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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have booked a semi guided hunt in Quebec for next December and I am trying to get prepared for it. Right now my largest caliber gun is a 243 but I can borrow a 270 or a 3006 from my Mom. Here's the questions:
Which caliber would you choose and what grain bullet?
I am dead set on taking one of my animals with my bow. For you guys that have hunted them before: Is that a reasonable task or am I chasing a dream!??
Any other tips or things that I should be aware of that will help me plan out my trip?
Thanks
 

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check out the last couple of issues of Woods N Water, I think I saw some articles in there about hunting in Quebec.

good luck


[This message has been edited by david (edited 01-31-2001).]
 

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Weezer, I would definitly go the bow route also. But it all depends on how many bous your seeing, if you time it right a bow kill shouldn't be a problem, if not timed right, then well have the 30-06. I would run 185 grain core-lok bullets, you shouldn't have any problems. If thats not enough for ya, by some federal big game loads, I think 165-185 grains should be plenty..Sounds like a great time..Good Luck.

[This message has been edited by mechanical head (edited 01-31-2001).]
 

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Actually, harvesting a bou with a bow is alot easier than a whitetail, just be prepared to hike.
They're not nearly as spooky as a whitetail, just wear good camo and be prepared to hike miles, and then hike some more.
The bou's up in AK were easy to stalk if you're trained on Michigan deer.
I'm sure you are researching everything you can read on these critters...maybe I can tell you some things you may not be able to read anywhere.
Couple tips,
Caribou will walk faster than you can get across the terrain at your quickest pace. If you're gonna ambush'em, pick a spot well ahead of their travel route, and look for funnels.
I know this will sound funny, but we used to hunt the north slope, just north of the Brooks range every August for bou's in the bowhunting only section of the Tundra(5 miles either side of the Dalton) and we used to get the attention of caribou miles away by waving big white flags. I guess it simulated moving caribou and you would be amazed at how many herds we "decoyed" in.
Also, if you're bowhuntin, 40-50yd shots are possible, it's hard to get close when there's no cover. Arrow penetration was nuthin like a moose, and a quick flat trajectory with a 24" in. arrow around 70# worked well.
I don't gun hunt, and talking rifle calibers is like japanese to me, I'm sorry I can't help you there. I used to know some guys up there that would ride their 4 wheelers across the tundra and glass caribou from their bikes. When they spotted a herd, they would ride within range, pull out their rifles and tripods, pick the bulls they wanted, count to three and fire simultaneously. These guys were superb shots and routinely popped bulls at 5 and 600 yds. The racks they scored were tremendous. These guys were serious shots, and serious bou hunters, and they taught me a ton.
If your still hunting through willows, spruce, or other cover, keep your ears peeled. Caribou have tendons between their toes, and when they walk, their hooves snap together and make a clicking sound. One time, as I crouched behind some black spruce waitin on a good bull, I had probably 100 bous walk by at 15 yds....it sounded like a parade of people walking with tap shoes on. Wasn't a decent enough bull in the whole herd though, so I never let an arrow go on that trip, but I heard them coming before I ever saw them.
Another tip is to get good optics. Most people look for bou's too close...you need to reach out with your optics and try to spot herds 4 and 5 miles out. Up there you should be able to see forever, and the bou's will look like ants on the tundra. If the ground cover is thick enough to hide a bedded bou, try to spot antlers sticking out of the brush, alot of times this will be all you can see.
My final tip is this: Most young bulls look ALOT like cows, they all have antlers. Unlike a whitetail, the ***** sheath of a bull caribou is quite obvious under the belly of a bull. Too many caribou are passed up, or misidentified and wrongly shot because hunters have a hard time identifying sex. If it's a bull, it WILL have an evident sheath....locate that part of the anatomy before you shoot.
Hope some of this junk helps ya out!
Let us know when you are leaving, so we can wish you luck!!
Huntnut
 

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Hello Weezer,

I agree with earlier posters regarding bou hunts, particularly in Quebec in the fall. It's simply a crap shoot most of the time. Either they are there or they're not. Last time I went, they were not, and we busted our a$$es for 6 days for only 4 bulls out of 12 possible. On the other hand, my brothers went just last year (to Labrador)and all 6 in the group tagged out in two days! The bou were traveling all day and all night. All a person had to do was hide on the bank near a frequent crossing of a river or lake and simply pick out a nice one. My brother has pictures of a bull running by at his feet! You just never know.

