CANADA: Quebec Caribou Hunt With Leaf River Lodge

gebo824

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This trip report is for a hunt I just completed for a Quebec Caribou with Leaf River Lodge. This was booked through Worldwide Trophy Adventures (Cabela’s), getting in on a cancellation. I have the various caribou species on the bucket list & had originally thought I’d do the Barren Ground or Mountain caribou first, but since Quebec closed hunting of the Quebec-Labrador species as of next year, this moved to the forefront. The opening I got in on was early in the season & I was concerned that I might not have much success, so had contented myself that any representative caribou would be good enough. I have also never hunted in Canada nor hunted caribou. Thus, I created a thread on this website called “Quebec Caribou Tips?” to gather information from the experienced hunters participating & contributing to this website. I received valuable suggestions & recommendations, which contributed greatly to my success. Thanks to all for the help!!!

Gear: I took my Savage 116 Bear Hunter in 300 Win Mag. I brought this mainly because I had the 4457 form for it from a prior Namibia hunt (separate trip report to come). I bought the Cabela's MT050 gore-tex bibs & jacket in the O2 Octane pattern, which worked great. I also bought the Cabela's Instinct stalking pants in the same pattern, that are water repellent & were awesome, loved these pants!!! I only wore the bibs the day I fished & the Instinct pants kept me dry in the scattered rains experienced. I’m a bit conditioned to the cold after living 7 years in Laramie, WY (now 4yrs in Denver, CO) & tend to overheat fast when hiking. So, I didn’t mind the cold boat rides as I did fine with the Instinct pants & thin long johns. Someone from southern climates might want to wear the bids, at least on the boat rides. I also wore the Under Armour Cold Gear mock shirts, which worked great & the mock turtle neck keep the black flies from crawling down my shirt. On top of the cold gear mock, I just wore thin Under Armour henley shirts (black & green). My old Danner hunting boots are so worn the waterproofing is gone. So I bought some Cabela's brand rubber boots, which were very comfortable but slipped on the heel & didn’t give any ankle support. I should have got a half size smaller but anticipated wearing thick socks (which weren’t really needed during my hunt). I was glad to have the rubber boots for on/off the boat, muddy swamps, & creeks crossed while stalking, but weren’t friendly for long hikes on rocky ground. Good water proof hunting boots probably would have worked fine, but would have to be a little careful where stepping. I did get blisters on the ~3 mile hike with my trophy rack due to heel slipping. I also bought a Browning waterproof duffle bag, which did well keeping my stuff dry as bags did get exposed to rain during multiple transfers on planes. I wish it had wheels though, as 44lbs of it & a Pelican rifle case made for a sweaty trek through the airport on initial departure. I later rigged up some paracord to strap it on the rifle case for easier pulling & that worked well. I took some DEET spray & also some Natrapel wipes. The black flies did get bad at times when the wind was calm, worse at camp, but mostly an annoyance. The wipes worked good, & only used the spray when fishing or the one calm day. I do have some itchy bites on my arms.

Travel To Camp: Since booking through WTA, I used their travel agency. Lenore set me up with flights from Denver to Montreal & booked me at the Crown Plaza. Leaf River has a great setup where they have a representative at the Crown Plaza to meet you when arriving. They have a trailer in the parking lot in the back where they weighed & stored the checked bags & rifle/bow cases. I thought this a good idea, as the charter flight from Montreal to Lac Pau left at 6am & gathering the large baggage in the trailer the night before expedited loading the bus at about 4am to take us all to the airport that Nolinor (charter) flys from. I believe there were 31 people on this initial flight. This charter was included in the price (as well as the float planes) & we flew up on a 737 to Lac Pau for a ~2.5hr flight. At Lac Pau, we were separated into groups of 6 or so for the float plane rides to camps. They bused us to the Riviere Aux Feuilles (Leaf River) or so called the “hotel” near the bank of the reservoir. The “hotel” had several trailers full of rooms with two twin beds to stay at if weather prevented float plane flights. The luggage for each group was placed on bins & weighed for the float planes. We were having scattered rain on arrival, so we had to hang out for a 3-4 hours. The float planes must fly by visual, so fog or low clouds are a problem. They fed us soup & sandwiches for lunch. We were starting to get concerned we might not make it out, but then they said “Let’s try it”. I was in the first group, so we scrambled on the float plane & took off. I watched the altimeter off & on from my front seat & never saw higher than ~2800ft. We luckily made it to the Leaf River lodge, & following flights trailed behind waiting on reports from our pilot if safe to take off/continue. This flight was another ~2.5hrs. This was my first float plane ride, so was a unique & exciting experience for me.

