By Justin Jones, Editorial AssistantEditor's Note: In the cover story of our December issue we summarized the 2013 Quebec caribou season and looked ahead to the impact the one-caribou limit then in place was likely to have going forward. Then, in our March 2014 issue we passed on the news that Quebec had reversed course and would be allowing two caribou per license this season, but capping the number of licenses for zone 23 west (the area of interest for nonresident sport hunters) at 804. The uncertainty of this situation made it tough for caribou outfitters to sell hunts during the all-important hunting show season, and that has created tremendous opportunities for anyone looking for a hunt they can take this fall. Editorial Assistant Justin Jones called most of the caribou outfitters to see what's available.
If a Quebec caribou is on your to-do list, right now may be your best opportunity to book a hunt. The caribou outfitters remaining in Quebec got off to a slow start selling hunts this year. Outfitters are reporting that it has been difficult to fill up their spots for 2014, and nearly everyone we spoke to says that they still have spots left for the fall. The two-caribou limit may not last forever, so now is the time to lock in your spot and head to northern Quebec for a migratory caribou. Here's what we found out on caribou numbers, openings and perspectives on the future of caribou hunting in Quebec.
We first spoke to Dominic Dugré at the Quebec Outfitters Federation (http://quebecoutfitters.com/
; 418-877-5191). He says that there has been some recent good news about the caribou this year. "We have heard from the government that the Leaf River herd appears to have stabilized after dropping to around 430,000 caribou. This is from the Caribou Ungava research project. Numbers are strong and more calves are surviving. On the ground, everyone has reported really good, healthy caribou." For more on this, see the Federation's press release
from February 5......