Whatever the reason, the erratic behavior has long since turned the famous old fixed camps along the George River into historical relics and forced outfitters in the direction of more temporary facilities. Many outfitters at this point have an entire network of spike-camp-type facilities scattered through areas they hope the caribou will move through during hunting season. Others have begun to promote the idea of moving clients from unproductive camps by float plane if the caribou fail to show. One outfitter this year, Club Chambeaux even experimented with daily fly-out hunts from outpost camps. Despite all this innovation, hordes of hunters came back again this fall angry with their outfitters. Actually, the word furious is more accurate. On my own trip to Labrador last month, I met four hunters in Montreal so angry they were threatening legal action against their outfitter. One said he had almost punched his outfitter in a post-hunt tirade.
The hard feelings this hunt generates are aroused by the peculiar circumstances of it. For one thing, most of the hunts take place in wide-open country where it is painfully clear whether there is any game available. Arriving hunters get an aerial view of that country, too, and if the caribou aren't present, there is nothing to even look at, or talk about. As the days drag on, a kind of cabin fever sets in among unsuccessful hunters. By the time the pick-up plane arrives, some hunters........(continued)