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Arrival at Camp: We sat down on the Leaf River & maneuvered to the dock. The prior group at camp commented that they were “very glad to see us”, as they would have been delayed if we couldn’t make it & must have been prepped of the possibility. We met with Louis & his crew, decided which cabins we were to stay at, & settled in. Louis gave us a briefing & went over rules of the camp/hunt. The hunting areas are divided into “zones”, of which each guide draws for placement. The meals at camp were great & were classic comfort food type meals, with wine at dinners. We were 2x1, so since I was solo, I grouped up with Derrick from Newfoundland & Sean was our guide. I bunked with Serge from Quebec who was solo & there to fish only. Serge barely spoke English, so didn’t have many conversations, but he was a very good fellow & also a Rapala pro staffer. There were a couple guys from Quebec with the French-Canadian hunting show Chasse Maniac, who were great fun. There were also several “Super Slammers” who have much hunting experience & I constantly picked their brains on which outfitters to go with on future hunts around the world. One very cool experience was to see the Northern Lights for the first time! The first couple nights were clear, so saw them well. The Northern Lights photos below were taken by the Chasse Manic guys with their expensive cameras, of which they gladly gave me copies. I only show a couple photos here, but they setup one camera to take time lapse photos & captured a shooting star going through the frames!

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The Hunt: We had breakfast at 7am, then took off in the boats up/down river to the respective zones. While the weather was rather warm for the location, the boat rides were chilly. The river was very low & the guide had to be careful to maneuver around rocks. I heard that they would typically go 40miles up river to hunt, but with the low river we were limited on range to maybe 15-20miles. Thus, the boat rides to the far zones took almost 2 hrs dodging rocks & would have been much longer if not limited on range! There are some rapids beyond where we could travel, so didn’t get to experience that but heard they were very exciting.

The first day had scattered light rain. We went to one of the far zones (10) & saw small groups of caribou, all heading North. We were too early for the migration & presumed these small groups were heading back North for cooler weather. We spotted one really nice bull with cows & tried to head him off before crossing the river past our limited boat range. We didn’t get there in time & only got glimpses at ~400yds. I sat down & would have tried the shot if I had a couple seconds to spot & aim. Later we climbed a hill by a lake (lakes are everywhere here). We spotted a decent bull & Derrick had first crack, but missed. Then another group of 3 bulls came around the lake & were heading straight toward us. One had really tall & wide antlers, but not much on top (like hockey sticks). I passed since the first day & was thinking chances were good for the week since seeing some the first day. Derrick passed on the hockey stick bull & picked out another that was decent, whacking him as they walked almost on top of us. After a few days & looking at Derrick’s antlers in camp, it looked better & better as it was a nice bull. As said before, I’ve never caribou hunted & had heard that caribou were the worst for “ground shrink”, so told Sean I wanted to start off after a really nice one & lower standards as the days go by. In our group of 17 hunters, 6 tagged out that first day (only allowed one bull this year).

The second day started off frosty, but warmed up with wind. We only saw a few cows at a distance. Then Sean & I took a 6.2 mile roundtrip hike, seeing only one young bull with a cow (it did have double shovels growing, so will be a great one some day). During this hike, Sean introduced me to "ground" blueberries which were tasty & munched on quite a few. When back at camp, I heard no one else had any luck & some saw none, so all got skunked. I was beginning to fret about passing on those bulls the first day.

