This is an outfitter we have worked with for some time. We are very familiar with a number of what in our opinion are “rip-off artists” in this wonderful province. Some of them are almost legendary for their misdeeds. We can think of numerous “don’t go there” outfitters in Newfoundland, some of whom are featured regularly on the outdoor shows and in the hunting magazines. You must be cautious.
First, realize that quality animals in this province consistently ONLY come from areas largely unreachable by residents. Moose and caribou need time to develop trophy antlers. This means sticking to fly-in operations. Of course being in the right general area still does not guarantee a big bull, but t is where you need to go. 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 has his own planes, camps and guides. There are many sad stories of inadequately equipped outfitters, so this is important. This outfitter qualifies on all three counts. There are cheaper hunts, but you need to beware and use caution.
Also, this outfitter’s moose pricing is reasonable, his success rate is good and it should be noted that he also is a past President of their Guides and Outfitters Association. Hunters are picked up in Deer Lake on Sunday morning and taken to the base site at Deer Lake Airport and flown by HELICOPTER to the remote hunting camps.
You will be hunting within either an ecological reserve or a wildlife reserve where there will be no other hunters in the field other than those at camp. He is able to do this only because they were there before the reserves were established; so they have been grandfathered in and have exclusive hunting rights to vast areas. This means basically three things: there are more animals; the trophies are bigger; and the setting is awe-inspiring. Each year they have a high percentage of trophy moose, trophy caribou and trophy bears taken. Indeed they run 100% on caribou most years! They only offer top end one-on-one guided fly-in hunts. You won’t find a better hunt and you won’t find a better rate for a hunt of this quality. This is basically a top-end fly-in hunt, at the cost of a roadside hunt. Out on these reserves, you will not run into any pickup trucks or ATVs, you will not see any devastation from clear-cutting of the forest, and you will not see local hunters who are competing with you.
Here is an October report from one of Butch’s clients:
“Butch, Thanks for setting me up on a truly great Newfoundland moose hunt. I was at the Lake camp and everything was absolutely top notch with lots of game, comfortable camp, friendly and experienced guides (my guide was guiding for his 47th year!) and the best food I’ve ever had in a back country camp. I got my money’s worth since it took until Saturday morning (last 1/2 day) to finally find a suicidal moose, but we closed the deal on a small bull. We glassed lots of big bulls, but they were in the timber with cows and would not move or come to a call. I also saw some really big woodland caribou (next trip). This was physically one of the hardest hunts that I have ever done since we walked probably 8-10 miles each day through the marshy ground and the thick scrub, but I loved it!
Thanks again for setting me up on another great hunt. I know when you recommend an outfitter that he will be as advertised. I just read some of my words on your email of the day and hope that the good folks at Argentina Hunt #39 are doing well. Best regards, Tom S.”
Newfoundland has a Woodland Caribou herd which is still healthy. If you want the Caribou Slam, you must have a Woodland specie, and Newfoundland is where they are found. This outfitter has several areas and lake regions to hunt, and he acquired the area of another of our favorite outfitters to add to his existing areas. Both his old area, and the new area he bought from our old outfitter, are ecological reserves where they were grandfathered in. These ecological reserves prohibit any new permanent structures or improvements. There are also no roads. All his areas are fly-in access ONLY, meaning no resident hunting pressure and exceptional game populations. These are ideal conditions for sustaining big animals over the long run, allowing the to reach maximum size over the years they need to grow to maturity. And finally, the hunt coincides with the rut in September and October.