Although I do hear it's a COMPLETELY different story during the winter months, the time when you're going. Most of the hunts in the winter are a drive out, spot and shoot type of deal. Close to 100% success rates because during that time, the herds are way south are really dense and HUGE. You should have no problem.

In my opinion, a .270 cal. with a good constructed bullet would be more than adequate. My friend took his bull with a .270 w/, I believe, 150 grain silver tips. His bull expired just as quickly as the others did. I happened to use my "do everything" .338 Win mag. with 225 grain barnes Xs, spit out by 73 grains of IMR 4350. My Bou just dropped like a sack of taters.

What Outfit are you going with Weezer?

Good luck,
RUPP




[This message has been edited by RUPP (edited 01-31-2001).]
 
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Weezer,

Lots of good information above so far, here is some more.

I killed both of my stags last August with a 30.06 and used 165 gr Ballistic Tips. Worked like a charm. In Labrador, where I did my hunt the animals are refered to as Stags, Does and Prickets (fawn or calf). I took my bow and rifle, just couldn't manage to get caught up to a stag for the bow.

I recommend you hold out for mature stags. Huntnut is right about both sexes having antlers. However, there is no mistaking a mature stag, the racks are huge. Especially the rare double shovel. Does have small racks, so do immature males. You will have no problem telling them apart. Mature stags also have more of a yellow or white colored mane.

In December you may not see many large racks. According to my outfitters, the largest stags drop them after the October rut. Most people hunt in December as a meat/cull hunt. So be prepared that you may not see big trophy racks just racks on does. December hunts are usually priced cheaper because of that.

If you are really wanting a trophy animal you should consider going earlier than December. There are many things to look at when judging a rack in the field to determine if the animal is a shooter. Look for long points on the tops and look for lots of points there too, there should be lots of palmation. The bez tines should have lots of points and be wide. A top quality rack will have back points on both sides. The best will have all of the above with a double shovel. Usually a stag with a double shovel will have smaller bez tines with fewer points, he will still score better over all. Particulary if he has back points or back scratchers. It is very hard to find a stag with everything.

Does keep their antlers throught the winter and into the time when they drop pricketts. The have them to fight off wolves and stags in the calving grounds.

Things to bring....rain gear, cold weather gear, wool and Gore Tex. Think WATERPROOF. Don't forget your chapstick, you will need it. It is very windy on the tundra, you'll get dried out real fast.



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~Ann

Every day spent outdoors is the best day of my life.
 

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lordy, man i can only dream of doing that, in fact i have been dreaming of it. maybe some day, anyways, the best of luck in your hunt.
may the great spirits smile down on you.
PS. did ya think of tryin a musket?
 
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Weezer I double checked ....The big boys drop their antlers by the second week of November. Immature stags by mid December. Straight from a wildlife biologist in Canada.



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~Ann

Every day spent outdoors is the best day of my life.
 

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Weezer,
Redtoads is exactly right about identifying trophy bulls. Watch for the main beams to curve forward and down, also whenever you see a double shovel, it's a bull, no doubt. I read that 1 out of every 500 mature bulls sport a triple shovel, now there's a prize! I was talking more about immature bulls being hard to identify. Alaska fish and game would continuosly pound the sheath ID before the shot to hunters. I have seen cows sport head gear worthy of my trophy room for sure! I once arrowed a very small bull that I was sure was a cow until he turned broadside. It is a good ID reference when bulls are immature or have lost their antlers, and it was the only bull we saw that trip.
I reread your post and noticed you were going in December. That probably means snowmobile hunting for there's sure to be snow up there when you go. Take snow shoes if you plan to hunt on foot, and be ready for some arctic weather.
I used to live about 80 miles south of the Arctic Circle, and did plenty of bou huntin in 50 below weather near the Canadian border. Make sure you don't let your compass freeze, and batteries in flashlights don't work too long in the cold weather.
If you're meat hunting, I might recommend taking a smaller bou for meat quality. I'm not saying caribou don't taste good, but the younger bulls are a bit more tender.
BTW, I'm so jealous.
Sitting here talking about bou hunting is dredging up alot of good memories. What I wouldn't give to be back up on the shores of Prudhoe Bay chasing those magnificent animals with my bow.
Without a doubt though, if you go in December you will see a TON of bou's and they will be easy to spot and track in the snow!
Good luck pardner!
Hunt
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm going with Northern Caribou adventures. I don't really care about trophy animals. Looks like they won't have the antlers anyhow :)
so let me pose this question: How do I tell a mature bou from an imature bull? Is it something That I will be able to figure out on my own right off the bat? Is there a problem with shooting a doe up there or is it acceptable among the residents?
Thanks for all the help guys
 