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The third day was like the second, in that it was fairly warm & not seeing anything. We were in the third different zone & I was wishing Sean would have got us back in zone 10. We climbed a hill to sit & glass, which was the hunting method with nothing swimming the river. There was nothing to be seen for a while. Sean spotted a couple bulls about 5 miles away, but I could never find them. After a bit, Sean said lets hike in that direction to see if we can find them again. My fretting was getting worse by this time & wasn’t looking forward to another “nature hike” on rocky ground in rubber boots. I have a gimpy knee, so had to walk slowly to avoid tweaking it & then be hobble for a day or two. Sean had to wait on me, but we finally made another good hill to glass on after a few miles. We sat down & starting glassing, seeing nothing. Then all of a sudden the hand radio went off from the guide in the next zone. His hunter had a spotting scope & they located two bulls in our zone on the opposite side of a ridge we had been glassing. They said there was a nice one! We left the packs & hiked quickly over to that ridge. As we crept up the side, we suddenly saw antlers. They were nice! Adrenaline kicked in! We could tell they were bedded in the wind (probably to escape the black flies) & we started to circle around into the wind. As we got closer to the top, they stood & appeared to be going down the other side. At that time we sped up to the top. I saw them, the nice rack, but that they were about to drop down a ledge. I didn’t have a great shot with them going away, but didn’t want him to get away & tried a raking shot at what ribs I could see. This happened fast & shot freehand standing. This resulted in a shot in the ass! The 300 WM penetrated deeply & he humped. He was still facing away so the followup shot didn’t get enough vitals. The recent African hunt kicked in my mind where the PH would yell “hit him again” until he’s down. So I quickly found a rock to squat on & he fortunately turned so I could put the final one through the pumper. This time he went down. Sean was ecstatic, jumping up & down. I was so relieved that I wasn’t going to get skunked, that I was sending up prayers of thanks that I just got an opportunity. Then it sunk in deeper as we walked up to it that it was a nice one, much better than I had expected & would have been content with.

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Sean went back for our packs, as we didn’t even have a knife between us. So I took photos & sat down leaning back on it in a surreal moment for me. I didn’t grow up hunting as my dad never did nor took me anywhere outdoors. I didn’t start this trophy hunting thing until almost 50 yrs old & now at 54, so will be the first to say I’m not a great hunter & had more raghorns than trophies until the last trip to Namibia. Thus, to get a nice bull like this makes me feel very blessed & grateful! Sean finally made the trek back with our gear & we got to work. He did the caping while I took out the backstraps. We removed the quarters & deboned them. I lost half of a hind quarter to the ass shot & part of a front quarter to the second shot, but still had ~50lbs of meat. Now the long hike back with rack, pack, & rifle! I forgot to look at the GPS when I finally made it back to the boat, but it was 3+ miles one way up & down hills, rocky ground, & muddy/swampy sections. I’m in much better shape than a few years ago when starting my trophy hunting quest, but not sheep shape. But holding on to those antlers on my shoulder made it well worth the effort & the blisters screaming on my heels!

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gebo824

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Continued: I took the day off on the fourth day. I doctored the blisters & relaxed the sore muscles, but wished I had gone fishing like the others who had tagged out. The third day brought success for a few more hunters, but some still didn’t see anything. At the start of the fourth day, 5 of 17 hunters were still looking to fill their tag. I didn’t bring any fishing gear as I couldn’t fit it in my bag. I should have made room for it. The fishing was awesome, with some monster lake trout, brookies, & salmon seen brought in. The black flies were a pain at camp that day. So I went fishing on the 5th day. I believe 3 guys got their caribou on the fourth & fifth days, but 2 were still void & hunting was lean. One hunter with a bow had a nice ‘bou jump the string, spin at the last second, & his arrow glance off its hind quarter to double lung a dink standing behind it. My prayers of thanks continued as I heard reports from others with limited opportunities & the glancing shot in a dink. I went fishing the 5th day with Derrick & Sean, which we boated for a looong way to zone 1 about 2hrs away. Since I didn’t bring fishing gear, Sean brought me the “Mickey Mouse” rod & reel (cheapo Zebco setup) that was all that was available! Sean knew a good spot to troll & it was good. I caught 9 in about 2hrs, Mickey Mouse worked just fine, & Derrick caught more. Sean had his lucky fishing hat on (see photo)! We kept some smallish trout & had a “shore lunch”. We had taken some of my caribou meat as well & that couldn’t have been a better, tastier lunch than I’ve ever had! Especially considering the fish & caribou was freshly harvested, cooked on a fire by the river, & in a uniquely beautiful country for me. I had a lot of incredibly awesome “firsts” on this trip, that I will talk about the rest of my life!

