I doubt that anyone else is going to answer you on this one!
Concerning the position on the caribou limit/hunter for 2014, I have recently received an email from our Federation (QOF) represented by Marc Plourde who was to be meeting with the Quebec minister in charge along with the minister of Tourism Quebec to attempt to regain our 2 caribou limit and who will get back to us shortly afterwards.
In my opinion it is completely uncalled for and furthermore it is simply ridiculous that our minister would even contemplate going to a single caribou limit at the present time. The Leaf River herd which migrates throughout north western Quebec was recently recounted at over 430 000 caribou and was found to be in a stable and healthy condition. This past season our guides who spent up to 12 weeks out on the tundra witnessed most cows having at least 1 if not 2 calves and even the local wardens agreed with our guides that the 2 caribou limit should be withheld as the herd looked to be increasing if anything. The herd is not only healthy but furthermore it is without doubt one of the most populated herds of caribou in north America. In the meanwhile there are only a fraction of the outfitter left in Quebec that there was just 10 years ago.
Believe it or not we (the remaining outfitters) were given a quota governing how many caribou licenses (2 caribou/license) we would be issued just two years ago but now instead of granting us the already limited quota that was just recently issued our minister (MRN)in charge has decided to double the quota of licenses but only allow 1 caribou/license! I for one failed to see the logic involved in the decision made by our minister, as any one outfitter can still harvest just as many caribou under this new regulation as he did in 2013 but with the new regulation in 2014 hunters are regulated to 1 caribou.
Long story short Marc (QOF) is supposed to get back to us shortly with a response as to how his meeting went with the minister and hopefully our suggestion of opting to withhold our limited quota of licenses with a 2 caribou limit will be reinstated and/or at the very least have the option to offer our hunters the option to purchase a 2nd caribou license will be alllowed.
As a consequence to the single caribou limit, I have decided to slightly reduce the pricing of our 2014 hunts ($300.00 less than what I had planned on charging for 2014) and I will simply offer the 2nd caribou option if and when it is permitted for an additional fee of $300.00 plus any added fees to purchase the 2nd license (if any).
After thoroughly looking things over and comparing the compete cost of a caribou hunt anywhere else in North America and considering our hunts are all inclusive (cost of transportation, license fees, air charters, taxes) our single caribou hunt is lower priced than any other outfitted/guided caribou hunt any where else in North America and furthermore we don't charge any extra to combine your caribou hunt with fishing, small game (ptarmigan), Canadian Geese, Snow Geese and Black bear hunting (other than the cost of the licenses required in order to do so).
Not to mention our success rate has been maintained higher than 90% for the past 20 years. The last three years we have been very close to 100%! I can guarantee you that you won't find too many outfitters offering caribou hunts who can truthfully boast that kind of success rate over such a long period of time. We can and the fact of the matter is that the only reason we can do so is because not only have 5 times the camps we book (over 30 camps and we only book 5) but most importantly we continually scout all these camps and we continually move our hunters into our best available camps from week to week throughout our entire season in order to stay in front of the herds rather than sit at camp waiting and hoping that the caribou will arrive at our door step....
I guess in my opinion the opportunity to see and shoot one caribou is still far better than the option to shoot two caribou but sit at a camp where you may never see any caribou...but none the less we are still fighting hard to maintain the 2 caribou limit and we are still optimistic that our minister will realize the importance of reinstating a 2 caribou limit and therefore once again grant us that option. With that all being said anyone booked with us in advance will be given priority to the 2nd caribou license if and when we are allowed to offer that option.
Anyone would rather have a couple tags, it just provides more options and flexibility, but one is still great.
6 days goes by quick and it is not as if there isn't plenty of other things to do once you've bagged your caribou.
In some ways perhaps we have been missing out on so many other benefits of being out on the tundra by sacrificing too much time towards getting a 2nd caribou, when we could be doing a bit more fishing or ptarmigan and/or black bear hunting rather than concentrating all of our time solely on shooting the 2nd caribou. Those who wish to be a bit more selective have that option and could prolong their hunt by doing so.
I am quite certain that 1 tag or two the overall experience and enjoyment of the trip will be equaled.
With all that being said we will continue our fight to regain the 2nd caribou as I don't believe that dropping to a single caribou was necessary at this point in time. I will keep you informed.
