We have worked for a number of years with an agency in Canada who has very tight ties to the Inuit population and who helps them market their hunts. We assist with marketing these hunts in the US. It is important to bear in mind, that regardless of whom you book with, virtually all NWT/NUNAVUT musk ox and polar bear hunts and Arctic Island caribou hunts – are run by the local native peoples.
This has both pluses and negatives. The big plus is they live there- ALL THE TIME! They depend on their knowledge of the animals where-abouts for their very survival. Failure to find animals can cause them to suffer serious hunger pangs!! They also want and need the money brought to their villages by US hunters- so they should be very willing – but sometimes they are not. Some tribal member do not relish our coming to their lands and taking their game. So results can vary widely between hunts- but musk ox despite these facts has run close to 100% success. That is simply a fact to understand. Also, if you go the natives likely tell you to book direct with them next time! But they have no support structure and are ill equipped to service clients pre-hunt or post-hunt, so stick with a good agent! Success though is very good- pushing 100% with gun or bow.
The locals have superb survival tactics and techniques, they know how to perform and what you expect, and the cultural education is a delight in itself. Plus, they are usually successful, barring bizarre weather. We do suggest on any of these hunts to allow at least 2 full extra days, and you probably also should purchase trip and evacuation insurance, particularly in case of severe weather. This is the Arctic- unforgiving by definition. But this agency really pays attention to who it works with in the Inuit community! We can help you book medevac insurance and trip insurance right in house- just tell us you want it and we send you full details to review.
The negatives (some might call it a positive!) are that they operate at a different pace then we do. You MUST be patient with them- they generally are successful, so even though things may sometimes seem to be unorganized, they still usually get the job done! And in the process clients typically really enjoy the whole experience, and delight in the different culture you will experience. The second negative to be aware of, is that if you have any complaints or problems, YOU MUST RESOLVE THEM DIRECTLY WITH THE VILLAGE OR COMMUNITY- DO NOT COME HOME EXPECTING TO SOLVE ANYTHING-GET IT DONE RIGHT AWAY- RIGHT THERE!! OR FORGET IT!! Past experience has shown this is the best and perhaps only way to handle these things. Such problems rarely happen- but if they do then you must take steps to resolve them right there. Rarely does it happen- but it can.
Their Arctic Island hunt out of Holman has proven to be the best, and we know of about 30 bow hunters who were successful, plus the gun hunters. Spring sometimes has you seeing more animals, but often Spring can be more trying weather wise. Lost days are common then. It is also possible to combo spring musk ox with a wolf hunt; and it is possible to combo a fall musk ox with caribou- maybe! Please check with us as caribou are not doing well across most of Canada It is nothing like it was 10 years ago.
ARCTIC ISLAND ( VICTORIA ISLAND) MUSK OX HUNT FROM HOLMAN:
The Victoria Island musk ox population has been on the increase for years and has one of the largest concentrations in the Arctic. Hunt Spring or Fall. While the trip is scheduled for six days, the hunting time can be shorter due to the abundance of musk ox- or several days longer if weather shuts you down! In addition to the great hunting, the friendly Inuit of Holman (population 400) will be happy to show you their village where much of a traditional life is still followed. You can purchase soapstone carvings, their famous prints and enjoy visiting your guide’s family. AND BECAUSE OF THE HUGE MUSK OX POPULATION THE COMMUNITY OBTAINS 750 MUSK OX TAGS EVERY YEAR! This Victoria Island hunt is the most popular hunt with our clients.
Spring hunts mean you will be transported by sled being pulled by your Inuit guide on a snow machine. Snowmobiles provide a great deal of mobility, allowing the hunters to cover a lot of ground and providing an opportunity to look over a good number of Muskox. Recently at the insistence of many hunters and booking agents, the community has greatly changed the hunts and how they are run from Holman. Initially the hunts were based from the community and the hunter could even return to the hotel that evening. While this is still a option many clients would like to spend several days out experiencing the land and the friendliness of the Inuit guides. The hunt is now set up that you can return to Holman at the client’s direction, not necessarily when the animal is taken. Most of these hunts in mid to late April. The days are long and temperatures relatively comfortable. You will be able to traverse large areas of land and enjoy the scenery while hunting.
The Muskox hunts out of Holman have been well over 90% successful in the past and we anticipate the same rate of success to continue. While you will be using the snowmobiles to find the muskox, the law requires the final 1.5km stalk to be on foot. There is an option to shoot a second Muskox on this hunt.
Fall Musk Ox hunts: you will see fewer muskox then on a spring hunt. Still — you normally will be into multiple animals every day, with more then enough to provide a good hunt. The hunter’s success rate is still 100%; and conditions are more pleasant then the Spring hunts. You will go inland by ATV or along the coast by boat to find your muskox. Riding on the back of these four wheelers can be challenging and sometimes very uncomfortable on your butt and back.
What is NOT included in this hunt:
• Hunting license and tags.
• Export permits/trophy fees.
• Gratuities to staff.
• Accommodation and meals while in Yellowknife and Gjoa Haven before and after the hunt, if applicable.
• Overweight baggage fees.
• Expenses incurred due to delays, caused by bad weather, mechanical problems, or other factors beyond our control.
• Canadian Goods and Services Tax. (GST)
Please note the hunt ends when the muskox is taken.
There are sometimes Central Canadian Barren Ground Caribou in the area. You may opt in the Fall, to purchase a caribou tag. In this case if the hunter shoots a caribou there will be a kill fee. During the Spring hunt hunters can obtain a wolf tag. Should this be the case and the hunter does take a wolf there is a kill fee. OR- YOU CAN BOOK A COMBO HUNT WITH EXTENDED
THINGS ALL HUNTERS MUST BE AWARE OF:
Hunt package includes: Two nights accommodations in Holman, accommodation/meals while in camp, one guide for every hunter, field prep of trophy and hides.
