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JHA Drive to base camp?
Caribou
Contributors to this thread:
ElkStalkR 14-Sep-15
bigeasygator 14-Sep-15
Aubs8 14-Sep-15
ElkStalkR 15-Sep-15
Aubs8 15-Sep-15
ElkStalkR 15-Sep-15
Aubs8 15-Sep-15
Trial153 15-Sep-15
ElkStalkR 18-Sep-15
Aubs8 18-Sep-15
rtkreaper 18-Sep-15
ElkStalkR 18-Sep-15
huntinelk 20-Sep-15
Bou'bound 20-Sep-15
ElkStalkR 20-Sep-15
Aubs8 20-Sep-15
Aubs8 20-Sep-15
rtkreaper 20-Sep-15
ElkStalkR 21-Sep-15
TREESTANDWOLF 21-Sep-15
huntinelk 24-Sep-15
MDW 25-Sep-15
From: ElkStalkR
14-Sep-15
So I just returned from JHA and I am already scheming to get back up there, except this time I want to take my wife!

Just curious if anyone has been crazy enough to do the drive to base camp hunt. I noticed these hunts run on slightly different dates and therefore must use different camps. Anyone have any experience with one of these hunts?

The drive up there doesn't concern me, I have actually driven up there before for a winter caribou hunt in the area, so I am full aware of what that drive all entails. I just want to know what the camp and hunting is like for these hunts.

From: bigeasygator
14-Sep-15

bigeasygator's Link
A bowsiter, Aubs8, did the drive up hunt with his daughter this year. He posted a recap of his hunt as well as some guidance for making the drive. The dates are staggered to make sure there is space on the Otters. I can't imagine the camps or the hunting are really any different. They still need to put you in a place the caribou are going to be.

From: Aubs8
14-Sep-15
Hi. You drive to Lac Pau where all of their hunts originate. You will have access to all of the camps with the advantage being you will most likely arrive a day or two before the rest of the hunters scheduled for that week. The floatplane trip is included in the price of the hunt, and you will be put in the camp with the best opportunity to see caribou. The hunt logistics is no different than if you took the charter from Montreal.

Take care. Mike

From: ElkStalkR
15-Sep-15
Mike,

Thanks for the response. Did you have access to a boat at your camp or was all the hunting done by foot from camp?

From: Aubs8
15-Sep-15

Aubs8's Link
Yes, we had a boat. The drive-up is an "unguided" hunt with no cook. However, you have a "caretaker" who is actually a guide and willing to do whatever it is you would like him to do (tip accordingly).

The only discernible difference between the "drive-up unguided hunt" and the "unguided hunt" you charter from Montreal is the charter and that you bring your own food on the drive-up hunt. All else is equal. You will be put in the best camp of 20+ available.

Please see the link provided.

Take care. Mike

From: ElkStalkR
15-Sep-15
Thanks.

I've read over all the info JHA website provides, and before I book I will ask directly, but wasn't sure how much assistance the "caretaker" provided. Nice to have some first hand experience. I honestly don't need any assistance, not that I will refuse it though! LOL. Just curious how things worked on a 1x6 unguided camp having just come off a JHA guided hunt. Good to know that a boat is available to move around the lake.

From: Aubs8
15-Sep-15
Just for clarification, you could potentially end up hunting the same camp you were in this year on the drive-up hunt...Which camp you go to will be dependent upon where the caribou are...

Take care. Mike

From: Trial153
15-Sep-15
We just booked three spots for the Unguided 6-1 package for 2017, but leaving out of Montreal....we can't wait.

From: ElkStalkR
18-Sep-15
Mike,

One more question. How did you get all your meat back to civilization? Could you buy ice at base camp or did it stay cool enough in coolers until you got back to where you could find some ice?

From: Aubs8
18-Sep-15
Each camp has a screened meathouse to hang the meat. Richard will fly-in and pick-up the meat if necessary due to warm weather. They have small chest freezers back at the floatplane base at Lac Pau. The freezers are turned on when their generators are running keeping the meat cold and nearly frozen. I brought a 150qt cooler and one the next size smaller for 4 caribou which was about right. I also brought 8x1 Gallon milk jugs which Jimmy froze for me for when we returned. You won't be guaranteed ice until you reach Matagami some 15-16 hours away. Mirage didn't have any nor did the stop on the James Bay Road. Our meat was nearly frozen for the trip home and we had no problems.

It tastes wonderful!

