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Need tips on Newfoundland
I'll be heading to Newfoundland to hunt moose Sept 21-28 with Ironbound. Any advice from those who have hunted NF would be appreciated. It can be tips on travel , gear, tactics or whatever . What did you learn that you'd like to pass on ?
One thing I learned when I went was about boots. I love my muck boots but would leave them home next time and just bring my LaCrosse burlys. The muck boots just won't hold up in the brush they have called tuckmore.
8 Times on the Rock. I bring a pair of rubber boots and a pair of leather boots for varying terrain, days and weather. Usually end up alternating them. Bring Excellent rain gear as well as I've been there when it rained hard every day and other times with minimal rain. Try to make sure you get a guide that gets you in the bush. If you do that you're good to go most any where in Newfoundland. Everyone should hunt the Rock at least once. No other place quite like it in North America. Good luck. C
One travel tip if you are driving. On Cape Breton Island, about 40 kilometers from North Sydney, you'll pass a little Plywood shack restaurant called "Charlene's" that sits right by the road. Don't pass it. Stop. I don't care if you are not hungry, or in a hurry. Get it to go. Seafood Chowder.
Good advice guys, keep it coming ...
Excellent raingear, Alphaburly's and quality optics. A spotting scope is not absolutely necessary but is nice if you don't mind the additional weight, but good binos are essential in my opinion. Tuckamore was planted there by the devil!
Kastahdin Motel in Northern Maine, or Lovely's Motel, are cheap, clean, American owned. Gas is outrageously expensive on NF island. Plan gas stops to fill up as FULL as you can get in Houlton, Maine before you cross. Fill again in North Sydney NS before you board the Ferry. If you're low coming back, but just enough to get you to the ferry and buy again in North Sydney. On my truck, a 25 gallon tank at 16 mpg got me from Houlton to North Sydney NS and a tank got me from North Sydney to Houlton. I carried a 5 gallon can in case I didn't make it. Gas stations are spread out on Cape Breton Island and on NF
speed limit is in kph not miles. gas is sold in liters. There are no pennies, just nickels. They round up or down to nearest 5cents They take US currency but Buy gas on a card, some gas stations won't give you the change at US/CD exchange rate.
call your card companies and bank before you cross over, tell them where you're travelling so they don't shut the card down
Straight Talk cellphone will stop working but you can still use a smartphone or laptop to do Messenger. Tim Hortons and Irving Big Stop has free wi fi, most motels and restaurants do and will give you the password if you ask.
tip the guides in US Dollars
a 5 meter wave is a BIG wave
US debit cards work at ATMs but you get Canadian Currency. Your bank and card companies will charge you an international service charge for using the cards. Not too bad , couple bucks, but you need to know.
"Poutine" is melted cheese and brown gravy on French fries...don't be afraid, order it.
take your own hot sauce. eat lobster. avoid pork. "smoked meat" is great, but no one knows what kind of meat it is. "Donair" pizza is awesome (Port Aux Basques)
On the ferry, once you depart, you can't get back to your truck. get your seasickness pills, snacks, drink, pillow, blankie etc .... the food is ok on the ferry but expensive. The ferry has computers with internet for passengers.
I have some great boots you can borrow if you wear an 11 ... I have a Filson cruiser wool jacket too. if you need it. Wear wool. It can be warm and sunny, it can be cold and dry, it can be cold, wet and windy. think VA mountains in early November
cossing the border US to Ca is no biggie, coming back into US with meat and hides, allow extra time, make sure your paperwork is in order and ready, and be prepared to suppress your natural desire to choke the life out of some pompous asshole.
make sure to spend up most of your CD cash on the way back, keep a few "loonies and toonies" to give to kids in the States
Dude , this is quality info . I'm diggin this
I'm following too, I'm hunting with Ironbound the week before!