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Travel from Camp: A front had moved in the evening of our fifth day. Cloudy, rainy, & all were concerned about getting out. The remaining two guys went out early on the sixth (extra) day to try to fill their tag, since we knew the float planes would arrive late if at all. Sure enough those guys had success & all tagged out! Again my prayers of thanks went up that I wasn’t one of those guys on a desperate last attempt. Unfortunately, the float planes had to turn around part way from Lac Pau. That was a frantic day, as the internet (satellite) didn’t work for crap due to dense clouds & everyone else trying to get on it to rearrange flights. None of my later emails got out during that day to Lenore to help rearrange flights. I sure wished I had a SAT phone & was going to borrow one from another hunter the next day, but finally got an email back & forth late that day & next morning. We unpacked & camped an extra night. Weather the next day wasn’t’ any better. We packed again to only unpack once more as the float planes couldn’t make it through again. I luckily got an email to Lenore to cancel my flight & I followed her suggestion to just wait until I got to Montreal to make get another flight. Late that afternoon a float plane with supplies made it to camp, but the pilot said he would have never flown passengers in that soup & his hindside was puckered most of the trip.

A chartered wheeled plane (chartered by other hunters coming in) arrived late morning on the sixth day. This plane flew from/to an airport in Kuujjuaq. Louis said there were 5 seats available on a plane (Inuit airlines??) from Kuujjuaq to Montreal at 2pm but was $1200 a seat. I didn’t get in line fast enough to be those 5, plus wasn’t excited about spending that much on top of the $600 it was already going to cost me to get a different flight from Montreal to Denver. There was another flight at ~8pm but it was $2200 a seat, & one guy took that as he had to get back. I passed on that one, figuring I’d get home eventually & didn’t have to be at worked until the next Monday. The reason for the high price was that, so I understood from conversations, was the Inuit or operator could charge what they want, even though supposedly the government had already paid for all those seats for potential medical transfers. So, 6 of the 18 left on the sixth day.

On the seventh day, weather was a bit better but not great. We now had several new hunters in camp from the special charter & several guys had to bunk in the “saloon”. I was in the cabins near the shore, so it was decided we would take the first plane (supply plane sitting there) so we could free up the cabins for the new guys. The other 6 were in the bunkhouse up the hill & that space wasn’t needed yet. After two extra days in camp, it was starting to feel like home & was even saying to Pauline in the kitchen “Hi honey I’m home” when going back in there for more coffee after the next delayed flight & unpacking yet again. We waited for a few hours that seventh morning watching the clouds & inquiring on aviation reports giving the “ceiling”. The pilot finally said “let’s try it” (heard that before) & the first 6 of us took off like a jailbreak! We flew low (~1600ft) for a while & every cloudy/foggy section flown into gave fear we’d turn around. It cleared a bit to climb to ~3000ft & began thinking we’d make it. But on the plateau the low clouds were thick & the pilot began to try to maneuver around, with no luck. We were about half way & the pilot knew of another that had sat down at a remote camp on a lake. We sat down there to wait it out. These were rough cabins that were said to be used by Jack Hume. The other pilot & his wife were waiting it out there so they could continue their supply run. It was about an hour wait & finally saw a bit of blue sky. We waited until that blue sky section went to the horizon where we were headed & then we “tried it again”. We made it to Lac Pau without further difficulty. The other 6 had to wait for the plane to travel from Lac Pau to Leaf River to get them & then back to Lac Pau. The big charter wouldn’t fly unless all were there, so we now began to fear a night’s stay at the “hotel”. The other planes had taken off shortly after we left the remote lake, so we were constantly asking if they made it all the way. They did, so now we pestered them for details on the return flight. After more soup & sandwiches plus a nap in a vacant room, I finally heard they had made past mid way (the worst part for weather) & was going to make it the rest of the way. Hooray! I borrowed a phone & contacted Lenore to setup hotel & a return flight. We had a turboprop plane for the ride back to Montreal. At the “hotel” were the group from the other camp who had been waiting on us for 3 nights there! I thought I was relieved, but they were ecstatic to finally be leaving.

Upon arrival in Montreal, we were bused back to the Crown Plaza. The meat processor & Taxidermist Pierre Gevry were there waiting in the back parking lot for us as promised. I had left an envelope of extra cash at home (originally thinking I lost it in transit!) so had to raid the ATM twice as neither took credit card. I decided to let Pierre do my taxidermy. He looked at my antlers & said he could save the velvet. I had heard from others at camp that the injection wasn’t worth the trouble & shouldn’t strip the velvet on “green” antlers, so was anticipating having the “spray on” velvet done. I’ll trust Pierre on this & if any trouble will ask for the spray on. I had obtained my SCI measurer certification a while back, so measured my rack during the off day. It scored 360 3/8”. SCI requires a 2% reduction for velvet, so that worked out to 353 1/8” which is a solid silver medal. Again, I couldn’t be happier with this ‘bou & the hunt as a whole, even the delays.