• Travel to and from Gjoa Haven is the hunter’s responsibility;
• All hunting licenses and tags are purchased by the hunter, when he/she gets to Gjoa Haven;
• All food and lodging while in the town of Gjoa Haven is the hunters responsibility and can cost as much as three hundred dollars ($350.00) a day (Canadian). This includes days lost to bad weather, before, after, and during the hunt. If he/she tags out early, he/she will be brought back to Gjoa Haven, and will have to pay for food and lodging until the departure of his/her flight;
• There is a very good possibility the hunter will lose a couple days of his/her hunt to bad weather, equipment breakdowns or both;
• A representative from the Hunting Trapping Committee will meet you at the airport;
• The hunter will need to take the taxi from the airport to the hotel ($20.00 per person) and return on your way home;
• The hunter will need to have Canadian currency on hand as there are very few places in Gjoa Haven that accept credit cards;
• Trophy fees for muskox are to be paid in Canadian currency at the wildlife office in Gjoa Haven.
• We highly encourages hunters to buy trip cancellation insurance. We can assist in obtaining this as we are agents for same.
Hunters have the option of returning each night to stay in the community hotel or with their guides at an additional cost. If a hunter wishes to camp on the tundra with his guide for the duration of his hunt this can be arranged. Accommodation while camping will be in a heated canvas wall tent.
Please note that while the hunt is listed as six days, return to the community is at the hunters discretion once an animal is taken.
Accommodation/meals while in camp
One guide and one helper for every hunter
Field prep of trophy and hides.
Two nights accommodations in Holman
• Muskox license and trophy fees ($420 per muskox)
• Government trophy and export fees
• 5% goods and service tax
• Meat processing
• Canadian firearms import fee (if applicable)
• Commercial flights to Holman
The SPRING season closes the end of April and we like to work backwards from that date as it gives the best weather and longest days. Typically hunters will fly into the community on a Thursday. Hunt Fri, Sat, Sun and Monday and depart Tuesday.
The FALL season opens on Aug 15th and we go till the end of Sept. Fly in on Thurs as start days. As this is a community based hunt and we do not require a min number of hunters it is quite flexible. For fall hunts use the date that they would fly into the community on Thursday. You would then hunt for 4 days and leave on the 5th day.
Muskox: Arctic Island Muskox:
Arctic Island Muskox 5 day Community Hunt: Northwest Territories
1 Muskox $7500 USD; 2nd Muskox $2500 USD
TRAVEL: Fly into Edmonton; then into Yellowknife; then on to Holman. Rough cost $2200. It actually works out cheaper to fly into Edmonton and overnight there , and then take the flight from Edmonton via Yellowknife to Holman, and it is the case that Edmonton handles hunters very well. Plus there often is another flight available if bags get delayed. They have a hotel right in the terminal- that is something they do not have in Yellowknife. For travel prices you can contact:
Leanna Thoreson, Travel Canada 108-3120 8th St E, Saskatoon, Sk Phone: 877-608-3500 Fax: 306-374-5878 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
THERE IS AN OPTION TO RENT YOUR OWN ATV FOR aprox. $200/DAY.
Barren Ground Caribou: Northwest Territories and Nunavut
Note: this is not the Arctic Island Caribou which is different specie according to SCI
1 Caribou $6500 USD; 2nd caribou $7500 USD
Air charter $2200. USD ROUND TRIP
Hunt package includes: accommodation/meals while in camp, one guide for every two hunters, field prep of your trophy, meat and hides, transportation from Yellowknife airport to the hotel, hotel – float base return.
Not included: $2200 return air charter from Yellowknife to camp, government license and trophy fees, 5% goods and service tax, meat processing, Canadian firearms import fee (if applicable), your travel to Yellowknife and all costs associated with that.
Northwest Territories and/or Nunavut
1 Wolf $6900.00 USD 2nd Wolf (if harvested) $750.00 USD
Hunt package includes: accommodation/meals while in camp, one guide for every two hunters, field prep of your trophy, meat and hides, transportation from Yellowknife Airport to the Hotel, Hotel – float base return.
Not included: government license and trophy fees, 5% goods and service tax, meat processing, Canadian firearms import fee (if applicable), your travel to Yellowknife and all costs associated with that.
Grizzly Bear- Nunavut
1 Bear $15503.25 USD; 1 Wolf harvest fee (payable only if taken) $1000.00 USD
Hunt package includes: Accommodation/meals while in camp, one guide for every hunter, field prep of trophy hides and meat.
Not included: government license and trophy fees, 5% goods and service tax, meat processing, Canadian firearms import fee (if applicable), your travel to Yellowknife and all costs associated with that, commercial flights to and from communities and accommodation/meals while in Yellowknife and community.
OTHER HUNTS AVAILABLE:
Polar bear; High success wolf hunts; Woodland Bison; Central Barren Ground Caribou; Barren Ground Grizzly; Walrus. Please inquire on these as details change.
ROUGH LIST OF COSTS: (BRING CANADIAN FUNDS!!!!!!!!!)
1) Travel from your home to Holman (Uluhaktok)
2) Hotel and Meals in Holman for night of arrival and night prior to
departure (budget for $350 cdn/person/night)
3) Hunting License $50.00 each. Cdn (subj to change)
4) Trophy fee of $250/each paid to the government when animal is
harvested. Subj to change)
5) Shipping of the hide and horns back to Yellowknife and then on south. Depending on final destination it is cheapest to have the hide come out as extra baggage rather then freight. I would budget from Holman – YK budget for about $100/animal.
PHONE 1-307-637-5495 email: email@example.com