There are some so-called “Bargain hunts” in Newfoundland. Typically it means you join all the locals in their pickup trucks, cruising all the back roads hoping a stupid trophy animal will walk out, stand still, allow you to get close and then shoot it. Not a good formula for success! And there are some highly publicized lodges that are equally unsuccessful. One lodge regularly hosts outdoor writers, gives them a free trip in return for an article about their “great” hunting, and then those who follow leave bitterly disappointed.
This very honest and very hard-working operation has recently added two more lodge locations to their hunt area, meaning clients have even more territory to cover and hunt. He now has 6 camps to hunt from. The 5-week hunting season begins on the second Saturday of September and runs until the middle of October (middle 2-3 weeks are rut hunts, so approximately September 25-October 10, but big bulls are taken throughout the season). Normally they refuse to put more than 2 to 4 people into any of their camps. With low hunting pressure and a superior location, and with some of their camps bordering Gros Morne National Park’s no-hunting zone, their success rate regularly exceeds 90% with multiple trophy class animals harvested annually. Hunts are 6 days (Monday to Saturday) and you are expected to arrive in Deer Lake on the Saturday before the hunt begins and depart on the Monday following the weeklong hunt. There is no hunting on Sunday, as that is changeover day when hunters are being flown in and out of camp by chopper.
Realize that quality animals in this province consistently come ONLY from areas that are largely unreachable by residents. Moose and caribou need time to develop trophy antlers. This means sticking to fly-in operations. The second criterion to look for is low hunter numbers in camp, to ensure a quality hunt and plenty of trophy animals. The third criterion is picking an outfitter who gets you remote by a fly-in, and who has solid camps and guides. There are many sad stories of inadequately equipped outfitters, so this is important. There are cheaper hunts, but you need to beware and use caution. We know several lodges publicized by outdoor writers to whom we would not send our worst enemy!
With this outfitter, all hunts are 1×1 guided, and they employ a full time culinary staff at the lodges. A day’s hunt begins with you and your guide having a prepared hot breakfast before daylight. You and your guide will discuss the day and make a plan for the day’s hunt. Based on your interest and ability, your guide will recommend the hunting scenario. He may suggest that:
- You travel by boat using the waterway and strategic hunting stands;
• You use the overnight tent camps to go further away from the lodge to reach higher grounds in a day;
• You hunt around the lodge using hunting stands;
• You hunt strategic areas with ground blinds that allow camouflage;
• You do the common place spot and stalk to cover the most ground.
When you depart the lodge after breakfast, your hunt will begin immediately. At mid-day, you can choose to stay out hunting and have a Newfie boil up for lunch or you may choose to return to the lodge for a hot meal.
Once a hunter makes a kill, the guide will field dress it, de-bone it, meat bag it and bring it all back to the lodge. A hunter can help if they wish and if they have the physical ability to do so; or the guide wil tae care of everything. . You will return to the lodge at dark where a hot shower and meal awaits you.
It is believed that Newfoundland has the highest density of moose in North America and average success in this outfitter’s camps is about 90%, with shot opportunity even higher. Kill rates would be even greater if hunters were in better physical condition and could shoot a bit more accurately and quickly. Many bulls exceed 40” spreads – excellent indeed. So overall extremely high success on good bulls. Don Sangster from our Canadian office hunted with this outfitter in September 2019, along with 2 of his clients. All tagged out on bulls.
CARIBOU: Newfoundland is the only place in the world where non-residents can harvest a Woodland caribou. Prices have jumped greatly in recent years due to restrictive numbers of tags, so doing your hunt for the caribou SLAM is a do-it-right-now proposition. If you want a caribou hunt here, you MUST book 12 to 20 months in advance! This outfit is full already for 2019 caribou hunts, but he has limited openings for a couple caribou hunts for 2020.
BEAR: If you might want to take a bear there is a $500 charge.. Considering the big growth spurt in the bear population, and the huge sizes of the bears, this is a true bargain as a similar bear hunt would cost you $3,000 to $4,000! License is $200 – a bargain.
TRAVEL: Travel to Newfoundland can be accomplished by either air or ground. By air, guests arrive in Deer Lake, where you will be greeted at the airport and brought to your hotel. You will be met the next day at your hotel and driven to the helicopter for your flight into the lodge. The same service will be given on your return from the lodge. On your return trip, you will be picked up from the helicopter and driven to the hotel or the airport to catch your flight back home. All hotel stays are at your expense.