Closing Comments: Quebec has closed hunting of Quebec-Labrador caribou indefinitely as of next year. This is really too bad for Louis & Leaf River, plus the remaining outfitters. I heard they tried to have a conference call with the government, to only be hung up on! The hunters take 1% or less of even the remaining herd, so closing hunting is not going to make a real difference. I heard the Inuits take upwards of 10,000 a year. This is all hearsay on my behalf, & I haven’t research all the facts. Louis said they will try to get 100+ tags from the government/Inuits to keep the operation alive. After experiencing this, I can see that it is an expensive operation, given that you can’t truck or even boat (with the river low) supplies & gear to/from camp. If they have to shut down, then a lot of stuff will just be abandoned in place. I originally thought the price I paid was rather high for one animal, but now think it was maybe even low given the included charter flights & staff involved throughout to make it work with all the logistics challenges. If they are successful in getting tags to continue operation, it will likely cost much more than what I paid. It was a great trip, one I would highly recommend if it can continue, & definitely a trip of a lifetime for me!
 
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Pheroze

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Fantastic report! What a great adventure, and I am very glad it worked out for you.
 

enysse

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Congrats! Half the adventure is the flights in and out!
 

Brent in Az

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Great report. Sounds like a great adventure, topped off with a very nice bull.
 

gillettehunter

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Good looking caribou. Sounds like you made the right choice to pass early on. I'd say you you had a great adventure. Congrats Bruce
 

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Continued: I took the day off on the fourth day. I doctored the blisters & relaxed the sore muscles, but wished I had gone fishing like the others who had tagged out. The third day brought success for a few more hunters, but some still didn’t see anything. At the start of the fourth day, 5 of 17 hunters were still looking to fill their tag. I didn’t bring any fishing gear as I couldn’t fit it in my bag. I should have made room for it. The fishing was awesome, with some monster lake trout, brookies, & salmon seen brought in. The black flies were a pain at camp that day. So I went fishing on the 5th day. I believe 3 guys got their caribou on the fourth & fifth days, but 2 were still void & hunting was lean. One hunter with a bow had a nice ‘bou jump the string, spin at the last second, & his arrow glance off its hind quarter to double lung a dink standing behind it. My prayers of thanks continued as I heard reports from others with limited opportunities & the glancing shot in a dink. I went fishing the 5th day with Derrick & Sean, which we boated for a looong way to zone 1 about 2hrs away. Since I didn’t bring fishing gear, Sean brought me the “Mickey Mouse” rod & reel (cheapo Zebco setup) that was all that was available! Sean knew a good spot to troll & it was good. I caught 9 in about 2hrs, Mickey Mouse worked just fine, & Derrick caught more. Sean had his lucky fishing hat on (see photo)! We kept some smallish trout & had a “shore lunch”. We had taken some of my caribou meat as well & that couldn’t have been a better, tastier lunch than I’ve ever had! Especially considering the fish & caribou was freshly harvested, cooked on a fire by the river, & in a uniquely beautiful country for me. I had a lot of incredibly awesome “firsts” on this trip, that I will talk about the rest of my life!

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Travel from Camp: A front had moved in the evening of our fifth day. Cloudy, rainy, & all were concerned about getting out. The remaining two guys went out early on the sixth (extra) day to try to fill their tag, since we knew the float planes would arrive late if at all. Sure enough those guys had success & all tagged out! Again my prayers of thanks went up that I wasn’t one of those guys on a desperate last attempt. Unfortunately, the float planes had to turn around part way from Lac Pau. That was a frantic day, as the internet (satellite) didn’t work for crap due to dense clouds & everyone else trying to get on it to rearrange flights. None of my later emails got out during that day to Lenore to help rearrange flights. I sure wished I had a SAT phone & was going to borrow one from another hunter the next day, but finally got an email back & forth late that day & next morning. We unpacked & camped an extra night. Weather the next day wasn’t’ any better. We packed again to only unpack once more as the float planes couldn’t make it through again. I luckily got an email to Lenore to cancel my flight & I followed her suggestion to just wait until I got to Montreal to make get another flight. Late that afternoon a float plane with supplies made it to camp, but the pilot said he would have never flown passengers in that soup & his hindside was puckered most of the trip.

