There are remnant herds of woodland caribou these days in various regions of eastern and central Canada, but the hunter in search of a trophy of this species should focus his efforts entirely on Newfoundland Island. The population of these animals is increasing rapidly these days on every part of the island that is accessible to visiting hunters. It currently numbers around 90,000 animals. Why...? Because this part of the province has been harvesting only five to seven percent of its caribou annually, leaving plenty of animals for a healthy, growing population. The upshot is, non-residents will be able to obtain a total of 1,500 outfitter-sponsored licenses this year, up from 750 last year. The price of the licenses will remain the same, however - $700 Canadian (including the so-called Harmonized Sales Tax, or HST, of 15 percent). Even with this increase in the number of licenses, I feel trophy hunters should still be able to go home happy, mainly because the bulk of the harvest has traditionally been by resident hunters seeking meat, not trophies. These animals generally have more compact and symmetrical antler growth than the occasionally outlandish freeform antlers of the Quebec/Labrador caribou. Furthermore, woodland caribou trophies can also boast of tremendous mass and a preponderance of double shovels. In my experience, the woodland caribou is also larger in body size than his tundra counterpart.
As regards where in Newfoundland to focus your efforts, you can find a "representative head" almost anywhere on the island, but there's no single hotspot or outfitter that will give you a sure-thing chance at a book animal. The problem is, the woodland caribou, while not migratory in the same way as the Quebec/Labrador caribou, is a roamer. Small groups will wander 100 miles or more over the course of a season. In planning your hunt, be sure to call the Wildlife Division of the Newfoundland Department of Forest Resources and Agrifoods and request the "Caribou Success Rate" report, which has valuable harvest information.
Non-residents must use the services of an outfitter in Newfoundland. I have a few recommendations, having........(continued)