Sitka Mountain Gear
Straight Truth on NF Hunts
Moose
Contributors to this thread:
Griz 14-Mar-18
Katahdin 14-Mar-18
Bogie 14-Mar-18
Bogie 14-Mar-18
Trial153 14-Mar-18
Squash 14-Mar-18
Sage Buffalo 14-Mar-18
JasonInIowa 14-Mar-18
Griz 14-Mar-18
Charlie Rehor 14-Mar-18
Bou'bound 14-Mar-18
Sage Buffalo 14-Mar-18
bill v 14-Mar-18
Charlie Rehor 14-Mar-18
Buskill 14-Mar-18
CurveBow 14-Mar-18
INbowdude 14-Mar-18
Fuzzy 15-Mar-18
Bogie 15-Mar-18
newfi1946moose 15-Mar-18
Lee 15-Mar-18
Sage Buffalo 15-Mar-18
Griz 16-Mar-18
lawdy 16-Mar-18
Fuzzy 16-Mar-18
T.O 16-Mar-18
newfi1946moose 16-Mar-18
bb 16-Mar-18
bb 16-Mar-18
Sage Buffalo 16-Mar-18
Fuzzy 16-Mar-18
bb 16-Mar-18
newfi1946moose 16-Mar-18
lawdy 16-Mar-18
safari 19-Mar-18
Fuzzy 19-Mar-18
bb 19-Mar-18
longsprings 21-Mar-18
160andup 21-Mar-18
Trial153 21-Mar-18
bb 21-Mar-18
safari 21-Mar-18
bb 22-Mar-18
Fuzzy 22-Mar-18
Fuzzy 22-Mar-18
Trial153 22-Mar-18
Griz 22-Mar-18
bb 22-Mar-18
Fuzzy 23-Mar-18
Fuzzy 23-Mar-18
lawdy 23-Mar-18
Starvingpilgrim 23-Mar-18
Trial153 23-Mar-18
Fuzzy 23-Mar-18
Fuzzy 23-Mar-18
Fuzzy 23-Mar-18
Fuzzy 23-Mar-18
Fuzzy 23-Mar-18
Fuzzy 23-Mar-18
Fuzzy 23-Mar-18
Fuzzy 23-Mar-18
Starvingpilgrim 23-Mar-18
Rob in VT 23-Mar-18
Trial153 23-Mar-18
Fuzzy 23-Mar-18
Trial153 23-Mar-18
BUCKeye 23-Mar-18
lawdy 23-Mar-18
bb 23-Mar-18
Fuzzy 28-Mar-18
Medicinemann 28-Mar-18
Fuzzy 28-Mar-18
Fuzzy 28-Mar-18
From: Griz
14-Mar-18
Hello all, I really want to do a moose hunt in the next few years. Since I will never draw in the US, I'm looking to NF or Alberta as reasonably priced destinations. I want to bring all of the meat home so driving seems most practical. With that in mind, I can easily see the LONG drive to Alberta but what is the reality of getting to NF? I'm coming from SE PA and have no fear of long drives but the whole ferry thing has me hesitating. Is there a way to fly into NF, or Alberta for that matter, and get meat home by a transporter to avoid the costs of flying meat home and driving? Is this more likely in NF than Alberta? Thanks ahead of time for the input.

From: Katahdin
14-Mar-18
I have hunted NF several times. Flying once and taking the ferry 4 times. The ferry is no big deal, get the overnight crossing and a room. One thing is if you tag early and want to leave you probably won't get a room on short notice so then you are stuck in the common seating areas. Many outfitters work with meat cutters that arrange to have your meat trucked to a regional freezer location that then you can drive to easily from your home. This is how I would work the flying option.

From: Bogie
14-Mar-18
went to NF last year. Get a 4 person room both ways, same price as 2 person only more room. Drive truck take a chest freezer with a generator and gas can. cost 100.00 to 125.00 us per quarter. I processed my own on site with sealer and bags. great people up there and beautiful sights. Have a great time hunting

From: Bogie
14-Mar-18
went to NF last year. Get a 4 person room both ways, same price as 2 person only more room. Drive truck take a chest freezer with a generator and gas can. cost 100.00 to 125.00 us per quarter. I processed my own on site with sealer and bags. great people up there and beautiful sights. Have a great time hunting

From: Trial153
14-Mar-18
Your crazy if you don’t drive from PA. Can’t ask for an easier trip logistically getting meat home. The ferry is a breeze, get a room a good nights sleep...

From: Squash
14-Mar-18
Been there twice took ferry both times. Driving there is part of the adventure. From SE PA would be a breeze. Affordable , high success, meat hunt with possibility of over 40” bull, that you can drive your pick up truck to.

