Caribou or Caribooooed!

Today’s blog comes from one of our country’s most recognized wildlife biologists/outdoor writers/television show host of Trailing the Hunter’s Moon , Larry Weishuhn.  Although universally known as “Mr. Whitetail”, Larry trails the “Hunter’s Moon” throughout the world in search of big game hunting adventures. Tune in for this weeks episode of Trailing the Hunter’s Moon Saturdays at 9:30 AM ET.

Preparation comes in many forms and ways!  It could mean making certain there are no holes in your hip waders, being sure you have an extra bottle of water, or a sufficient amount of insect repellent, or bringing a fish rig and hooks or lures on a hunting trip.  It could also mean being mentally prepared for unexpected adventures, or even extremely slow times in hunting camp, to having a book to read when weather “socks you in”, and throughout maintaining a good attitude.

A beautiful view of camp

A beautiful view of camp.

Those and many other “preparations” apply when hunting the regally bedecked, nomadic tundra dwellers of the Far North. When hunting Quebec Labrador caribou on the tundra in the far northern reaches of Quebec you are greatly dependent upon the migration.  If you are in the right place at the right time you will likely be “covered up” with caribou, but if you are not where the caribou are moving or migrating, you could spend many hours doing nothing but glassing distant truly barren hills hoping for caribou to show up and swatting mosquitoes and black flies.

So what do you do when migratory caribou hang up in an area that is miles from where you are camped and hunting?

Most of the time caribou camps are set up along traditional trails.  But during the last few years caribou have changed their normal travel routes, possibly because there really is very little to eat along those old routes.  So the major migrations have moved over a few miles, often a long way from existing camps.  This can be frustrating.

A young caribou crossing the lake.

A young caribou crossing the lake.

Such was the case on our Leaf River caribou hunt (which airs this week).  According to pilots flying through the area the major herds, containing hundreds if not thousands of bulls were hung up about 10 to 15 miles from where we hunted, and, there was no way to go to them.  It were too many lakes and streams to walk to the herds, and, and the lakes in the area were too small to land a floatplane.

What to do?  We did not give up, and continued hunting all day long, glassing for hours and walking many miles in search of caribou.  In the long run because of our efforts and not giving up all in our party took at least one caribou bull.  Some in our group also spent time fishing as well and caught some impressive salmon and trout.  We had the right equipment, and the right attitude.

Our hunt was one where preparation and perseverance paid off handsomely!