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hugonian1

Newfoundland Moose/ Caribou Hunt

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I am leaving this afternoon on a Newfoundland Canada moose & woodland caribou hunt.

Been planning for nearly a year.

Hard to believe the time has come.

I really enjoy the anticipation, planning, & preparation.

Hope to have some nice pics to post and story to tell when we get back.

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Well, been back for a week and just catching my breath.

Have not been off the grid for some time.

Amazing how things pile up after being gone for 9 days.

Had a great trip to Newfoundland.

It is an amazing place.

I was going with my buddy Tim.

We were going to a remote fly in camp.

There would be 4 hunters in camp with 4 guides and a camp cook.

We had both moose and woodland caribou tags.

It is my understanding this is the only place you can hunt woodland caribou.

We did not have high expectations for the caribou as they are not as prevalent as they once were. Our focus was bull moose.

We left on Saturday flying to Toronto, went thru customs, and then flew on to Deer Lake Newfoundland arriving at 1:00 Sunday morning.

The plan was to catch a few hours of sleep at a motel and fly into camp Sunday morning.

We were greeted by high winds and rain.

Things were not looking good on Sunday.

Found out the area was getting pounded by the tail end of a hurricane.

Not good conditions for a float plane.

We hung around the motel Sunday keeping in contact with the Outfitter.

We reserved rooms for another night and settled in to watch some football.

About 2:00 we got a call from the Outfitter saying to be in the parking lot in 10 minutes.

They felt they had a window of opportuinity if we drove about an hour closer to the west coast where the plane would meet us. I was a little nervous to say the least but off we went.

We got loaded into the Dehavilland Beaver and had a surprisingly smooth 45 minute flight into camp.

We got unloaded and settled in.

There is no hunting allowed on Sunday which is a little interesting.

Here are a few pictures on the camp we would call home for a week.

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The rain quit long enough for us to make sure our rifles were still sighted in.

The weather really started to get worse.

Heavy rain and high winds.

Woke up Monday to the same weather.

This lasted all day into Monday night.

We were locked down in the cabin as hunting was not an option.

Monday was a long day with being completely off the grid and hunkered down in the small cabin. With all the planning and anticipation this was not on the radar screen.

Went to bed Monday night not knowing what the morning was going to bring as it was still storming.

More to come!

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all these stories are really a nice treat! thanks to all that share their adventures!!

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Finally getting a little computer time in.

I am clearly not the author that some on this site are but will do my best. smile

Woke up early Tuesday morning to more wind and rain.

It had let up quite a bit though.

We had a good breakfast, got dressed, and off we went.

Finally the hunt began.

The camp was set up with 2 Argo's and 2 boats to get back into the general areas we were going to hunt.

They have a 100 square mile area dedicated to them so there is no shortage of good land to hunt.

Here are a couple of pictures of our modes of transpertation.

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Along with my guide, Warren, we took an Argo back 3 or 4 miles out from camp.

Then we went off on foot to spot & stalk the mountainsides for moose.

The week before they said the moose were really starting to rut and come out of the thick black spruce forests so the anticipation was high.

We still had a persistant wind driven rain.

Right away we spotted a nice bull about a mile away on the mountainside woodline.

We worked out way downwind of him, got up to the elevation he was at, and worked our way along the ridge.

The walking was tough with bog, swamp, water, water, and more water, thick "tanglefoot", and elevation changes. Oh, and did I say water!

As we came to the area we spotted the moose we eased over a ridge only to find nobody home. He must of slipped back into the spruce. We did find his fresh bed and the trail he took out.

Still a very exciting way to start the day/ hunt after being stuck in the cabin for a couple of days.

After that we moved to a big bowl area between the hills and mountains and spent the rest of the day glassing the area.

We saw 6 or 7 cows and a small bull off in the distance. They would pop out of the spruce for a short period of time and then disapear.

Their behavior had drastically changed from the preevious week where the guides said the moose were on the loose. Warren felt the harsh weather and high winds had pushed the mature bulls back into the thick spruce for safety and protection.

We did have a couple of cow caribou make their way past us. They are really cool animals.

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Tuesday ended pretty uneventful.

The other 3 guys in camp had similar days.

The weather was really having an effect on movement.

The area was beautiful though and everywhere you went there was scat and trails. You just knew you were in a special place that held abundant wildlife.

Here are a few pictures of the terain.

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By late Tuesday the weather seemed to be breaking with less wind and the sky was breaking up.

The anticipation for Wednesday was high.

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the anticipation is very high as I keep checking...at least Scoot started his story also!! Man what wonderful hunts that are out there!!!

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Yep, great start to the story Bruce, but geez, the waiting....