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Hey Weez,

I have not hunted bou in winter time, but in late Aug. early Sept. it's fairly easy to distinguish a mature bull from an adolescent. A mature bull has a much heavier and greyer "mane" than a younger bull. When a bull gets real old he loses much of his antler qualities. A much older bull's antlers will actually look long and "spindly" as compared to a bull in its prime. They usually won't have as much mass or points as compared to a bull in its prime. A cow vs. bull should be pretty obvious to ya when they're side by side. In December though, most of these characteristics may not apply.

As far as shooting a cow or calf vs. a bull, I'd leave that up to your outfitter to decide. The Indian residents, up in Shefferville, didn't seem to really prefer one sex or the other. We drove by the dump one night (for some bear viewing) and noticed many carcasses of both sexes. They would take what they needed and then thwrow the rest (cape, antlers, spine, etc.) away at the dump. Made for a black bear magnet.

Will you be going near the St. James Bay area?

Good luck to ya Weez. I'm jealous too.
RUPP

[This message has been edited by RUPP (edited 02-02-2001).]
 
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Weezer,

For your hunt you will eb able to shoot either sex as it is a meat hunt. When speaking of immature/mature bulls, it won't matter. The older, mature animals are the ones with the big racks. The immature, younger bulls have much smaller ones. Most likely, you will only see small racked female animals. If you are lucky, you'll see a big one. If you do, well, I don't think I have to tell you what to do.

If you are wondering about the quality of the meat. They all taste very good. I took one mature bull and one youngster, they are both just as tender. My older animal was about 6 years old, the other about 3. Both are fine eating.

Good luck.



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~Ann

Every day spent outdoors is the best day of my life.
 

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Redtoads;
I have always dreamed of doing a hunt like this, but thought it might even be more fun to use my .54 cal Hawken muzzleloader. Are there any restrictions flying in to a camp like this with blackpowder, or taking black powder into Canada, ect. I know you cannot take black powder on commercial flights--don't know about bush flights,ect. Thanks for any info you can give me.
 
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Mr. 16 G,

Yes, you can use a smokepole to hunt in Canada. I am checking the regs for you covering the airlines.

I will email you with the travel requirements/restrictions.

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~Ann

Every day spent outdoors is the best day of my life.
 
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Your outfitter will make arrangements to get the black powder for you.

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~Ann

Every day spent outdoors is the best day of my life.
 

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Weezer I have gone a caribou hunt before and the best thing is having a good guide for the hunt.The guide I had was excelent he could spot them miles away and tell just where they moving to and knew where to go to cut them off for a good stalk, The bulls I got where both nice one scoring 390 7/8 with a 40 3/8 spread. I used a .270 with federal premium loads in the trophy bonded bear claw 140gr. The larger bull droped at 250yds out with one shot. I went on the next to last week of the season every one got two animals I connot stess the importance of a good guide. Make sure you take good rain gear and warm clothes.A good pair of waterproof boots are a must as the ground is like walking on a wet matress. These animals are not a walk in the park if you look to get a trophy one.
 

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I hunted at NCA the first weekend of December last year. And a 243 will do just fine. Or what ever you shoot the best.
Shots were close and you can tell the big bulls from the small easily. The real problem which one to shoot. We saw thousands,but the hunt before us saw very few. Four in our pary limeted out the first day. All nice bulls.
Some of the animals in other parties would loose there antlers when shot. Be prepared to drive a ways if the bulls aren't down yet. Guides can tell you where they are from a compurter print out. Heards are banded with transmiters.HAVE FUN----Hammer

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