Schefferville, Quebec Caribou Outfitters In Quandary Over 2008 Season


Published: February - 2008

On the eve of the Safari Club International Convention, Quebec caribou outfitters in Schefferville were still in limbo about whether they would be able to operate next season. You'll remember that big snafu we told you about involving the local Indian tribe there. (See Article ID 1970.) Tribal members of the Innus of Matimekosh Lake John had blocked access to the main floatplane base in the Schefferville area just as the caribou season got underway this past fall. Hunters could not get in or out of Scheffer- ville and several outfitters cancelled their season. Others scrambled to get hunters to an alternate base in Lac Pau about another 150 miles further west. The tribe said it was protesting illegal outfitting that had shifted caribou migrations from their tribal hunting grounds.

Insiders there believe tribal members are not so concerned about caribou migrations as they are about having the lands around Scheffer- ville declared their ancestral lands. That would give them a gamut of rights and financial benefits, and it would also completely change the caribou hunting scene in that part of Quebec. As this was written in mid-January, Quebec government representatives were still negotiating with tribal members leading the protest effort, and caribou outfitters did not know whether they would be operating this season. We hear two operators have already decided not to hunt in 2008. Others are moving forward with plans to operate out of Lac Pau no matter what the government works out with the Indians. Many operators, however, do not have this option, as Lac Pau is too far west of their camps.

The Schefferville Outfitters Association was hoping to have a decision in time for the SCI Convention in Reno, but were still awaiting news as this was written on January 17. If you are booked for a caribou hunt out of Schefferville, stay in close contact with your outfitter. And plan on an E-mail Extra bulletin sometime this month updating you on what is happening.

........(continued)

 
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