The outfitter has a total of three lodges and he takes a maximum of four hunters at any one lodge. This means relatively low hunting pressure and your chances for success are extremely high. The outfitter’s clients average 100% on caribou and well over 85% on moose. The terrain is a mix of wooded ridges, river valleys and marshy areas at low altitude. Most moose will be in the 34- to 45-inch range and a few larger. The outfitter claims he puts more trophy moose into the hands of taxidermists than any other outfitter in Newfoundland. We believe that is true. We also like the fact that, due to our relationship with him, we normally can get you slotted into just about any week you want – just tell us your preferred dates. The lodges are fully equipped with boats, motors, generators, propane range and lights as well as VHF radios for outside communication. The log cabins are comfortable with indoor plumbing, hot showers, generators for electricity and propane for heat. Expect to put in long days in the field with your guide, so PLEASE GET IN SHAPE! Guiding is 1 x 1
“Best moose hunt that I have ever been on. Had my choice of three animals one hour after starting the hunt. Guides were professional (also professional chefs) and took care of every request.” Art Reeve
“Shot my 14 point bull on my third day of the hunt. Saw one record breaking bull but had to settle for another out of the next 12 I saw. There is no place like this for moose hunting.” Gilbert Gannon
“I have had a great hunting experience for four consecutive years (2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010) with them. I was able to harvest both moose and caribou the first two years and in 2009 I took all three (moose, caribou and bear). This past fall I again took moose and caribou. My hunting experience was well planned, organized and successful. I plan to return for another hunt in September 2011.” Charles Oschwald
My first hunt with them was over 20 years ago. I’ve just completed my 11th return hunt in 2010 and am looking forward to number 12 in 2011. A true wilderness hunt with lots of game, the best and hardest working guides, great food and accommodations…. It doesn’t get any better than this.” Patrick Beland
Besides the moose, this outfitter offers outstanding hunting for Woodland caribou. This specie is mandatory for the Caribou Slam and can only be found here in Newfoundland. The bulls sport huge bodies with typical Woodland-style antlers with record book potential. Woodland caribou sport the smallest antlers of all the caribou sub-species. If you want a third species to chase on this same trip, then consider that the number of black bears in the area is increasing. Bears are lightly hunted and attain plenty of age and weight. He is normally 85-95% on caribou- often 100%. Tags for this specie are now at a premium- and if you want a Woodland Caribou you may have to book 1 to 2 years in advance! ALSO- there is scuttlebutt suggesting that even tighter controls on this specie are coming- so go right now! Prices are escalating rapidly as well.
Expect temperatures to range from about 20 to 50 degrees F. Knee-high waterproof boots and rain gear are a must. Snow is not uncommon. Blaze orange is NOT required and the outfitter prefers you hunt with camouflage clothing. Luggage weight needs to be kept to 50-60 pounds. You’ll need a soft gun case for flying in.
TRANSPORT: The outfitter has his own planes so there’s no waiting for commercial flights. You need to provide your own transportation to Deer Lake. Air Canada through Montreal or Toronto and into Deer Lake is the typical itinerary. The outfitter will arrange for your accommodations (either the Holiday Inn or the Deer Lake Motel) on your arrival. You need to arrive in Deer Lake on Saturday for transportation to camp on Sunday. Those wishing to drive can take the Marine Atlantic ferry from North Sydney, Nova Scotia, to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. Ferry Reservations are advisable and the approximate crossing time is six hours. Fly back out the following Sunday.
INCLUDED IN PRICE:
• LICENSES & TAXES
• Air transportation to camp from Deer Lake and back again w/trophies.
• Transport of trophies and meat from the bush to the nearest cold storage.
• All his hunts are 1X1 guiding, approx 5 1/2 days of hunting.
• Meals and accommodations.
• Air shipment of trophies and/or meat home.
• Meat cutting and vacuum packaging currently runs about .40/pound, Canadian. Air shipping after that averages about $1/pound, Canadian.
2021 Rates — LICENSES AND TAXES ARE INCLUDED IN PRICING! AND FLY-IN IS EVEN INCLUDED!
· Moose – $8,950 US (license and taxes included)
· Moose/Bear Combo $9,550 (license and taxes included)
· Woodland Caribou – $17,950 US (license and taxes included)
· Caribou/Bear Combo – $18,550 (license and taxes included)
· Moose/Caribou Combo – $20,950 (license and taxes included)
· Moose/Caribou/Bear Combo – $21,550 (license and taxes included)
· Black Bear – $4,950 US (license and taxes included)
· Non-Hunter Rate – $2,000
A 50% DEPOSIT AT TIME OF BOOKING IS ALL THAT IS DUE NOW. Balance paid on arrival.
