Contributors to this thread:
Any word out there that this season may come back at some point ? It’s been a few years. Such a debacle to have lost it. Totally senseless and unwarranted.
No word/news... and in this case as far as I'm concerned, no news is bad news. I agree with your comments. It's a long story though.
Did the camps get torn out yet?
Some of the camps are being used for fishing, some are sitting idle, some of the outfitters closed down their northern operations and cleaned up, I don't know about the others.
This is sickening. What an adventure generations will be cheated out of if this does not return. Pathetic.
Thankful to have been fortunate to experience a Quebec hunt back in 2006. Would love an opportunity to go back someday!
I really miss the Jack Hume and Tuttiluk threads!
I really miss going there...
Three trips each with Hume and tuttulik and each one was fantastic in all regards. Never got old and wouldn’t have. Gods country. Pristine untouched. Unique. Real deal wilderness
Most likely the last QL bull I'll ever kill.
I should have gone in the 90's... 3k seemed outrageous back then. Hunt like you're gonna die tomorrow... Ed F
What a fun place. I was lucky enough to be in the middle of a giant migration after a few slow days. "Epic" is a term that gets over-used but certainly applied to what we saw.
Was getting ready to send in my deposit when they canceled the season. Dammit!
Definitely a needless shame. I was fortunate to go in 2006 and 2008. Took 2 bulls each time. 2008 was a very fun hunt, but 2006 was probably the most incredible hunt I’ve ever experienced. Saw lots of animals the first few days and ended up dead center in the middle of the migration the last day. On the last day alone, we saw, according to the guide’s estimate, between 20,000 to 40,000 caribou. I feel bad for the guys that never got the opportunity to experience something like a Q-L hunt.
I live the next province over. I had no idea :( Had to look this up. https://www.outdoorlife.com/last-season-caribou-hunting-quebec/
I was lucky to go in 2006 with Tuttulik. I killed one big P&Y and another smaller bull. Fantastic hunt. I would have loved to have done it again.
Definitely a shame! I was fortunate to be in one of the last Tuttiluk camps before they closed down. One of my first out of state hunts and really wish I could go back!
I worked/guided at a caribou camp for 17 full fall seasons up until a few years before they closed it. I've also been living in a Native community in the caribou's winter range zone for the last 20 years, and have had close contact with this northern region for the last 50 years.
I live in a Cree community, most of my family and friends are Cree, I worked for outfitters, and I know many biologists and Conservation Officers. I also have many non-native hunting friends on both sides of the border and I've spoken to many Quebec non-hunters about it too.
It's only my opinion... but, besides the population crash (due mostly to natural events and development), another factor that you don't hear much about, something of which I'm convinced had a very negative influence on people that were on the committee that opted for the complete closure - was the very visible (to everyone) "drive to" winter hunt.
There are incidences I prefer not to mention in detail, however, there was the very obvious: caravans of all sorts of vehicles and trailers loaded with caribou, legs and heads sticking out all over the place, driving down the James Bay highway and through towns and cities for months every winter, gave the impression to uninformed people that there was a massacre going on.
There were also dead caribou in snowbanks along the highway from collisions with tractor trailers, etc. and frozen gut piles near the pavement. All types of non hunting people (ex. teachers, medical professionals, workers, visitors, and tourists) travelling the road could only speculate and most often arrive at an ignorant but negative conclusion (those kill crazy hunters!). Bush people would sometimes find dead caribou that had either died after being wounded by a hunter or even simply abandoned for some reason or other. Of course, we all know who the scape goats were.
In any case, even though it was not quite as flagrant as the closure of the Ontario spring black bear hunt years back, this was at least a partially politically and socially motivated decision... and I don't agree with it.
Like Glunt amd t-roy, I was the only guy in camp with a tag when 30,000 came through. Beyond "epic". I sure miss that place.
On my trip I was filming all week with hopes of getting to hunt after others had filled. It was slow but they did manage to fill on mostly smaller bulls. 2 days left and 2 tags in my pocket and the caribou showed up. I watched a ridge for 2 hours with a steady flow of big numbers moving across it.
We would count for 5 minutes and then multiply it to get the number per hour. We stopped after 12,000 caribou in 2-3 hours. It kept up well into the next day.
Shot two nice bulls, had a big bear interested in stealing one from us while taking pics, watched wolves chasing them and tried as hard as I could to drink it all in since it was likely the last time I would be there.
Just an amazingly fun trip.
Lucky to have gone twice, once with my daughter. I always felt like I was going to be one of those guys who would go 10+ times and maybe help-out in a camp, especially in retirement. It was the best value going and easy to get to for those of us in the Northeast. I loved the annual threads. Hunting caribou and fishing in Quebec with friends and family is one of the most enjoyable and best outdoor experiences I ever had.
