IMHO I'd only book a Quebec hunt with them or Kanguk, if I ever decide to go back to Quebec in the future.
Take a good med. action spinning rod and some Daredevils and Pixies along for sure. The Char/brookie/laker fishing is superb.
One last pc. of advice...do not book too early in the season as the velvet is REALLY soft yet and do not book the last 2 wks of it either, the migration may be over or snow will limit your travel.
Oh yes make 100% certain that you only book into a camp with good freighter canoes and outboards provided ...there are times you MUST travel looking for 'bou. NO MAN can cover ewnough tundra on foot to find them in a hunting day. The canoes ON A RIVER give you a better chance to move about the hunting area. If the 'bou are 10 miles upriver it does you no good to be traveling afoot. But the outfitter will tell you ," there are 'bou in your hunting area"
Good Luck, have fun...think about going to Alaska instead less $ and plenty of 'bou. PA RR
 

Sleeps In Trees

Active member
Thanks PA RR, I've researched outfitters for quite some time & have yet to come across a bad report about JHA. That's why a buddy & I are booked there for Sept 9-15th of next year. Sound like a good week?

VicW.
 

Pa Ridge Runner

Well-known member
As I recall that was the week I was with them a few years back ( first full week in Sept.).The velvet will surely be on yet, but easily striped off with the points fully formed and solid.
Expect wind,rain,sleet,snow,sunshine,and gnats! All in each hour of the day!!!!

Here's a tip: strip the velvet, scrub the antlers with sand that you'll find along every lake river etc., then tie a rope to them and sumerge them in the water. Pull them out every few hours or so to let them drain. This will not only remove the blood from the outside but also force the blood held inside yet to drain. If left on the blood stains the antlers black and no amount of bleaching will take it off once dried.

As you can tell I offer alot of unsolicited advice, and here's some more: The week you are going will be during the peak activity time of the Northern Lights, expect a lite show like you've never before witnessed. MAKE certain you pack a video camera that's capable of taking "night shots" most do these days. Even if packing it means leaving something else behind.....you'll thank me about this later :) Pa RR
 

bou-hunter

Well-known member
Good advice about putting the antlers in the water. There's no need to bother taking them in and out though, they're draining when they're in the water.

PA is right, you'll likely see EVERY kind of weather! Take some bug dope - if the sun comes out and it warms up, the black flies can be wicked.

Take lots of film, and extra batteries for your camera. Get lots of pictures with your caribou - you can't go back and take more

Look at some pic's of guys with their caribou and take note of how they're holding and positioning in the shot. Example - make sure the antlers are at an angle to the camera - not straight on. The tops, bez, shovels, etc show up better and they look a lot more impressive than if shot straight on.

You've read stories about truck thefts in Montreal - they're true. Didn't happen to us, but it did to some guys who were returning from their hunt when we arrived at the hotel. It was a sad sight watching 6 hunters heading back to Michigan in their one remaining truck - 3 of them climbing in the bed under the cap and 3 up front. I'd use the "club" at minimun, other guys have recommended various means of disabling the vehicle.
 

bou-hunter

Well-known member
Vic,

Yeah, I remember how pumped I was when we booked our first bou hunt for 1994. I figured it would be the "trip of a lifetime". Now we've gone 5 times to 4 different provinces and territories, and are thinking of going again next year


We have some mounts enroute from Winnipeg that should be here any day.


You'll have an awesome time. Here are a couple more thoughts:

Take good binoc's - you'll be using them all day. Not to say 1,000 european ones are necessary (unless you can afford them), but don't take cheap ones either. I use Wind River 8X42's and have been very pleased with them. About 240.00 at Cabela's. Compared them to our outfitters Swarovski's a couple years ago and we really couldn't see much difference. Ohhhh, on some forums that would get a discussion started!

Take a roll of duct tape. It's a neccessity for taping/wrapping antlers. And of course you never know what else it might come in handy for. Take some parachute cord or light rope, same thing - never know what you might need it for.

I always take a carry on bag, put some of the valuable and/or important things in it just in case the luggage is delayed. (camera, binoc's, raingear, hunting hat, etc). I put the raingear in it figuring if the luggage is delayed, I'll at least have that and a couple shirts, etc. and if I wear my boots on the plane I can still get out in the field. We flew to Nunavut last fall, a LOT of duffel bags didn't come on our plane and some of the guys were without most of their gear for the first two days.

Don't pack film in checked baggage, the new scanners can ruin it. Keep it in your carry on.

Have fun daydreaming about the hunt for the next year!
 

Sleeps In Trees

Active member
Thanks bou. I have a pair of Swaro 8X30s that've always done me a good job, & I'll remember the duct tape & twine. Appreciate all the great tips bro!

VicW.
 

Pa Ridge Runner

Well-known member
vic: take along a 3' pc of good rubber hose slip pcs of it over the points and then cut pcs of cardboard and duct tape that over the hose
buy a pr of Seal Skins (socks) even rubber boots get clammy after wearing for a day, slip them on over your woolen socks and even if your boots are wet in the morning they'll feel dry on your feet....no blisters
buy a good compass that is not affected by magnetic fields, rather than a GPS 'cause the GPS only works if your batteries are good, the standard boy scout compass won't cut the mustard up there... the is so much iron ore in the ground that in Scheffersville they have railroad spikes welded to rocks
if a group of you go there are many ways to cut down on weight for the plane...ie., 4 guys go share a tube of toothpaste rather than a full tube each,etc.
Take along a shotgun every 'bou trip I've been on had suber ptarmigin shoot as well, something to do other than fish when yopu tag out or no 'bou in area!
 

Sleeps In Trees

Active member
Thanks PRR. I'm afraid you've puzzled me about the compass tho...I thought all of em work from magnetic fields? Anyhow, I'll prolly bring a compass & a GPS w/extra batteries.

VicW.
 


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