Brouhaha Breaks Over Quebec/Labrador Caribou Hunts


Published: October - 2007

E-mail Extra subscribers already know that a major brouhaha has broken out in Quebec over Quebec/Labrador caribou hunts. Literally, as we were going to print with this issue, news reached us that a group of tribal members, angry about shifting caribou migrations, had blocked road access near Schefferville to Squaw Lake, the main hydroplane base in that area used by outfitters to move hunters in and out of Schefferville-area camps. This had caused at least one local outfitter to cancel hunts at press time and return deposits for the season. Other outfitters were rescheduling their hunters' transportation out of another, less convenient, base.

Senior Western Correspondent Lance Stapleton, who checked into the situation for us, told us hunters need to know that the problem is limited to the Shefferville area. Outfitters in the Caniaspiscau (central) area and LG4 in the Hudson's Bay (western) area were not affected. Unfortunately, a prominent online news service muddied the water on this by suggesting that all Quebec/Labrador caribou were affected. That is not true.

The cause of the protest, according to the Federation of Quebec Outfitters and the Schefferville Outfitters Association, is the emergence of some illegal outfitters in the Schefferville area. Seems some fly-by-nights have been renting cabins to outsiders in Zone 24, a relatively small parcel of land near Schefferville established for resident caribou hunting. Apparently, there have been some recent fluctuations in the numbers of caribou there, and that has made hunting more difficult for natives. They believe the illegal hunting has caused a shift in historical caribou migration routes.

Their allegations are supported by Andre Threlfall, President of the Outfitter's Association, who says that the Association has tried for years to prevent these illegal hunting operations. He agrees they should be removed. The unfortunate fallout from the confrontation is that a number of legal outfitters and their clients are being negatively impacted by the Innu tribe's actions. The financial burden on some outfitters is sure to be great, as outfitters tend to use hunt deposits to purchase fuel and provisions in advance of........(continued)

 
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Facilitators: Schefferville Outfitters Association; Federation of Quebec Outfitters;

  


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