I'm a pretty "long haul" type guy. I've done three driving trips to N.F. I go I-81 to I-84 cross the Newburg-Beacon Bridge, try and stay over somewhere in Ct or Mass (about 11 to 13 hours) Pick up I95 in Ct, Do a "light" second day of about 7 to 8 hours and get up between Bangor and Houlton ME the second day and stay over, lots of camping and cheap motels thereabout. gas up, rest up, and do the remaining 8 or 9 or so hours to North Sydney the 3rd day, arrive in time to eat a bite, let it settle, and get in line to board around 9 PM, the evening ferry pulls out 11ish, you arrive in Port Aux Basques NF around 6-9 AM, everyone says get a cabin but I sleep as well in the "chairs". Get the upgrade to the assigned seating if you don't get a cabin. You'll get 5 or six hours sleep on the ferry, so you can do the rest of the drive after you unload. There's an Irving Big Stop with a restaurant on the Highway 1 about an hour and a half east of "Port Aux Basques" .. the Table Mountains you pass first are gorgeous so plan to stop and take some pics. I'm not sure where you're going after that. The next good size town going east is Deer Lake, about 3-4 hours in. 'There's motels and restaurants there.
Correction, Corner Brook is a decent sized town before Deer Lake, they have a Wal Mart
you WILL need a thermacell. take two
Best advice I can give....get a room on the Ferry! Sleeping in the chairs really sucks. The food on the Ferry and at the Ferry terminals sucks, so don't show up hungry.
I've brought animals home from Newfoundland 7 times and never once had any trouble at the border! I cross at Houlton, Maine rather than Calais, Maine. Sorry for your bad experience.
No boader problems for me either on the way back.
Charlie I cross at Houlton too. I didn't have an real "trouble", I just got a USFWS agent who's a dick, on the way back from my moose trip. There was no problem, just an unpleasant attitude.
Martin man , let us know how your trip goes . Fuzz, you seem to be driving more hours than what's quoted on google maps . It predicts a total of 24 hours driving time to get from my town to the ferry . Do you drive slow or stop a bunch or is google just wrong ?
Slow down a bunch? No I don't think that's it, reading his posts I believe it's his other job as a restaurant critic that slows Fuzzy down:>
Marcus, cross the boarder in Calais vs I95, much easier. I can make the ferry with gas stops from Albany NY in 18 with piss breaks ect ...if your booking an over night crossing get a room or at least a reserved seat. There is a decent restaurant that sits on the hill over looking the ferry terminal. Get the cod tonge. Second what Charlie said with two boots, I brought mucks and my zamberlan...used my zamberlan with gaiters just as much as the mucks. Pants in the tuckamore ....wear something that doesn't catch like Sitka mountain pants or Kuiu equivalent, even a hard shell if it's wet. Stay clear of fleece and wool. Not only will it grab the brush but the morning wetness on the tuckamore will have you wet for a while. Be agressive with those dates, the better bulls will be cowed up. If they are in position for a stalk get moving vs waiting and calling. The closer you are before calling it seemed the more likely you get them to commit to bow range. Lastly bring good glass. None of our guides had decent glass, Not that it hindered our success however I felt that having high quiality glass was a major advantage.
Sage Buffalo's Link
Coming back from a Bou hunt we stopped at the Houlton crossing. The US Customs agent just about had a cow when he found out I had a "50 caliber" with me. Fortunately a more experience agent explained to him it was a muzzle loader. We laughed and laughed . . .
It's been a while since I have been there. How far is the nearest good place for breakfast after coming off the ferry? I seem to recall a dinner/gas station not too far up route 1.
Here's a video of my moose hunt with rifle with Ironbound. The video gives you a great idea of all the types of terrain.
I was there in '03 for a bou hunt and saw way more moose than bou. I would highly recommend the alpha burlys. Possibly two pairs because I sweated a lot and had problems drying my one pair out every night.
I don't remember the tuckamore being that bad. What I do remember being bad was trying to keep up with my guide and step where he stepped so I wouldn't sink crotch deep into the never ending swamp that is Newfoundland. I am used to swamps that are in the lowlands, but where I hunted the swamps cover the hills. It's crazy and beautiful topography.
Take Canadian cash for the butcher, if not they charge at pair. Mark the owner of Ironbound is a very good outfitters and they have great success. You will hit the rut prefect with them dates. I will be on the rock when your there. Get a cabin on the ferry. Good Luck.
I second the ferry advice, definitely get a room booked for the ferry! You do not want to sleep in those damn deck chairs, it sucks!
Be prepared to walk in sloppy conditions, bring a good shell for rain gear that doesn't leak, two pairs of boots one good rubber and leather, pack lots of food and water, days are long and you want to be out all day.
