What you need to know about caribou hunting in Québec…
There are several caribou ecotypes in Québec. The woodland caribou has many small non-hunted populations. This ecotype lives further south, mainly in the boreal forest, and enjoys a protected status, with the special protection measures that implies.
Migratory caribou live in the subarctic forest and tundra. They are split into two populations: the George River herd (GRH) and the Leaf River herd (LRH).
The GRH has declined significantly in the last five years. This herd is managed jointly by the authorities of Newfoundland/Labrador and Québec, since its territory is split between the two provincial jurisdictions, at the northeast border of Québec (Hunting Zone 23 East). Several factors have been affecting this herd and still affect it today, including low recruitment. Sport hunting of the GRH was closed on Québec territory from 2012. There is currently no evidence that it can be opened again in the short term, since the population’s numbers remain below the threshold of sustainable harvest.
The LRH is the largest herd in North America. It occupies a vast territory in northwest Québec and is therefore essentially managed by the province’s authorities. An extensive inventory conducted in 2011 estimated the herd’s size to 430,000 individuals, which is more than enough to support sport hunting. The most recent available data suggests that the animals are in excellent physical condition, that recruitment remains stable with 33 calves per 100 females, and that the proportion of adult males in the population is on the rise.
Members of the Québec Outfitters Federation can confirm this information—they had an excellent 2013–2014 season, both in fall and winter. The harvested animals were in excellent physical condition, and hunting success rate was among the highest in recent years. In short, hunting conditions were excellent, and this favourable situation should continue in 2014–2015.
Biological data collected in 2013 indicates that the LRH has been relatively stable demographically in the last four years or so. Given this very positive report, the Québec government announced on February 6, 2014, that hunters will be allowed to harvest two (2) caribou each during the 2014–2015 seasons.
Outfitters and packages
The list of accredited outfitters offering caribou hunting that are members of the Québec Outfitters Federation is as follows:
|Lac Perdu Outfitters|
|Leaf River Lodge||View package|
|Mirage Outfitter||View package|
|Delay River Outfitters||View package|
|Pourvoirie Cargair ltée|
|Jack Hume Adventures||View package|
|Rapid Lake Lodge inc.|
|Pourvoirie Radisson LG2|