Quebec Caribou Problem

Discussion in 'Hunting North America' started by tim416, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. tim416

    tim416 AH Veteran

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    As many of you have heard Labrador closed it's caribou season this year and at this time it appears they will not open for the 2011 season. This has lead to many questions from hunters regarding the Quebec caribou hunts for next season.

    I just got off the phone with Alain Tardif, owner of Leaf River Lodge in Northern Quebec and have been given a good overview of the caribou issue. Laval University in Quebec finished up an extensive study on the Leaf River and George River herds on Friday. The Leaf River herd appears to be in good shape. The average size of the caribou was up a little over previous years and female to young ratio was up as well. In addition it appears as though the herd is actually growing in numbers. The issue,(lack of caribou) suffered by some hunting operators seems to be location of the herd rather than the numbers. The climate for the past two years in Northern Quebec has been unseasonably warm delaying the migration of the herds. There has been a few outfitters that have had camps in the southern range of the caribou that are now closing their operations.


    Leaf River Lodge is one of the most northerly located outfitters in Quebec, (250 miles north of Lake Pua, or Caniapiscau) and until this year has never experienced a lack of caribou in their area during the season. This year they were forced to close their most southerly camps due to the lack of caribou, and operated strictly out of their main lodge on the Leaf River itself. This allowed them to still maintain a high success rate but was costly do to the added expense of floatplanes required to move the clients.


    On November 19th Alain will be meeting with the government of Quebec in order to get the details regarding changes, if any. that will affect next years season. One of the changes that is possible is the reduction of the two caribou per hunter limit down to one. The caribou season stay open until October 30th but they have never offered hunts beyond the end of September due to the harsh weather. If the weather pattern continues to hold it appears they will be offering hunts until October 15th for the 2011 season.
    I do not have any comprhensive info on the George River herd at this time but will provide updates as soon as I have anything to share.
  2. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Shrinking N.L. caribou herd leads to tougher hunting restrictions

    Thanks Tim for this insight. Here is from a press article dated September 11, 2010.


    Shrinking N.L. caribou herd leads to tougher hunting restrictions

    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The Newfoundland and Labrador government has brought in tough restrictions on caribou hunting in light of a serious decline in the size of the George River herd in Labrador.

    A recently completed census has put the size of the herd at about 74,000 animals, down from 385,000 in 2001 and 776,000 in 1993.

    Environment and Conservation Minister Charlene Johnson said Tuesday that the "current liberal hunting regulations are not sustainable" and the census illustrates the need for immediate conservation measures.

    Effective immediately, the commercial caribou hunt, non-resident caribou hunting via the use of outfitters, and the resident caribou licence transfer system for Labrador residents will be suspended.

    The licence transfer system allowed for any Labrador resident to transfer their licence to kill two caribou to any resident qualified to hold a big game licence.

    Additionally, the allowable limit will be reduced to one caribou per licensed hunter from the current limit of two.

    The province said it will also establish a committee to review whether additional conservation measures may be required in the future.


    Source: The Canadian Press
  3. tim416

    tim416 AH Veteran

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    I spoke with Alain Tardiff, (owner of Leaf River Lodge) this morning who attended the Government meeting in Quebec yesterday. Although no official decisions were made, the concensus is that they are making no changes to the bag limits,(two caribou per hunter) or anything else for the 2011 season regarding the Leaf River herd hunts. Based on the study by Laval Univerity in Quebec he government seems to be more concerned over the condition of the George River herd which migrates from Quebec to Labrador, as opposed to the Leaf River herd.

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