From: Sage Buffalo
14-Mar-18
No way in the world would I drive to Alberta if I lived in PA if I could go to NF. Matter a fact I would go to NF every few years if I lived where you are. Great hunts for the cost.

You can drive but it's long. Where you live you can easily fly and there's a trucking company that a lot of guys use and they drop the meat off at a larger town near you and you go and pick up meat, cape and horns.

I've done both driving and flying and will fly from now on until I retire. If I had days and could take it a little slower the drive is amazing that time of year but I still work so burning days isn't worth it plus it wears on you. The drive is EASY and so is the ferry.

Either way, once you go you will be itching to get back.

From: JasonInIowa
14-Mar-18
Drive to NF from PA. I flew to NF from Iowa and trucked my meat home. About 40% was spoiled. From the time we took the meat off the bull and put it on a helicopter was under an hour. So at some point someone did not take care of it.

From: Griz
14-Mar-18
Thanks everyone. I drive to Wyoming almost every year and last year did it solo, and did 31 hours home with just a two hour nap in Iowa (but had a 363 bull sticking out the back of the truck to motivate me!), so the drive is not a problem. I just worry about timing and the possibility of missing it. I have plenty of time to make the trip but I do like the idea of using a hauler. Assume you have to make reservations for the ferry long in advance?

14-Mar-18
I've hunted Newfoundland 9 times and driven every time. I just love the drive and taking all my gear with me and meat/racks on the ride home. Ferry is terrific.

The way you get there and back is the easy part. Getting a bow friendly Outfitter/guide to get you back in the bush is your challenge. Lots of good options and lots of not so good options. Good Luck. C

From: Bou'bound
14-Mar-18
7 trips drive is a breeze and ferry is fine. I am from boston 13 hours to ferry. you add a day to that from SE PA but do it. don't fly

From: Sage Buffalo
14-Mar-18

Sage Buffalo's Link
Those last two are retired guys - you know the guys we hate because they have all the time in the world. Hahaha. They are right it's a great drive but burning 2 days of vacation time to drive just isn't worth it - if I was going to burn 2 days it better be in a treestand during the rut!

I agree with Charlie and would not count on your guide being a bow guy so make sure you go during the rut. You really have to hit the rut otherwise your hunt just became an elk hunt.

The one thing I wish I would have known my first hunt is that NF moose hunts are hard if you are looking for a nice bull (45"+). Most moose that locals shoot are cows or small bulls because they don't care about horns and don't want to eat old bulls. Shooting a nice bull takes a lot of work and then it's not a guarantee as much as you would think.

I have used the trucking service before and never had any issues. So bummer about the guy above.

The last thing I will say is watch the weather and be prepared. The hunts I went on the weather was ALWAYS much warmer than the guys in camp had expected. Matter a fact the average day temperature for my hunts was 65 degrees.

It's sure a great trip. Here's a little footage from one of my hunts - rifle. It has a lot of good footage on the terrain, not so much on the animals as I was done the first evening :). My very first hunt I didn't see a moose the entire trip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrM9rWzh4rg

From: bill v
14-Mar-18
Yo Chris, its 22 hrs to the ferry, plan on getting the over night ferry as stated above. sleep for that 6 hr crossing. I would take a meat box. you can borrow mine. Its a very heavy cardboard box I cut down to about 24 inches high, I line it with plastic and multible blankets. Put the meat in and add double bagged ice will keep it cold until you get back to pa and your butcher. Go for it.

bill v

14-Mar-18
Sage: 7 of my 9 trips were while I was working. I would not go to Newfoundland other than driving. Days off were not an issue for me. I prolly could have done much better if I worked more but I just wasn't into working like my bow hunting. Fun stuff for sure.

From: Buskill
14-Mar-18
I just drove up this past September. Absolutely loved the drive . Coming from Va ( left from Charlottesville) I was 14 hours to Bangor then 10 hours to the ferry . Got a room on the boat . It was very easy. I used the meat cutter my guide suggested . I had my moose in 2 150 qt Coleman marine coolers and it stayed frozen all the way back to Virginia . My cape was in a smaller cooler ( a 100 qt I think ? ). We drove pretty hard that first day up to Bangor but we poked around the second day .

From: CurveBow
14-Mar-18
I went on a rifle hunt in 2015 with friends. Going back this October to same outfitter but in a different camp. We didn't have a room for the ferry crossing which was during the night, about 6 hours. Slept in the seats, got as comfortable as we could. There was room to almost stretch out.