If it is ever reinstated during my lifetime, I will be one of the first in line.
Take care. Mike
you wonder if without hunting will they even bother to monitor the herd. why bother, they can't change anything without hunting. could it get back to very high levels and the status quo remain. out of sight out of mind.
I was lucky enough to go 7 times. I hunted with Safari nordic, Club chambeaux and then was up with the Humes after that. The adventure alone was worth the price of admission. Only once did I ever catch a big heard of bou. 2 days of nothing followed by 3 days of constant activity. not by the hundreds but 20 here, 20 there. Took my 2nd p/y bull that trip. Camped in a tent on the tundra behind camp for 5 days.... I was lucky enough to help the humes in 2015 for 3 weeks (and develop a wonderful relationship with them) and even help a bowsiter on his quest for the slam that year. Those are times I will never forget. AND yes best value for adventure anywhere. Once I was in my 4th trip, I'll be honest, it became like home to me. In my heart I knew I would return every other year as long as I was alive. When the weather was good and it almost always was for me on my august 28- sept 3rd or the 3rd-9th dates, it was the most beautiful place in the world. Nothing gets the heart racing like the sound of that plane firing up. The anticipation of going. Will we hit the migration. Will Richard put me in a new camp (and I always was) Only 2 camps I never made that i really wanted to go. Inkurtuk and Corsolles. I made the rest of the acrtic adventures camps. Willy, Bobbie, Inuksuk and trophy. Spent time in camp 6 and King lake. Landed in Many others with Richard. I can see them all in my head now. I can smell the velvet antlers in my hands..... All the smiles. Trips with Dad. Trips with my uncle and brother. EVERYONE should have done this hunt. So far....NOTHING compares. Things are fun...but not the same.
Did the winter hunt once and it was everything said above and worse. the outfitter I was with was a money grubbed. Took advantage of guys because they were in the middle of no where. The hunters in camp were Some of the worst ethical sports people I have ever been around. My dad and I were the only 2 bow hunters in a 60 man camp and we were treated like leper’s. Wish I would have gone the early hunt but at the time I had all I could do to scratch 2k together with 3 kids under 5 at home. Would go in a second now if they opened up the hunt
Caribou hunting seems to be in decline in most places. Still good hunting available in NWT and NF and Greenland, but of course the cost is more. Then again, if they ever see fit to open Quebec back up, the hunt price is likely to be much higher.
Yeah, I can’t imagine the cost/demand/wait list if they ever reopen Quebec. But I’m not holding my breath, so I guess I won’t worry about it.
I was fortunate enough to make 18 trips up there. All with JHA. Had a great time on every trip regardless of the conditions or number of animals. I, along with others, Luke, Dave and others went there for the adventure and beauty and not just to kill a caribou or two. Luke, your one crazy Bastard!!!!! LOL. Made a lot of friends up there and we had lots of laughs. Jack, Richard and Amanda were the best!! Thanks to all the guides and cooks, pilots and friends that made each trip special. I really miss all the people up there and all the memories we made. Hope to see you on the tundra again. Rory
Greenland is definitely a viable option. You’re not going to see huge herds, but you will see caribou.
You can still hunt them in Newfoundland
You can still hunt them in Manitoba. You just won’t see them! Lol
I miss it too, and since we seem to be reminiscing...
My last camp was 200 miles north by bush plane from the northernmost road. I lived in a little solitary shack by a lake for two months a year for 17 years. I worked 7 days a week, no limit on hours, but I was alone and free to do things my way.
In an average 2 month season I would see the migration density go anywhere from sparse to the point of the hills looking like they were alive. I was there for the peak years as well as for the decline.
At the end of the season we would hunt for ourselves, but by then usually most of the caribou had gone by. It was often tough for me because all I brought was my longbow, and the fewer caribou there are around, the warier they become. I knew caribou though so I usually managed to get 2 mature bulls, although I couldn't afford to be overly picky.
Two of the pilots I worked with have since crashed and died in their Beavers. One of them in 2019. I got to be good friends with many of the hunters, some of which have also since passed away.
In preceding months I guided bear hunters, and some years also guided for moose in Quebec or for deer in Western Canada. I'll be 67 next month and memories become more precious as time goes by.
It was an honor to have a camp named after me by JHA. King Lake. Thanks Richard.think I enjoyed my early hunts more, much more rustic. Camps were getting WAY to civilized at the end for me. Who needs a flush toilet and shower when your only on the tundra for two weeks like I usually was. Thanks Richard and Amanda for all the favors you did for me. Ill never forget it. See you on the tundra. Rory.