Some of you have perhaps heard of or even hunted at "King Lake" which is one of our farthest camps to the north (not including Arctic Adventure's 5 camps which are a bit further north than King Lake). King Lake was actually named after one of our favorite clients, "Rory King".
It's guys like Rory that make this business so damn enjoyable. We get to look forward to seeing guys like Rory from one year to the next and it's always a great pleasure to see a familiar face getting off that charter flight. Rory is certainly one of those clients that you just can't help but to develop a friendship with.
He has seen it all over the years and has more stories to tell than he could ever possibly get around to telling! Including one where he recalls his encounter with Big Foot at our hunting camp located at Lake Kathleen!
If ever you have the pleasure of sharing one of our hunting camps with Rory you certainly won't be bored sitting around a camp fire at night!
Thanks again Rory! It wouldn't be the same without you!
HIP HIP HURRAY!!!
Visit our facebook page to see the press release which was put out just a few days ago.
Visit our page and like it to stay informed...
I think it's time to get back to the tundra!
You better get busy bud, you now have Moose, Caribou and Sika deer on that To-Do list! :-)
Damn, I think I just added 'bou to my Must -Do list, Ugh, ... oh well.
I might add that when our Minister first announced that we would be going to a single caribou limit I did not hide the fact but instead I offered full refunds to any hunters who chose not to stay on board with a single caribou. Over a dozen of my hunters who were previously booked prior to that announcement back last April were refunded in full (even though my reservation form stipulates otherwise).
I certainly would not want to obligate anyone to hunt with me if I did not feel that I was capable of offering them 100% of what they expected when the hunt was sold to them. I try to treat my clients in the same way that I'd expect to be treated if the roles were reversed.
Great News For Quebec Caribou Hunters, Outfitters
Around the Campfire with Bill Feb 12, 2014, 8:59 AM EST Leave a comment
It’s the news those who love hunting the deer of the far north have been waiting to hear, and it’s even better than many of us might have anticipated. Quebec’s Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks, Yves-François Blanchet, announced late last week the regulations for caribou hunting he intends to implement in Northern Québec for the 2014-2015 season, and it includes extension of the tw0 caribou limit for sport hunters!
Caribou census and health data collected in the fall of 2013 on the Leaf River Herd indicate its population appears stable and healthy. Compared to results of earlier studies, the population has even grown a bit, particularly the number of mature bulls.
Remember, there are two caribou herds in Quebec. The Leaf River Herd ranges and is hunted primarily in northwestern Quebec. The Leaf River herd is the only one currently being hunted in Québec. Numbering roughly 430,000 heads in 2012, the herd shows positive signs of stability, with an estimated recruitment of 33 calves per 100 cows. Furthermore, researchers found individuals from the herd to be in good physical condition and the proportion of adult bulls to be on the rise.
Quebec’s other caribou herd, the George River Herd, ranges more in northeastern Quebec and into Labrador. This herd suffered an unexplained population crash a few years ago and all hunting for this herd has been closed indefinitely while researchers try to determine the cause of the crash and a course of management to bring back these animals. It’s especially perplexing because the Leaf River and George River animals are genetically identical. Managers are wisely erring on the side of caution when it comes to maintaining the Leaf River Herd until it can be determined what happened to the George River animals.
That’s why, last April it was announced beginning in the 2014-15 season, the per hunter limit for caribou in Quebec would be reduced to one. Previously, for decades, Quebec has had a two caribou per hunter limit with no negative impact on herd numbers. The big news last week is the intent to reverse the previous announcement and extend the two-caribou-per-hunter limit through at least the 2014-15 season. This is based on the optimism created by the 2013 study results.
This is welcome news to hunters and outfitters, all of whom view Quebec as the best caribou hunting opportunity in North America these days. In Alaska and across Canada, seasons and limits have been reduced, eliminated or strictly limited by license quotas.
Marc Plourde, President and Director General of the Québec Outfitters Federation, said he was “very satisfied with the Minister’s decision. It shows a real commitment to developing a wildlife management framework based on scientific and biological principles. This decision is the guarantee outfitters need to sell their packages at Québec and international trade shows.”
The Quebec Outfitters Federation will continue to collaborate with the government on the caribou issue, among other things to develop an ongoing management plan in the caribou hunting regulations framework for 2015•2016 and 2016•2017 will be announced as soon as possible in 2014.
I'd like to go back but all the issues I have been reading on and hearing about I am a little concerned.
Good luck to you guys take some judos for the ptarmagans you might see.