ITINERARY: Hunters are picked up in Deer Lake on Sunday morning and taken to the base site at Deer Lake Airport and flown by helicopter to the remote hunting camps. A typical hunting day begins with a wake-up call long before daylight. After a hearty breakfast, the resident cook prepares a lunch for the field and at dawn the hunter and guide are off. The terrain at all three sites has open and wooded areas with lakes, valleys, marshes, muskeg, knolls and mountains. It is the ultimate setting to call or stalk moose or chase caribou. Once in the field, the guide selects a vantage point where it is possible to glass a large area. When the trophy is sighted, the choice is made whether to stalk or call the animal (if a moose)- within range. Committed guides go beyond the call of duty to ensure success. Most hunters are fortunate to take or have the opportunity to harvest their moose early in the week. Guides are enthusiastic and committed for the entire hunt and are on site for the full seven days.
“Greatest adventure of my life. The meals were top quality. The guides are the toughest men I have ever met, tenacious and dedicated. In two days I felt we were family. The amenities at camp were so good I had to remember we were in a true wilderness. Friends for life.” – Mike M.
“A pure and pristine fair chase hunt. The beauty and tranquility of this fly-in hunt is unsurpassed anywhere in the world! Hard working, knowledgeable guides, tremendous food, and great camaraderie all wrapped into this great hunt! Wouldn’t think of choosing any other outfitter in Newfoundland! Will be hunting with them for many years to come!” – Bart T.
“Thanks for a great hunt. The location was great – remote, plenty of game, beautiful. The camp was comfortable, good food, and still could get necessary supplies flown in. Our guides were professional, knowledgeable and fun. I got a beautiful 10-point bull with nice palms first day out, and my partner took a 21-point bull 3rd day. Beautiful country – great memories. Thanks again.” – Steve H.
MEAT & TROPHY IMPORT BACK INTO THE US: Hunter-harvested game birds (pheasant, quail, goose, etc.) or cervid carcasses (i.e., deer, moose, elk, caribou, etc.) from Canada may be allowed entry when the importer is the hunter (NOT YOUR BUDDY who said he would drive it home!), and if the hunter presents to the Customs and Border Protection officer evidence such as a hunting license to show that the product is hunter-harvested wild game. YOU MUST BE PRESENT WITH YOUR LICENSE! Hunter-harvested wild non-cervid animals (e.g. wild sheep, goats, or bison) as meat or carcasses which can be eviscerated and head removed or not eviscerated are allowed when the hunter shows to CBP officers a hunting license, tag, or equivalent. For questions on wild game meat from other regions, or if you require further information related to imports of animal products or by-products, please contact the National Center for Import and Export at AskNCIE.Products@aphis.usda.gov.
TRAVEL SUGGESTIONS AND THINGS TO CHECK ON
• Check the Newfoundland hunting regulations. Note that orange is not required, and hunting is NOT ALLOWED on Sundays.
• Book your one night stay in Deer Lake on the way in and way out as hunters are responsible for their own reservations.
• Know when and where to meet for flight to camp.
• Ask us about Canadian regulations for entering the country with a firearm, including links to the proper forms.
• BE AWARE THAT YOU MUST HAVE A U.S. CUSTOMS FORM 4457 IN ORDER TO TRAVEL INTERNATIONALLY WITH A FIREARM. ASK US IF IN DOUBT.
• Be sure you understand the process for transporting or shipping meat home – some meat cutters offer a combined trucking option. Not cheap, so take best cuts.
• Secure the meat cutter’s information such as 1) name, address and phone number; 2) driving directions and a simple map; 3) payment information (some meat cutters may not accept credit cards and will not give any exchange rate, so you may need Canadian funds). Check! Verify normal processing time.
• Secure taxidermist information such as 1) name; 2) phone number, 3) costs.
• Obey the duffle size and weight restrictions for flight into camp, including type of rifle case.
• Verify all travel information, especially ferry and airline information.
• Verify timing for flight out of camp to allow you to schedule travel home.
• Verify your final payment is due on arrival; and 2) the type of payment to tender (cash or bank check).