APauls. Agree with you 100 percent. Very expensive fishing trip. Rory.
In 2017 I hit it right ...seen well over 250 bulls in week I was there. I made two other trips in to Quebec over the years but my last one with JHA was the best by far.
Just posted by Richard on FB.
"For seven years, a provincial hunting ban has been in effect on the George River caribou herd, 99 per cent of which has vanished since 2001, according to biologists."
"If we want to have a legal hunt in five years, 10 years, we have to restrain and we have to find alternatives."
And IF it is really down 99%, how in the world do they expect it to rebound to huntable levels in 5 or even 10 years?! Doesn't seem biologically possible to me...……………….
Richard's post with the article...
In 1989 I went on my 1st & it was "bad" as far as numbers. I had, on the last day, A Cow & her calf pass in easy bow range & declined as I knew I would have to shoot the calf also. Still, an awesome adventure & expensive fishing trip. No one in camp released an arrow at a Caribou. Checking back, in the weeks that followed only a couple Caribou were killed by all those hunters. 1990, I returned & took my son. Same outfitter as they did everything right. 3 days into the hunt I'm thinking, oh no, another fishing trip. My son, 16 then did catch some great Lake Trout & was having the time of his life. 4th day, Caribou started passing through & it resulted in an awesome successful hunt as far as kills were concerned. My son, now an adult cherishes this adventure we shared so much. I videoed all week & the edited DVD is a memory we still share with our family members & my young G-kids think the "MOOSE" mount is terrific. Photo is my son with his 2nd & largest.
unfortunately, the 99% number seems to be correct. The GR herd is down below 10k at this point. We won't see any hunting of the GRH, if it even continues to survive in most of our lifetimes.
The George river herd has been down for several years. The Natives that lived over there used to drive over here to get caribou from this herd (Leaf River herd). I spoke to them a couple of times and they told me that it was a two day drive one way for them. As far as I know they don't come anymore.
This herd is also down now, but definitely in better shape than the George River herd.
Besides the migratory caribou, Quebec also has non-migratory "pure" woodland caribou in certain regions. We have them here (where I live) 12 months of the year. I've been seeing fewer of them too in recent years and the Cree have signed an agreement with the Ministry not to kill any. The people here prefer moose anyway.
Without getting into all the facts, reasons and the theories behind the decline, it appears that caribou are down almost everywhere... most likely more than the natural cycles through the centuries that I mentioned in an earlier post.
When it comes to the Quebec migratory herds, over population and over grazing was a factor- so I still think that hunting could have been used in a more efficient manner for management before the crash and to this day, rather than going from one extreme to the next. Now, only time will tell.
Wow, crazy. I had no idea. I fished the George River twice (1989 and 1991) and we saw Caribou almost every day.
It's tragic that the Quebec Caribou herds have taken such a hit. I wish I would have made that trip when I had the chance. But like others have said, it looks like it's over in Quebec, at least in our lifetimes. Thank goodness there are other places to hunt Caribou, though. Imagine if the Quebec/Labrador was the only sub-species. Even though other herds are in decline, there are still places we can go to bowhunt Caribou. Do it now while you still have the chance.
Absolutely the best hunt I've done and was hoping to do it again someday.
Northern Lights, lakes, float plane, remote camps, fishing, logistics, It's all missed.
Hoping for a return someday also.
I made a special trip just to testify to the Alaska game board that we needed to cut back on the amount of caribou tags available because we were decimating the herd. Hunters were taking an incredible number of animals every year. I testified that there was a limit to the number that could be taken without decimating the herd. To me it made good sense to cut back a little to insure hunting for generations. The way I was treated was horrible. It was clear that “cutting back” was an option not acceptable to the culture. I told them if we kept killing caribou with no limit on harvest numbers we’d soon be forced to shut down the season and then there’d be NO hunting for no residents. I had one member of the APHA call me an “anti-hunter” and another guide refer to me as “Hitler”. Lots of guides tried to intimidate me to keep my mouth shut because they needed to be able to sell caribou hunts to non residents. They could not wrap their head around the idea that if you CUT BACK the number of tags available you wouldn’t have to SHUT IT OFF COMPLETELY later. Only a short time later the caribou seasons were shut down due to low numbers. They haven’t reopened them yet. Hunters wanting to hunt Alaska should focus on unguided river moose hunting or unguided black bear hunting away from the road system where game numbers and trophy size are better and be ready for a fantastic experience.
Caribou seasons are shut down in Alaska now???
Midwest.. not sure if that was a snarky comment but yes many areas are now closed.
No, not snarky...just my ignorance. Is the Fortymile herd season shut down? I thought some of the herds were rebounding. I know the Mulchatna herd was in trouble.