A Genuine Sports Hunt Destination
Many of Nunavik’s outfitting camps have been delivering quality, hunting services for more than 30 years, with very respectable success rates. Every year, caribou taken at Nunavik camps rank among the top scoring trophies recorded by Boone & Crockett, Pope & Young, and Safari Club International. Hundreds of thousands of caribou roam the wilds of Nunavik and offer innumerable hunting opportunities for every kind of sports hunter.
Through the summer and fall of 2001, for the first time in roughly a decade, a census of the George River and Leaf River herds was conducted. Their ranges were shown to cover the entire northern region of the province of Quebec. While the caribou of the George River herd spend part of each year in Labrador, the animals of the Leaf River migrate along a north–south corridor comprising the western and central parts of Nunavik.
Results of the 2001 census now estimate the size of the George River caribou herd at between 400,000 and 500,000. Although the population has decreased in the last decade, other scientific data collected in 2001 suggest that the herd’s overall health has improved over the same period. The size of the Leaf River herd is currently estimated at between 430,000 and 500,000 head.
Beyond a doubt, the tundra caribou is among the best-known symbols of life in the Arctic. This massive wildlife resource continues to represent an important source of food for the Inuit residents of the region. In Nunavik, you will encounter the largest caribou herds in the world and be able to test yourself against a great land migrator.
Around the 1880s, caribou were everywhere in Nunavik. The Inuit of the region had ample supply for subsistence purposes. Between 1890 and 1910 however, caribou populations plummeted for unknown reasons and these animals remained scarce for many, many years.
From a low of about 15,000 animals in 1958, the George River herd began to grow again, increasing exponentially to an estimated 800,000 head according to a 1993 census enumeration compiled by biologists. Since that time, the annual range of the George River herd is considered to have shrunk by 40% and now covers the area traditionally known by Inuit as the home of the caribou.
Offsetting this phenomenon, the Leaf River herd has increased in number and expanded its range during the last decade. While its calving grounds have slowly migrated much further north of the Leaf River, the herd’s entire annual range covers much of the Ungava Peninsula, from the large James Bay hydro-electric complexes in the south to Hudson Strait in the north.
Although seemingly abundant and invulnerable, Nunavik caribou have reached a critical point with their environment. It is therefore important that caribou sport hunting continue to be practised ethically: excessiveness is out of place and regulation is as important as elsewhere. Everyone must take special care of this world-class resource.
For 2011, the caribou sport hunting season will start on August 15 and end on October 2.
By virtue of the Quebec government regulations, to hunt in Nunavik, sport hunters must use the services of an outfitter, from which they can obtain all the necessary licenses and authorizations. Hunters may therefore contact directly the outfitters members of the Nunavik Tourism Association, for complete details on the different packages offered and applicable prices.
For more information :
Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec (MRNF)
Tel.: 418-627-8600 or 1-866-248-6936 toll free (from Canada only)
Nunavik's Wildlife Protection office (in Kuujjuaq)
Canadian Firearms Program
Tel.: 506-624-5380 or 1-800-731-4000 toll Free (from Canada only)