We do have a room booked on the ferry . Lacrosse boots seem to be the popular choice . I'll take those and my Kenetrek plus gaiters in case I need to change up. Kuiu Yukon rain gear is what I usually wear but I typically travel with an extra , rubber type coat just in case . My friend and I are traveling over the course of two days from middle of Va to the ferry dock and we have in the plan 32 hours of travel time . We don't stop and sight see on the way up. It'll be hammer down . If 32 hours of travel time can't get me to that ferry then I should have flown .
It's been a while since I was there, so what happened to the bunk rooms on the ferry, I rented a bunk for $15 on the way over and a cabin on the way back ? Don't forget your , passport, or passcard or enhanced drivers lic..
You can still get rooms on the ferry, of course the price is higher now.
Squash... new Ferrys, they don't have the bunk rooms any more. Those were a real treat... eyes rolling.
It's 15- 16 hours from my house in ct. to the Ferry, for those needing a point of reference. don't forget to account for the time change, when you cross into Canada. If you can avoid I 95 through NY to Boston, that would be a good call
What's the time change when you cross into Canada ?
New Brunswick is Atlantic Time so plus 1 hour from Eastern Time. Newfoundland is another 1/2 hour more.
I als wouldn't waste my time with leather boots, the areas where they will be of any use are few and far between. I bring two pairs of lacrosse boots and rotate them so you always have a dry pair. Plan for 80* weather and 20* wearher and everything in between. Wool is good, iwear rain gear in mornings until brush dries off. Like anyplace else, wear layers. Bring a bug net and deet, you may need it if the weather is warm. Thermacel will be useless to you on a moose hunt don't worry about the moose smelling the bug spray, if theycan smell it they can smell you
Did you guys see bears regularly while looking for moose or were they rare ?
Bears are seldom seen while moose hunting, i've never seen one but I know of it happening. Although depending on the area you are hunting, if you have the ability to glass a large area that has berries and you catch one in the open feeding you could stalk him but that's not the norm. Best bet there is to ask your outfiiter if they are running into them. And is it often enough to warrant buying a tag
Fly there.Mail a bow to your guide ahead of time.Truck your meat home.Only takes a half a day each way for travel with no sea sickness or chance of missing a day of your hunt because its too rough for ferry to cross.
I hunted there in 2014, saw one small bear
Archery shop in corner Brook .I talked to my cell service got international service for 30 days for a extra $20
Excellent raingear, Alphaburly's with a back-up for tuckamore damage and quality optics.
I did take a bear stumble upon style. very lucky . it was one of the two times in 7 trips I had tagged up for bear.
Flying is not an option at this point. Definitely driving and already have ferry booked.
We leave Friday to spend a month up on our place near St. Anthony. Go every summer to play music and fish. See bear every summer, some huge. I use a debit card and get the going exchange rate. Good advice here.
Buskill, yes, if you don't hit any traffic delays, construction, accidents, roadside mowing/guardrail construction, and if the Trans-Can isn't badly potholed, and you REALLY don't care about hitting a moose at 85mph (I-95 thru Maine) or 110 kph (Trans-Can thru New Brunswick) in the dark, you only pee when gas up the truck, can make a sandwich with one hand and drive with the other, and the weather is good, you can make the 1700 mile drive in 24 hours ... good luck all with that :)
Try to find a "bowhunting outfitter" not just an outfitter who takes bowhunters. There's a world of difference and not many people there bowhunt. TMBB
Already had a deposit in since 2015, I'm going in two months. Good advice , though. I'm sure some are way better than others .
You're OK, You don't need a guide or outfitter that bow hunts, unless you want him to shoot the Moose for you. All you need is someone who knows how to hunt them and where to find them. The rest is up to you. Whether the Guide bow hunts doesn't matter. Most all of them have enough experience guiding bowhunters that it's a non issue. Take charge of your own hunt and you'll be fine. Often it's just a matter of telling the guide how you want to hunt, most all of them are willing to do whatever you want. Keep in mind the guides are most likely handling at least a half doz different hunters in a season, all with different skill levels and different needs. The guide isn't a mind reader, tell them how you want to hunt, what you expect him to do and I'm sure they will be more than willing to accommodate.