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O.K.- I hear ya smile

Woke up early Wednesday morning- no rain pounding on the roof.

Took a look outside and things had really cooled down, had a nice frost, and the sky was clear with the stars brightly shining.

This was quite different from the past few days.

We sat down for breakfast and after about 10 minutes I could not believe it. It was raining frown

The guides kept saying- if you don't like the weather just wait 15 minutes.

Well we got dressed and off we went. There were just sparadic showers passing by with a broken sky. Still quite windy though.

We took the argo back to the bowl area we were at the day before. At sunup we spotted a cow moose at the same location we spotted the bull the day before. We waited this area out for a while hoping the bull would appear. The wind noise made calling futile but we tried anyways. Eventually the cow moved on and so did we.

Our plan was to go deeper in and get on the backside of the mountain we spotted several cows on the day before as that would put the wind in our favor.

We got back to the general area and then started to work our way on foot- stopping and glassing along the way.

As we were scanning the mountainside I pulled down and could not believe my eyes.

There was a big bull caribou at around 350 yards looking right at us. I have no idea where he came from but there he was. I whispered to Warren- shooter caribou @ 12:00. His eyes bugged out and he said- that is your caribou.

We decided to loop around and get the wind in our face and try to come up to the side over a large berm. Warren did not think he was going anywhere.

We worked our way around, I chambered a shell in my 7mm Tika T-3, we came up over the berm to where I should have a 100 yard shot & he had vanished. We could not believe he was nowhere to be seen. There was not a lot of cover where he was. We worked our way to where he was, found his tracks and could see a trail in the swamp grass where the morning dew was knocked off.

We did have the wind to our advantage at this point.

We decided to go after him.

On a side note. These Woodland Caribou, at least around here, are not herd animals. They are like whitetail. They are not very prevalent anymore and are quite nomadic. You might see 2 or 3 together.

Anyways- off we went.

I was having a hard time keeping up with Warren.

These guys are in much better shape than I am and he was motivated to catch up to this caribou.

We were moving thru swamp and bog coming up over berms. At each berm we hoped to find him on the otherside.

After a good mile I thought he was long gone.

We were moving at a fast pace in tough conditions and I was getting winded.

As we came up to the next berm Warren stopped in his tracks and pointed.

There he was- about 150 yards out- moving broadside accross the next berm slowly. He did not see us.

I got my shooting stick up, rested the 7mm on it, put the crosshairs on the boiler room, and was trying to catch my breathe before I shot.

Warren was behind me and I heard him say in his deep Newfie dialect "shoot the bestard- shoot".

I felt I had time and needed to catch my breathe which I did.

I squeezed the trigger and the 150 grain Barnes cartridge dropped him in his tracks.

I could not believe it.

How fast things can change.

Warren was as happy as I was.

Although we had the caribou tag we did not have high expectations as they are few and far between.

I quickly realized this was not just a bull caribou, but he was a true trophy.

Here are a couple of pictures of this wonderful animal.

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I was overwhelmed with joy and had tears in my eyes.

He has 33 points, is wide, and has a beautiful chocolate brown colored rack.

What a wonderful encounter and experience.

After taking some pictures and letting the experience soak in the work began.

It took a few hours to get him dressed, halved, and to the argo.

I was amazed, Warren does this whole process with nothing more than a basic utlity knife with snap off blades. No fancy knives.

At that point it was around 2:00 so we decided to continue on to tha back of the mountain as we only had a mile or so to go and check things out.

We got up on the hillside and glassed for about an hour. Spotted a couple cow moose and a few cow caribou way off.

I was in heaven at this point reliving the encounter with the caribou.

Looking out over the tundra we were then greeted with this which I thought was quite fitting.

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What a glorious day smile

We got back to the cabin early so we could deal with the meat.

About 20 minutes later I heard the boat coming accross the lake. My friend Tim had gone that way in the A.M.

I could not believe it as I saw antlers sticking up.

He had filled his caribou tag that morning also taking a heavy 26 pointer.

It turns out we got them 5 minutes apart although we were 10 mile away from each other.

Here is a picture of us together on the dock.

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To say the least- Wednesday night was a night to celebrate.

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It took a few hours to get him dressed, halved, and to the argo. I was amazed, Warren does this whole process with nothing more than a basic utlity knife with snap off blades. No fancy knives.

Wait-What? shocked

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That is it.

I kid you not.

Dress, cape, quarter all with a knife like your pic.

He carried a short ax to mark a trail and to split a bone or 2.

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That is it.

I kid you not.

Dress, cape, quarter all with a knife like your pic.

He carried a short ax to mark a trail and to split a bone or 2.

Does it come in Camo? grin

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