Zones 23 East, 23 South and 24 (which is, essentially the range of the George River herd), are closed for the 2012-2013 season and will remain closed until biological surveys indicate the herd is recovering. That eliminates all hunting from Schefferville and all of the hunting close to Lac Pau. According to Dominic Dugre of the Quebec Outfitters Federation (www.pourvoiries.com/en/), a number of operators who hunted in this area have relocated to hunt the Leaf River herd, which is currently at about 430,000 animals.
For the Leaf River herd, the winter hunt (December 1 to January 30) in Zone 22 has been further restricted, which is of little consequence to most traveling hunters. Even the new rules reducing caribou licenses in Zone 23 West (which encompasses hunts out of Kuujjuaq for the Leaf River herd) by 25 percent (with 2009 being the index year) should have little practical effect on most outfitted hunts. There are likely more permits available than hunters. This year's hunting season begins on August 25 and ends on October 7. All zones will continue to have a two-caribou per hunter bag limit, but new regulations restrict hunters to just two caribou per year. Again this will have little or no impact on visiting sport hunters.
Dugre says that outfitters reported high success rates for the 2011 season, with plenty of healthy animals seen and taken. The total harvest, however, was lower than 2010, which Dugre attributes to the overall cutback on the number of licenses issued. He says outfitters still have openings left for the........(continued)