Buskill your deposit don't carry much weight with iron bound he did me no good year and half ago
Ironbound is a great outfit. You won't have any issues if you hit the rut.
It gets a lot harder outside the rut for bowhunters. BB is right - all you need is a good guide who knows where and how to get you in front of an animal.
Your dates look good so you should be fine - just make sure you can shoot and take quick shots as they can happen fast. I became friends with one of his guides and he has many stories of calling bulls in and guys missing 1,2,3 times at a standing, crazy-eyed rutting bull.
Just know NL is not as easy as many think and most moose that are killed are cows and small bulls (since NL don't like to kill big bulls because they don't eat as good). My first trip with another outfitter I thought it was a slam dunk - 5 days later and days averaging 75 degrees had me eating humble pie. Didn't even see a moose (heard some but never came out).
One thing is for sure - the place is beautiful!
I had a hunt like that in Ontario once . First time I ever forgot to look at moon phase when I booked . It was a full moon week and got blazing hot . Never saw a moose . New sign would be on the logging roads each morning from nighttime travel but no day time movement . I still feel ill about the whole moon phase and me too dumb to plan around it .
I hunted Newfoundland in 2015 with a different outfitter. The experience of going to a remote fly-in camp with no electricity (or cell coverage) was great. Being there on a warm high-pressure week and only seeing 1 moose inside of 500 yards was not great. Hopefully the weather is good and you'll likely have a good hunt. Best advice is take good boots, good raingear, and decide before you get there if you're going to be willing to use a camp/other hunter's rifle if it's getting towards the end of the hunt. I decided when I went I was going to get one with a bow or nothing and although it's a little tough to stand your ground when you're the only bow hunter in camp and everyone (including the camp cook) is telling you to just take a rifle and get one, I'm glad I did. Ended up being irrelevant since there were no rifle shot opportunities either, but even with the poor hunting I do want to get back up there soon.
Good luck on your hunt, hopefully you have a great time. Ironbound seems to have a good reputation.
in answer to yor bear question, I saw no bear while moose hunting
Question regarding rubber boots. I will be there in mid October for caribou. I have 2 pairs of Alpha burlys. One is uninsulated and the other has 800 grams of thinsulate. Which would be best?
KSMike: Mid October is the dream time for the Stag Rut. If your Outfitter has a good area it may only take a day or two to get your Stag. Ha!! I think you'd be fine with the uninsulated but personally I bring a pair of rubber and a pair of leather boots. You are in for a treat! Good luck! C
I was on "the rock" back in 2005 with 3 buddys and had a great time. However I only saw one moose in person and that was the evening we arrived on a scouting mission from the top of a high ridge at about 800 yards. Much solid and practical advise on this thread....well done gents. I wore my LaCrosse Burlys most of the time as the bogs are ferocious. We hunted the first full week of September due to my profession, so it was warm and I never got out the insulated/wools. Most days I sweat up my clothes on the morning hunt, washed them by hand in the lake in front of the "lodge" and they were pretty dry by the evening hunt. The last hunt it rained and stormed like I have never seen.......and I have been in the UP of Michigan along the Superior coastline when some serious squalls came through. It was a lot of money to see no moose, but I had great fun with some wacky Newfies and quite an adventure. We got a room both ways on the ferry and the seasick pills worked like a charm to put me to sleep as well........very much worth it for us.
Sounds like a lot of East coast guys drive. I will be flying out of Phoenix into Deer Lake. Bob Efford is my outfitter. The boot info is what needed to know. Hunted BC and wished I had rubber boots.Going in the middle of September.Seems A little early but that is my time slot. Those that fly did you have your meat shipped back if you were successful. With no hunting on Sundays what did you guys do while you were in camp? Any info that you guys have will be helpful. Already picked up some good info. Thanks
BTW I know you probably know this but last year Ironbound probably had one of the best years of any outfit in NL. The size and quantity they killed was just insane.
You are in very good hands...
I'm so excited to go I can't hardly stand it . Getting anxious
We're going with Lake Douglas Outfitters 0ct1-7. Taking bow and CVA 50 LR for backup. How do you shoot in the windy conditions, i'm good out to 70 yds in practice. But think shot range will be 40 or less with the wind factor. Any thoughts?
What wind? Can't say I've ever noticed.