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Seeking Newfie moose tips.
I'm seriously considering a 2016 trip to Newfoundland for my first moose hunt and in need of any tips you fellows limb benders would have. While not a rack snob, I would still like to an above average bull ( but who doesn't? ). Contemplating the pro's / con's of driving from Michigan versus flying...which guides to use?..broadheads?...what week to go?... I've killed one elk via bow and a slew of deer but this moose bug needs to be squashed! Thanks for your comments! P.S. I'm writing this from my NW Ohio treestand...:-)
Do you work or are you retired? If still working fly. Once you take into account gas, wear and tear and work days lost it's just not worth it.
I drove from Boston and also flew. Not until I am retired will I ever make the drive again. It's absolutely beautiful but it's long and time consuming. Would rather be hunting than driving.
Also, if you are strictly bow only I would do a fly-in only type hunt. Some really good outfitters like Ironbound.
Go during the rut. Wait a year or two if you have to if you are only going to use bow.
It's an amazing place that is just a fun hunt. Be in great shape and don't let the numbers fool you. NL is not an easy hunt. You hit it right it can be but I have experienced and listened to stories of warm temps and uncooperative moose. Some guys think they will show up and kill a moose. It usually doesn't work that way.
Driving, about 3 days from Michigan to North Sydney, NS. Six hour ferry ride to Port au Basque. 3 hour drive to Deer Lake and another 3 hours to Portland Creek, home of Portland Creek Outfitters. All these times assume you are not driving like crazy. If you fly, you will fly in to St. Anthony airport and miss driving through one of the most beautiful places on earth. I highly recommend stopping at the Treasure Box in Rocky Harbor and trying Joyce's codcakes and pick up a pair of her handknit wool mittens with the shooting finger.
Check the Moose and Caribou forums there will lots of Newfie threads. Good luck! C
If you want to do bow only do a lot of research and get an outfitter that has lots of bowhunters, ask those hunters about their experience. I made the mistake of not researching my first outfitter and had a horrible time, zero chances at moose with a bow, basically got a $4500 education on what not to do. Second time to Newfoundland I went with Conne River outfitting to their bow only fly in camp and had an amazing time, got the moose I wanted and could not say enough good things about the outfitter. I would recommend fixed broad heads for moose. As other's have said make sure you're in shape, the terrain is some of the hardest/worst walking ever, except maybe for a mountain goat/sheep hunt. I always drive for hunts and driving to Newfoundland is a neat adventure but by the time you factor in expensive Canadian gas, the ferry trip, food, hotels, high Canadian taxes, It's probably much cheaper and less time consuming to fly. It's really hard to figure when the rut is. First trip I went the best "rut week" and barely saw any moose, the moose I did see were spooky as whitetails from being hunted. This year I went the second week of bow only season and by mid week the moose were starting to get very rutty and aggressive. It was extremely hot and buggy though. Last but not least make sure you have the best rain gear you can buy, good rubber boots, and test it all out before you go on your hunt. Sorry if this is a lot of info just wish I'd known all this my first time...
cod tongues and eggs, a true gastronomic experience. tasty in the town of Badger
I have driven twice from MI it took us 29 hours to get to north sydney we took a inclosed trailer with a freezer to bring the meat home it was a easy way to go with 3-people taking turns driving.
Thanks astro and sagebuff! Im still working and as if yet I'm going solo so at this point, I would probably fly even though I'd much rather drive and see the country. Usually make the 1000 mile trip to Kansas in 15 hrs... but 1600 miles is a heckuva haul for 2 drivers let alone one! I've been in touch with Ironbound and liked his responses but havent seen many bow hunter reviews. He said they have about 5-10 bow hunters a year and several of his guides are bow hunters as well. I have noticed good reviews for Conne river also. Was leaning towards a fly in area with hopes of better opportunities as well. Sage-not sure what you ment by waiting a year or two? I would be using bow only. Thinking last week of Sept-first week Oct time frame. Thanks to you all for the insight! Much appreciated!
Fuzz, Sage Buffalo gives good advice. It is very tough terrain so be in shape. Did I mention be in shape? Footing will be very wet and there are big holes in the tuccamore that you can't see till you step off in one. The "hills" are like mountains to a flatlander like me. I shared a camp with Sage Buffalo a few years ago with Ironbound. He got a very nice bull and he was able to walk circles around me. I hope you can squash your moose bug. Mine is still biting me so maybe the third time is the charm for me this September. Not going back to NF this year but it is a wonderful place.
Fuzz- my son and I had a great hunt with Ironbound this past Sept.Feel free to PM me for the details. Good luck.
Fuzz, lots of good advice above. I've got 15 trips to Newfoundland under my belt. Absolutely love the place. Moose bug bit me and wouldn't let go.
As for when to go, I like the last week in September and first week of October. Sometimes an outfitter is booked those weeks and he may offer other weeks. I thinks that's Sage's point.
Regarding transportation, I always fly. Faster. I go into Gander. Two reasons for that. One, its more convenient for my outfitter who picks me up at my hotel. Two, Gander has jet service and I ensure I fly into Gander on a jet. Bigger cargo bays translate to gear arriving with me. Learned that the hard way after having my bow and/or my bag sitting in Toronto when I was in Gander.
Getting meat back can be a pain. Most of the time, I use Central Newfoundland Shipping. Meat arrives at cold storage usually the first week of December. Key for using them is having a drop off location within driving distance. The locations can change from to year. I checked and Detroit was on this years list.
As for outfitters, there are good ones and not-so-good ones. No outfitter can guarantee a moose. Moose are challenging animals to hunt, particularly with a bow. I recommend 1-1 guide to hunter ratio and a guide experienced with bow hunters. I like fly-in camps as usually they are too remote for local moose hunters. Like astrovan, I like and recommend Conne River Outfitting. I've had good luck with them. I've posted a couple of reports over the years. Take a look.