A chartered wheeled plane (chartered by other hunters coming in) arrived late morning on the sixth day. This plane flew from/to an airport in Kuujjuaq. Louis said there were 5 seats available on a plane (Inuit airlines??) from Kuujjuaq to Montreal at 2pm but was $1200 a seat. I didn’t get in line fast enough to be those 5, plus wasn’t excited about spending that much on top of the $600 it was already going to cost me to get a different flight from Montreal to Denver. There was another flight at ~8pm but it was $2200 a seat, & one guy took that as he had to get back. I passed on that one, figuring I’d get home eventually & didn’t have to be at worked until the next Monday. The reason for the high price was that, so I understood from conversations, was the Inuit or operator could charge what they want, even though supposedly the government had already paid for all those seats for potential medical transfers. So, 6 of the 18 left on the sixth day.

On the seventh day, weather was a bit better but not great. We now had several new hunters in camp from the special charter & several guys had to bunk in the “saloon”. I was in the cabins near the shore, so it was decided we would take the first plane (supply plane sitting there) so we could free up the cabins for the new guys. The other 6 were in the bunkhouse up the hill & that space wasn’t needed yet. After two extra days in camp, it was starting to feel like home & was even saying to Pauline in the kitchen “Hi honey I’m home” when going back in there for more coffee after the next delayed flight & unpacking yet again. We waited for a few hours that seventh morning watching the clouds & inquiring on aviation reports giving the “ceiling”. The pilot finally said “let’s try it” (heard that before) & the first 6 of us took off like a jailbreak! We flew low (~1600ft) for a while & every cloudy/foggy section flown into gave fear we’d turn around. It cleared a bit to climb to ~3000ft & began thinking we’d make it. But on the plateau the low clouds were thick & the pilot began to try to maneuver around, with no luck. We were about half way & the pilot knew of another that had sat down at a remote camp on a lake. We sat down there to wait it out. These were rough cabins that were said to be used by Jack Hume. The other pilot & his wife were waiting it out there so they could continue their supply run. It was about an hour wait & finally saw a bit of blue sky. We waited until that blue sky section went to the horizon where we were headed & then we “tried it again”. We made it to Lac Pau without further difficulty. The other 6 had to wait for the plane to travel from Lac Pau to Leaf River to get them & then back to Lac Pau. The big charter wouldn’t fly unless all were there, so we now began to fear a night’s stay at the “hotel”. The other planes had taken off shortly after we left the remote lake, so we were constantly asking if they made it all the way. They did, so now we pestered them for details on the return flight. After more soup & sandwiches plus a nap in a vacant room, I finally heard they had made past mid way (the worst part for weather) & was going to make it the rest of the way. Hooray! I borrowed a phone & contacted Lenore to setup hotel & a return flight. We had a turboprop plane for the ride back to Montreal. At the “hotel” were the group from the other camp who had been waiting on us for 3 nights there! I thought I was relieved, but they were ecstatic to finally be leaving.

Upon arrival in Montreal, we were bused back to the Crown Plaza. The meat processor & Taxidermist Pierre Gevry were there waiting in the back parking lot for us as promised. I had left an envelope of extra cash at home (originally thinking I lost it in transit!) so had to raid the ATM twice as neither took credit card. I decided to let Pierre do my taxidermy. He looked at my antlers & said he could save the velvet. I had heard from others at camp that the injection wasn’t worth the trouble & shouldn’t strip the velvet on “green” antlers, so was anticipating having the “spray on” velvet done. I’ll trust Pierre on this & if any trouble will ask for the spray on. I had obtained my SCI measurer certification a while back, so measured my rack during the off day. It scored 360 3/8”. SCI requires a 2% reduction for velvet, so that worked out to 353 1/8” which is a solid silver medal. Again, I couldn’t be happier with this ‘bou & the hunt as a whole, even the delays.

Closing Comments: Quebec has closed hunting of Quebec-Labrador caribou indefinitely as of next year. This is really too bad for Louis & Leaf River, plus the remaining outfitters. I heard they tried to have a conference call with the government, to only be hung up on! The hunters take 1% or less of even the remaining herd, so closing hunting is not going to make a real difference. I heard the Inuits take upwards of 10,000 a year. This is all hearsay on my behalf, & I haven’t research all the facts. Louis said they will try to get 100+ tags from the government/Inuits to keep the operation alive. After experiencing this, I can see that it is an expensive operation, given that you can’t truck or even boat (with the river low) supplies & gear to/from camp. If they have to shut down, then a lot of stuff will just be abandoned in place. I originally thought the price I paid was rather high for one animal, but now think it was maybe even low given the included charter flights & staff involved throughout to make it work with all the logistics challenges. If they are successful in getting tags to continue operation, it will likely cost much more than what I paid. It was a great trip, one I would highly recommend if it can continue, & definitely a trip of a lifetime for me!