LODGING: All lodges are in remote locations requiring helicopter transportation. They are all fully equipped with all modern amenities and each site has generated electricity, propane stoves, showers, refrigerators and indoor plumbing with hot and cold running water. Two lodges have comfortable sitting rooms with television, remote internet and phone services. The others have remote internet and phone or satellite phone services. All have home style meals that are prepared by a full time cook on site. Bedrooms are double occupancy and bedding and linens are supplied.
Wounding Policy: In the event a hunter wounds an animal, where blood can be tracked but the animal does not fall, the guide and hunter have the responsibility to make every reasonable effort to search for the animal. If the animal is not located after an adequate amount of time has been spent searching, your hunt for that species is considered finished. Some discretion here is obviously applied by the outfitter.
AIR TRAVEL: Travel to Newfoundland can be accomplished by either air or a combination of driving and taking a ferry. By air, guests arrive in Deer Lake on Saturday, where you will be greeted at the airport and brought to your hotel. You will be met the next day at your hotel and driven to the helicopter for your flight into the lodge. The same service will be provided on your return from the lodge. All hotel stays are at your expense.
If traveling by air, your airport destination will be Deer Lake (YDF). Flights can be made from anywhere in the USA with a connection in Halifax, Montreal or Toronto to arrive in Deer Lake, NL. This travel can be accomplished without overnight travel and the outfitter’s representative will meet you upon your arrival at Deer Lake airport. Air Canada, WestJet and Provincial Airlines all service the province of Newfoundland. Airfares are generally more economical if made well in advance through your travel agent.
If traveling by automobile, make your way to North Sydney, Nova Scotia and board a ferry for a 6-7 hour journey to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. Port aux Basques to Deer Lake is a distance of 250 kilometers, or approximately 2½ hour drive. The ferry service provider is Marine Atlantic, a Canadian Government enterprise. You are advised to contact Marine Atlantic for reservations and passage. We advise that you reserve the ferry very early to ensure availability and to secure a comfortable cabin.
GROUND TRAVEL If traveling by automobile, make your way to North Sydney, Nova Scotia and board a ferry for a 6 -7 hour journey to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador. Port aux Basques to Deer Lake is a distance of 250 kilometers, or approximately 2½ hour drive.
The ferry service provider is Marine Atlantic, a Canadian Government enterprise. You are advised to contact Marine Atlantic for reservations and passage. We advise that you reserve the ferry very early to ensure available transportation.
Deer Lake Motel
Deer Lake, NL
3 Nicholsville Road
Deer Lake, NL
Holiday Inn Express
38 Bennett Avenue
Deer Lake, NL
PRICING: TERMS: 50% deposit; balance due by June 30th.
Moose 1×1: One Week $7995
Caribou 1×1: One Week $Price on request
Moose and Caribou Combo- one week $Price on request
Incidental black bear: SPECIAL: No charge except for license if you book a moose or caribou hunt.
Prices include license, guiding, food, lodging, helicopter in and out of camp, and trophy recovery/care. Prices do not include meat processing and shipping.
2019 Weeks of Operation (call us for up to date availability):
Week 1 – September 15-22
Week 2 – September 22-29
Week 3 – September 29-October 6
Week 4 – October 6-13
Week 5 – October 13-20
GETTING YOUR WEAPON INTO CANADA
You are allowed to bring your personal firearm with you. This includes your rifles, shotguns or muzzleloaders (NO HANDGUNS!). For your firearms, a simple one-page form is required to be filled out to obtain a temporary Canadian firearms permit. This form can be down-loaded or mailed to you well in advance from The Royal Canadian Mounted Police at www.cfc-cafc.gc.ca. Click on the link on the left hand side for visitors/non-residents, then download the NON-RESIDENT FIREARM DECLARATION (form RCMP 5589/CAFC 909). Completing this in advance should reduce your time clearing customs. DO NOT SIGN IT UNTIL YOU APPEAR IN FRONT OF CUSTOMS, but fill it out. A confirmed declaration costs a flat fee of $25, regardless of the number of firearms listed on it. It is only valid for the person who signs it and for those firearms listed on the declaration. It is a simple form to fill out. IF YOU HAVE A DUI OR A CRIMINAL RECORD, CALL US! YOU MAY BE DENIED ADMITTANCE. NO FORMS ARE REQUIRED TO BRING YOUR HUNTING BOW INTO CANADA!