I got a small bull and my buddy got a larger cow. The outfitter was able to get them out whole! We filled out sheets in camp regarding how we wanted the meat processed and one of the guides ran them into a processor the next day. Overnight it was below freezing. We picked up the meat, vacuum packed and mostly frozen on the way home. We put it into a old freezer that my buddy had gutted (removed the compressor, etc.). The lid was held on with bungee cords. We drove straight through to NYS and the meat was fine. I would guess that the total trip, including the ferry, was about 24 hours. It was a pretty easy drive and thats what we're doing again this fall.

From: INbowdude
14-Mar-18
For those of you who were successful, any problems at the border either crossing into Canada or back into the States?

From: Fuzzy
15-Mar-18
I've done the trip from Va three times. It was just as Buskill described. A lovely drive and the ferry is no big deal.

From: Bogie
15-Mar-18
Go to a US Customs Office and fill out a US Declaration form also your outfitter should have a copy of the Canadian forms for you . Pre fill out everything you can ahead of time saves you time at both customs offices. Didn't have any problems either way. Godspeed and enjoy the advenure

15-Mar-18
Have driven to NL from NY twice w/buddy and usually a 3rd hunter. Took the ferry at night. The last 6 times I have made the trip from OK; picked up buddy +another in NNY. Have the meat vacuum packed and frozen; packed in large coolers for trip back. All my meat has gotten back to OK solid. Trip number 9 will be in 2019! We do not mind the drive and costs are split 3 ways...at least from & to NNY.

From: Lee
15-Mar-18
Just curious guys - what is a NF trip all in? Sounds like a good time

From: Sage Buffalo
15-Mar-18
Charlie: Haha!!!

Lee: A really good guided trip is about $5k. Then add other expenses on top of that.

Some guides offer you multiple moose tags so you can realistically shoot multiple moose. So you can really make it efficient if you are lucky/good.

From: Griz
16-Mar-18
Sage, More than one bull tag? Bull and cow? Never heard that before but it would make the trip more cost efficient.

From: lawdy
16-Mar-18
We live in Newfy in the summer and the ferry is exactly 754 miles from our home in Northern NH. After 40 years of ferry rides, the thrill is gone riding the ferry. To get to our land is another 300+ miles as we are way up on the Northern Pen near Black Duck Cove where the Lab ferry is. Every year we fill two big Grizzly coolers with frozen cod and halibut we catch and head home. We also bring home two 5 gallon buckets of salted cod. We simply dip the filets in water, freeze them, redip, freeze and repeat. We fill the coolers right to the top with frozen filets encased in a film of ice. At the end of last summer we took 4 days to drive home. Just the top layer of filets had started to thaw. This summer we may not be returning from Newfie as we are working towards living there for our retirement.

From: Fuzzy
16-Mar-18
lawdy, it seems a lovely place to retire :)

From: T.O
16-Mar-18
I have driven to NF twice , and Albert once from Michigan we put a chest freezer in a in closed trailer to bring the meat home its the only way to go.

Tim

16-Mar-18
Lee...$4100 US + 15% taxes for outfitter...tips $400-600 for guide/cook. 1 x 1 hunt. Ferry, lodging, fuel, meals. Booked the same hunt in 2019 for same outfitter cost.

From: bb
16-Mar-18
Griz, You can buy as many tags as the outfitter has available.

From: bb
16-Mar-18
I have been going there pretty much annually since about 1988-89 often 2 or 3 times a year. I have flown numerous times in the early days. but mostly drive and take the Ferry. Years ago it was actually pretty convenient for me to fly, I would fly out of Boston and would get a non stop to Halifax and then another non stop to Gander two hours of flying time with a short layover in Halifax. flights were actually very reasonably priced. It was actually very convenient and easy to bring back meat and antlers on the airlines, air canada had the styrofoam and waxed cardboard packing boxes you could buy from them at the airport to put your meat in and it was cheap, I want to say it was less than $5.00 per box and they didn't charge extra to fly your meat. Now it's a fiasco to fly meat home, flights are generally very expensive, long layovers, 8-10 hours is not uncommon. Routing all over Canada...Toronto, Montreal (which is the kiss of death) I will never take a flight that routes through Montreal again. When you factor it all in, There generally isn't much if any time savings to fly and it isn't any cheaper with less flexibilty. The Ferry is usually OK but all you need is a bit of weather to screw that up. They have a very tight entrance into Port Aux Basques so if it is very windy they won't sail as it's hard to control going into the channel. I have sat on the Ferry for 18 hours in Sydney waiting for the winds to die down enough where they would sail. That time the waves were breaking over the canso causeway, not onto it, over it, one side to the other. When they have delays like that, reservations are out the window, and time slots are gone also, they just do what they call load and go until they get caught up, you have to be there to get on and it's first come first served. The Ferrys are icebreakers, they can sail through the pack ice that comes in, there have been instances where the Ferrys get caught off shore for days in the ice because it's too thick to get into the harbors, and no place for the ice to go. So the Ferrys can be a nightmare also if you hit it wrong and the weather isn't cooperating. Generally speaking the later you go in the fall the more chance of bad weather affecting your Ferry trip.

