CANADA: Newfoundland Moose Hunt

George Keys

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I am also replying to Mark's post, review and Ironbound Outfitters in Newfoundland.
I am the "G" he refers to in his post. Like Mark, I had purchased a Moose hunt with Ironbound Outfitters in 2015. Because of things like hurricanes here in Florida, I had to postpone my trip. The original trip was purchased as a rut hunt. When the Hurricane hit my hometown and destroyed my office, I contacted the outfitter and advised I could not make the trip. The outfitter Mark would not return my calls but his wife was gracious enough to have him do so. When he did return my call, he advised he would reschedule my hunt for the next year. I sincerely thanked him for being so gracious.
After not hearing back from him for several months, I contacted his wife again to have Mark the outfitter call me so I could schedule my trip several months in advance.
Mark did call me and advised me the upcoming rut was taken and I would have to hunt post rut. However, he said the rut had little to no effect on my chances of taking a trophy. He actually said that post rut can be a better time to bag a trophy. He also said he would be surprised if I did not tag out early. I thanked him and began my planning to come hunt with him and take the trophy he was sure I would take.
After a few calls and as time to leave approached, I spoke with the outfitter and inquired about adding a caribou tag. He said he had no caribou tags but suggested I add an additional moose tag. He suggested this as he felt I would tag out quickly. I then added an additional moose and a bear tag.
When I arrived in NF, I was advised by the outfitter when we spoke by phone, that he had located an available caribou tag. I told him I would purchase it. He advised me that due to the weather, his father would be in touch with all of the hunters at the hotel to advise when to meet to board the chopper to camp. After not hearing back from him for more than a day, my office contacted Mark and was told his father would be by later to speak with us.
Later the second day Mark's father did show up at hotel and was very pleasant. He advised the weather was too bad to fly and would not be back for at least 24 hours. The following late morning we we transported to the chopper and camp.
Upon arrival we met the previous four hunters. All four had taken very small bills all of which were two years old. I thought that was strange as the camp was closed with no hunting for the previous two years. All of the hunters told me to shoot the first thing I saw as they had seen no moose other than what was shot.
I spent the first three days searching for even a sight of a moose. Not one to be seen. We then ran out of water and the outfitter would not bring water despite the camp continuously asking.
The next day as Mark wrote, we did get water from the outfitter.
Each day of the hunt, I went to the same spot to glass all day long without seeing anything but caribou. There was one exception where on an afternoon hunt of about 3 hours, the guide walked me to the same spot Mark and "J" had hunted every time. I had a monster stag caribou come within 6 yards but was told I could not shoot as my caribou tag was not valid for that area.
The last day of the hunt, I was taken back to the same place I had hunted on all the other days. However this time we walked about 2 miles further. The guide spotted a bedded down two year old bull. I was very hesitant to shoot him as I do not like to harvest immature animals but was told by the guide, I should shoot as I might not see another bull. I shot the small bull and the guide did an awesome job of dressing the animal.
As this was the last day of our hunt, I was not able to attempt to fill my second tag, bear or caribou. While I was able to sit on top of the hill as the guide dressed the bull, I hardly call that hunting for a second bull.
At the close if the trip, we were required to leave our bags as we we told the chopper could not carry them. The helicopter was identical to the one that took us to camp. To date, I still do not have my bag.
I immediately began trying to reach the outfitter to inquire if I still had to pay for the extra moose hunt as I did not get to hunt. I left him a VM and a text and asked him to come to the hotel as he had several clients there that were upset and needed to speak with him. He wrote me back and said he was too busy to meet and that he has no control over the weather.
He then told me he had charged me for both moose hunts but not for bear nor caribou. I tried to explain I did not get to hunt two moose but he said he did not care.
The guides and the cook at the camp were awesome. The food was good and I truly believe the guides were told to hunt us where we were while knowing there were no moose there. As employees, I think they had no choice.
I have hunted my whole life and had more than my share of failed hunts, however I have never been a victim of what I believe to be a "bait and switch".
I recommend to all my hunting brethren out there, do not fall to the 100% success rate listed on Ironbound Outfitters website as it simply is not true.
By the way, I have yet to even meet the outfitter that took my, Mark's and "J" money. Very displeased
 

V.Veritas

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From CBC:

“The government announced Tuesday that 2,470 fewer licences will be awarded to resident hunters in 2018, largely because of concerns raised by outfitters and hunters.

Barry Fordham, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Hunters and Anglers, calls it "a good start," but not enough.

We are predicting we only have about five years left before this moose hunt is shut down.- Barry Fordham

Fordham said about 30,000 licences are still being issued and with a 60 per cent success rate, the moose population can't sustain that kind of pressure.

"We are predicting we only have about five years left before this moose hunt is shut down as we know it."

Barry Fordham, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Hunters and Anglers, says fewer moose calves are being born across North America.

"I guess something is better than nothing, but by and large the amount they've reduced it by is very minimal," said Dwight Blackwood, editor of Newfoundland Sportsman magazine. He thinks the number should have been reduced by 10,000.

"We don't want the moose population to become extinct, and if this trend continues it will become extinct."
 