Take care. Mike

From: rtkreaper
18-Sep-15
Hi Chris, If you are interested, Myself and probably Dave are going back up the week of Sept. 3-9 next year. If your drive up plans fall thru for next year maybe we could hook up again. From what I understand it is quite a brutal drive to Lac Pau. We used to take the train to Schefferville and that was quite an adventure. Wouldn't do that again if you paid me. It sure added to the adventure part, that's for sure. Was a pleasure sharing a camp with you and would enjoy doing it again. Rory. See you on the tundra.

From: ElkStalkR
18-Sep-15
Mike,

The ice jugs are a great idea. Yes I didn't figure you would find any ice until Matagami, that's why I asked!

Rory,

Thanks, I would love to go back up with you guys again. My problem is I absolutely want to take my wife up there and the only way I can swing that on my budget is do the drive up. I have driven up to Camp Kiskimaastaken for a winter Caribou hunt several years back. Which is just shy of Lac Pau. You are right that road is NO JOKE and something to take very seriously. When we come we will definitely be with at least 2 other guys and hopefully 4. I would never consider driving that road with just 2 people and one truck! It was a pleasure sharing a camp with you also and hope to do it again sometime soon even if its not for caribou!

From: huntinelk
20-Sep-15
Chris,

If you go, what year and what hunt are you thinking of going on?

From: Bou'bound
20-Sep-15
what do you save, not that I would ever personally consider it, doing the drive up vs. normal hunt package. if you don't NET at least a couple grand per person savings it is a risk not worth taking in my mind.

From: ElkStalkR
20-Sep-15
huntin,

It will be a while yet, but Sept 1-7 2018. Really the only think stopping me from booking at this point is confirming 2 more people in a truck.

Bou,

Currently it is $1900 difference. So $3800 for me and my wife, minus the fuel up there of course. So we will easily clear $3000 in savings, probably a little more honestly. I have driven that road before and as Aubs8 can testify it isn't that bad depending on your personality and sense of adventure. Its a road few will ever travel and something you will never forget doing!

From: Aubs8
20-Sep-15
I saved a little over $3000 paying for 2. Mike

From: Aubs8
20-Sep-15
I will also add as additional incentive, JHA offers a $500 discount for return clients and $1000 off for students. For the chance at 4 caribou, world class fishing and a floatplane trip to boot, I believe it is the best valued hunt going. An exceptional experience for you and your son/daughter.

Take care. Mike

From: rtkreaper
20-Sep-15
Chris, Did you have any problem crossing the border with your ptarmigan?I don't think you can bring them into Minnesota because of the Avian flu thing. Rory

From: ElkStalkR
21-Sep-15
Rory,

That is a LOL! The short answer to your question is no problem at all. But I also never went thru Minnesota on the way home.

I did tell the border agent I had Ptarmigan, which he had no clue what was and I had to explain to him they were a game bird. I said much like grouse, he still had no clue. He stated "dove", and for simplicity purposes I said "yes, kinda like a big dove". LOL Those poor border agents are clueless for the most part when it comes to wildlife and the regulations. Really I don't blame them any at all, they have so much damn paperwork to keep up with and hunters crossing with wildlife is a fraction of what they do. Its not their fault, the system needs work, not them!

When he handed me the paperwork to fill out he told me fill it out the best I could and admitted he didn't know exactly how to fill the paper out himself, but would try and help me if I needed it. He was helpful and friendly and my border crossing went great.

Crossing the border is kinda like getting pulled over for speeding. So long as you are respectful, friendly, and honest its really really tough to get in any serious trouble. If you fail to be one of the above things the customs officer can make your day very miserable!

21-Sep-15
Chris, happened to me also. The officers ( Most) weren't quite sure how to fill out the paperwork.

Luckily for me, the gentleman outside came inside because it was taking a bit and found the correct form.

Pretty smooth actually, no complaints here.

Respectful is the key.

From: huntinelk
24-Sep-15
A friend and I, have sent a deposit for the drive up hunt for next year. It will be about 30 hours, 1450 miles for us. We will get two adventures out of one trip, the drive and the hunt. The driving part doesn't bother me. I kind of enjoy it. We are leaving for Alberta tomorrow, that will be about 40 hours total.

Anybody else considering driving up next year?

From: MDW
25-Sep-15
Made the drive up to Raddison, Que. back in 2007 to fly on in with that bunch that's not in business anymore.

Have to say it was an adventure in it self. Made sure everything was in # 1 shape, 10 ply tires and DON'T pass up any fuel stations.

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