From: Sage Buffalo
16-Mar-18
Griz: The outfitter I use you can pretty much shoot as many as you can afford. I know of a guy who shot 4 nice bulls on his trip.

From: Fuzzy
16-Mar-18
bb, my trip back in October '15 was about like you describe. I was sitting on the ferry in Port Aux Basques waiting to depart, looking at the lights on L'Isle Aux Mortes when it dawned on me what the name means. Interesting trip. Not too bad a trip if you don't mind vomiting a lot and watching young people who have a lot to live for, panicking. ;)

From: bb
16-Mar-18
LMAO Fuzzy, Now I know why you were cool calm and collected. Indifferent comes to mind

16-Mar-18
As bb noted weather can screw things up when it comes to the ferry and flying Montreal is a nightmare. We plan spare days on the way in...our delays have always been on the way back.

From: lawdy
16-Mar-18
We have always traveled with a 13 foot fiberglass camper. At first it was a Boler which I sold 10 years ago and bought a Scamp 13. It is a lifesaver when traveling. Pull over and sleep. We like a day crossing so we pull in to North Sydney in the evening, get in our lane, and go to bed. One year, the ferry ran into the pier and we were delayed by 24 hours. I pitied those who had to try and sleep in cars. Back when you could simply pull in and get on the waiting list that camper was a God-send. If you ever are asked if you wanted to take the freighter with the truckers, take it. Very few people and you can sleep anywhere. We always jump at the chance to take it.

From: safari
19-Mar-18
Drive and take the ferry to NF. I used to buy a state room but no more. On my last trip while looking for a bathroom I found bunk rooms down low to the water line. Went up and got my Dad out of his chair and took him to the bunk room which was empty. Had a wonderful nights sleep in a made bed. A wonderful lady gently awakened me in the morning an hour before landing. We went down the hall to a hot shower all for free. When I got home looked it up and the fee for a bunk was $15.

From: Fuzzy
19-Mar-18
bb, yep, I'm like "wreck this @#$% I don't care" where's the snack bar?

From: bb
19-Mar-18
Safari, How long ago was that trip where you found the bunks? They have relatively new new Ferrys and I'm pretty sure they don't have the bunks any longer on the new ones.

From: longsprings
21-Mar-18
I live in SE PA and we did the ferry, plan for t%%he evening ride get a room in the ferry get a shower a good nights sleep hit port in the morning and continue your drive, built an insulated box in the back of the truck which brought 2 moose home all cut up and wrapped . 36 hour trip home ans still frozen solid there you go came home on the ferry at night also breaks up the drive and you get a good nights sleep

From: 160andup
21-Mar-18
How is the ferry for people who are prone to motion sickness? Seems like it could be a long 6+hrs if you get sea sick...

From: Trial153
21-Mar-18
Another thing I found with the ferry over the years is they are flexible with your itinerary, if your going be late or early it pays to call them they will change your reservation.

From: bb
21-Mar-18
If you're prone to motion sickness, best thing to do is go to the doctor and get a prescription for the transderm patch. There Ferry ride can be rough dependiing on the seas

From: safari
21-Mar-18
BB, I know it is old info. My last trip was in 2001. The ferrys were still old converted LST's. I know they were converted military ships. Charlie, any help on the ships used for ferrys to NFLD?

From: bb
22-Mar-18
2001, you were on the old ships that had the bunks, you lucked out having them empty. they were normally full and almost impossible to sleep with everyone snoring. They weren't LST's, they were built in Quebec as ice breakers and substantially larger than LST's. pushing 600' They were built specifically for the Ferry Route across the Cabot Strait. MV Joseph and Clara Smallwood, MV Caribou, MV Leif Ericson, were the three in service prior to the new vessels. They were all built in the mid to late '80s. The new ships I believe were built in Europe, One of the Scandinavian countries rings a bell. I know they were Ferried across the Atlantic. When they were put in service by Marine Atlantic.

From: Fuzzy
22-Mar-18
bb, I crossed twice on a ship named "Leif Ericssen", do you think it was a newer one named after the previous, or maybe they're still running it? I remember it being very different than the much newer MV "Blue Puttees"

From: Fuzzy
22-Mar-18
I just checked Marine Atlantique's website, they show "MV Leif Ericssen " still in the fleet and mention they recently spent $15 million on upgrades on her.