I should have added congratulations.
 

CAustin

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Congrats on your trophy sir!
 

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Congrats on the bull, what a nice one!!!
 

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Oh yeah and thanks for sharing all the other pics, what a view at night!!! Those lights are stunning!
 

Northman56751

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Great report!

I see on the way up you took the 737 equipped for landing on gravel.....if I recall correctly, there are not many places in the world have these type of aircraft! We took one on our Mtn. Caribou hunt up to Norman Wells NWT. Pretty impressive when you think about it!!

How were the bears?
See many, anyone take one?
 

BRICKBURN

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Glad you had a good hunt.
Nice trophy.
 

JES Adventures

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Congrats on a beautiful bull plus the added bonus of some great fish! What an awesome report, thanks @gebo824 for the details and great pictures. True adventures always have some "hair on them" so it looks like travelling to the great north of Quebec has its challenges.

BTW - I am off this Saturday to the same camp on the same hunt. This is what makes this forum so cool - I have been able to correspond with a fellow member and get real time info on the situation. Its always best to be mentally prepared for whatever comes your way and @gebo824 really helped me out with some valuable insight.

Glad to hear you and the meat got home in good shape! I'll be posting a report in a week or so.
 

gebo824

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Yep, that 737 landed on gravel at Lac Pau. No runway lights, so had to take off or land during daylight. Fairly rapid deceleration when we landed, I guess due to the short runway.

I saw NO bears & don't think anyone else did either. I recall seeing only one scat. A few bought bear tags just in case or added them if they tagged out early on caribou so they could keep "hunting" with their partner.

here's a pic of the remote lake we landed on, on the jailbreak flight out. We were needing to go in the direction toward the upper right of this photo. Note the little patch of blue sky, which we waited about an hour for that to move to the horizon in the direction needed.
upload_2017-9-11_19-41-55.jpeg


another pic from that lake showing the low clouds. I was amazed that a place with such low altitude had such low clouds, but the humidity was really high.
upload_2017-9-11_19-47-28.jpeg


here's the turboprop (?) we took back to Montreal
upload_2017-9-11_19-53-27.jpeg


here's the setup behind the Crown Plaza where they stored luggage initially & where we met the meat processor & taxidermist on the return.
upload_2017-9-11_19-50-48.jpeg
 

JES Adventures

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Yep, that 737 landed on gravel at Lac Pau. No runway lights, so had to take off or land during daylight. Fairly rapid deceleration when we landed, I guess due to the short runway.

I saw NO bears & don't think anyone else did either. I recall seeing only one scat. A few bought bear tags just in case or added them if they tagged out early on caribou so they could keep "hunting" with their partner.

here's a pic of the remote lake we landed on, on the jailbreak flight out. We were needing to go in the direction toward the upper right of this photo. Note the little patch of blue sky, which we waited about an hour for that to move to the horizon in the direction needed.
View attachment 202255

another pic from that lake showing the low clouds. I was amazed that a place with such low altitude had such low clouds, but the humidity was really high.
View attachment 202256

here's the turboprop (?) we took back to Montreal
View attachment 202258

here's the setup behind the Crown Plaza where they stored luggage initially & where we met the meat processor & taxidermist on the return.
View attachment 202257
Glad to hear about the high humidity, my cigars should stay fresh!
 

Northman56751

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Forgot to ask.....wish you would have had a spotting scope with?

I have a freind up there right now hunting. He just flew in today.....with no delays!!!

He said they met the group that was coming out and they stated that the caribou were still a little scarce, but the groups they saw had good bulls.....took some real good ones I guess.
 

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A spotting scope would be real handy with them being scarce. I was having a hard time focusing my 10x42 binos at long range due to the thermals or apparent heat waves. I didn't experience it, but assume during the migration you would not be far from the boat & tracking them swimming, waiting for the "shake" when they first get out & not need a spotting scope.

JES might be timing it just right if they were still scarce.
 

AZDAVE

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Great report liked the weather descriptions:) Float planes are a blast. Congratz on a nice Bull!
 

Lee M

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Nice report and pictures. Certainly a great experience and adventure that you will remember. Congrats!
 

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