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That is a sign not to buy a Moose hunt.
 

George Keys

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That is a sign not to buy a Moose hunt.
Agreed and this information should have been provided by Ironbound Outfitters instead of saying " we are overloaded with really big bills and you should buy two tags". I am all for conservation. If the animals are indeed in trouble, make the required changes to the volume taken. Not ignore what was clearly known in Newfoundland as being a shortage of moose in favor of self serving revenue.
 

markferrigno

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Agreed and this information should have been provided by Ironbound Outfitters instead of saying " we are overloaded with really big bills and you should buy two tags". I am all for conservation. If the animals are indeed in trouble, make the required changes to the volume taken. Not ignore what was clearly known in Newfoundland as being a shortage of moose in favor of self serving revenue.
Well said George
 

BRICKBURN

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........... Not ignore what was clearly known in Newfoundland as being a shortage of moose in favor of self serving revenue.

Stewards of the land! :sick:
 

Andy S

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Thank you for posting your experience in Newfoundland.
I went in 2015 and saw a total of six cows. At the beginning of the hunt our guide told the outfitter he didn't know where to find 2 bulls and the owner's response was "surely you can find 2 bulls on a 200k acres. At the end of the hunt the outfitter marked me down on the survey as seeing 11 moose, I informed him that 4 were the same 2 cows in the exact same spot but he told me that I was wrong. My buddy saw only one little bull at 500 yds that they tried to talk him into shooting but he wasn't comfortable taking the shot with a 30-06. They counted him as a successful hunter. We were thinking about going back to Newfoundland with a different outfitter but after reading this I think we will just plan on Africa.
 

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Was this with the same Outfitter?
 

markferrigno

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Thank you for posting your experience in Newfoundland.
I went in 2015 and saw a total of six cows. At the beginning of the hunt our guide told the outfitter he didn't know where to find 2 bulls and the owner's response was "surely you can find 2 bulls on a 200k acres. At the end of the hunt the outfitter marked me down on the survey as seeing 11 moose, I informed him that 4 were the same 2 cows in the exact same spot but he told me that I was wrong. My buddy saw only one little bull at 500 yds that they tried to talk him into shooting but he wasn't comfortable taking the shot with a 30-06. They counted him as a successful hunter. We were thinking about going back to Newfoundland with a different outfitter but after reading this I think we will just plan on Africa.

For the money, you are correct, just stick with Africa..........Seems the entire area is over-hunted
 

enysse

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Thanks for the hunt report! I have heard a lot of varying reports on Newfoundland hunting. When I see people marketing Woodland Caribou hunts for $11000, I vomit inside a little.....it seems in the last 20 years North America is good at marketing or overexaggerating the quality of hunts and number of animals to hunt.
 

Daveboone

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That is really sad you and the rest of your party had that experience. Don't think all outfitters in Newfie work that way. This year my friends and I returned to the Northern Peninsula with Patey and Sons for our 2nd hunt with them, and will happily return for another. It is tough for me to say anything about them without sounding like I am on their payroll....
Incredibly well organized, easy to communicate with, great hosts...and each time we saw plenty of moose, even if for different reasons each time the weather was somewhat against us. The first trip we were chased in by a coastal storm that washed us out our first day, and knowing the backside was returning after two good days out, we opted to shoot the first palmated bulls we saw.
This year we (three of us) combated much warmer weather than was typical, keeping the moose bedded down much of the time, but we still were successful with three moose-two bulls and a cow. The cow was my doing. I passed on a small bull the first day after we kicked out a monster bull, which disappeared like a will o the wisp. I had a horrible time with plantar fasciitis which crippled me up badly after that, but the guides still got me out in my crippled state, and I was very content to take a big cow eventually.
 

Daveboone

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oops, sent my message a bit too soon...
2018 was the last year for any caribou...the heard has catastrophically collapsed, and the season is closed for an undefined time. We saw them on a daily basis, which was an added thrill. Patey makes it known that bear is more a target of opportunity for them. One of my hunting partners took one, and I could have taken a doozy of one but we were stalking my moose at the time (I have taken a number of bear before, so it wasn't a priority).
The guides told us moose numbers were down from the previous high population levels, but they still have ALOT of moose, and I wont hesitate to go again if I can afford to...but my next hunt is scheduled for South AFrica, so those funds are commited!
 

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Recently talked to two guys back from Newfoundland. They paid $5000 for a five day hunt and one shot a cow on the last day and the other an immature bull. From theirs and other experiences posted here and on other online sites, from this chair, greed on both sides, government and outfitters, is sucking that place dry. Unfortunately, the same thing is happening in the western U.S. too.

Africa, biggest hunting bargain on the planet.
 

WAB

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Alaska unguided drop hunts are still an excellent way to go for moose if you do your homework and are comfortable in the wilderness.
 

JakeH

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Alaska unguided drop hunts are still an excellent way to go for moose if you do your homework and are comfortable in the wilderness.

Was running some numbers on this the other day. Potential to be mighty affordable too, all things considered. Definitely takes some planning, but it can be done.

Gotta love public land hunts.
 

WAB

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Do your homework o. The flight operator and the hunting area.
 

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