From: Trial153
22-Mar-18
Get at least an assigned recliner upgrade. Better still get a cabin and get some sleep. If your taking the over night ferry and get there early enough there is a decent restaurant that you can see on the hill over looking the parking lot. Check in park and lock your truck and you can walk to restaurant, maybe a 10 minute walk. Try the cod tongue.

From: Griz
22-Mar-18
Cod tongue, transderm patches, rough seas, sitting in port for hours, old ships, vomiting, people panicking.......wow, sounds like fun...not. These are the types of things I worry about! Maybe I'll fly.

From: bb
22-Mar-18
Fuzzy, No it's not a newer one, it's the same one. They use it primarily for commercial cargo. and people who have nothing to live for :)

From: Fuzzy
23-Mar-18
That's be me Brian ;)

From: Fuzzy
23-Mar-18
Griz the ferry experience isn't nerarly as bad as it's painted here. It's actually pretty darned luxurious compared to driving, and much more comfortable than flying when the weather is good. When the weather is bad, flying isn't fun either.

From: lawdy
23-Mar-18
The ferry ride is easy, boring, but easy after crossing probably a hundred times for gigs and living there during the summer over the last 40 years. To read some of these posts, one would think you were crossing in the Sloop John B, or a rowboat. As far as rough seas, we had one bad crossing where the trucks weren't chained down enough and with a list of 31 degrees, slid sideways smacking into cars and campers a little. That was years ago before the larger Caribou came into service. One of the stanchions on our pickup camper got bent.

23-Mar-18
Grizz from PA driving is the way to go, ferry is fine it's the size of a cruise ship go a day early in case of weather , bring meat home in your truck, just ice it down good , dealing wit planes and that much meat is a nightmare

From: Trial153
23-Mar-18
Some guys have no sense of adventure...bring a pool float and hope for the best!!

From: Fuzzy
23-Mar-18

Fuzzy's embedded Photo
Fuzzy's embedded Photo

From: Fuzzy
23-Mar-18

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Fuzzy's embedded Photo

From: Fuzzy
23-Mar-18

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Fuzzy's embedded Photo

From: Fuzzy
23-Mar-18

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Fuzzy's embedded Photo

From: Fuzzy
23-Mar-18

Fuzzy's embedded Photo
Fuzzy's embedded Photo

From: Fuzzy
23-Mar-18

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Fuzzy's embedded Photo

From: Fuzzy
23-Mar-18

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From: Fuzzy
23-Mar-18
you miss a lot of cool stuff if you don't drive

23-Mar-18
Oh yah cod tongue is over rated, but screech is... well its ok

From: Rob in VT
23-Mar-18
Any decent places for breakfast in Newfoundland once you leave the ferry?

From: Trial153
23-Mar-18
Rob....no.

From: Fuzzy
23-Mar-18
Not really that I've found. We always drove on the Deer Lake before we ate. Stop at an Irving Big Stop for coffee and some travel rations.

From: Trial153
23-Mar-18
There is a Tim Hortons, it’s on your left after you exit the ferry on the high way, comes up fast. There isn’t much between there and deer lake. Fill your gas tanks before you get on the ferry, gas in NF is very expensive. And it will save you some stops.

There is decent place for lunch just after passadina, exit 12 off highway. Take a right off the exit and go down a mile or so it’s on your left. Cafe 59 I think it’s called. We had lunch there it was excellent. If they do breakfast I am sure it will be also.

From: BUCKeye
23-Mar-18
I was going to fly, but after seeing that sign for "Big Bras"...I am intrigued...

From: lawdy
23-Mar-18
If you hit Rocky Harbor, Joyce, the owner of the Treasure Chest serves fish cakes, muffins, etc. that are famous in that area. Port au Choix and St. Anthony have some good eaterys.

From: bb
23-Mar-18
Rocky Harbor has a few good places to eat. A bit out of the way unless you're going to the Northern Peninsula. There is a few places in Cornerbrook. Tim Hortons, I usually stop at, there is also a Jungle Jims that's easy access.

From: Fuzzy
28-Mar-18
BUCKeye, then you're gonna love the "Lick A Chick" in North Sydney ;)

From: Medicinemann
28-Mar-18
BUCKeye, Don't get your hopes up.......it means arms of gold.....although that may not be a bad thing either.

From: Fuzzy
28-Mar-18
Jake at my age arms of gold are better than big bras

From: Fuzzy
28-Mar-18

Fuzzy's embedded Photo
Fuzzy's embedded Photo

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