I recently returned from my first caribou hunt with JHA on August 22nd. Words can not accurately express my experience at Merville North. The cliche "Trip of a Lifetime" often seems a bit overused, but that is the best expression I can find to describe what a wonderful time I had.
All 4 of us in camp tagged-out with 8 bulls (5 of them were good bulls). However, we did not see a lot of caribou. I probably saw the most in the group (100 animals for the week, 50 on the last full day while I was spotting for a friend). The fishing was spectacular as we caught trophy brookies and lakers with nearly every cast. Together, we probably caught 8 Brook Trout in the 3.4 - 3.6 lb range.
I can't imagine having a better guide or cook in Alfred Boland and his wife Theresa. I was amazed at how hard each worked. Alfred quartered, deboned and packed 6 of our caribou back to the boat, sometimes two in the same day. Our boat was always ready when we were. Firewood was always available when needed. Alfred's enthusiasm and work ethic is unmatched. Similarly, Theresa's meals and deserts were out of this world. It was simply tremendous.
Finally, the Bugs were almost non-existent. I only put on bug spray one afternoon because the black flies were more annoying than anything else!
Things were very organized in Schefferville. Richard and Amanda did a great job coordinating the trip and getting us out to our camps. As a result, I tagged my first caribou on the very first afternoon.
The only criticism was related to our return Trip. We were due back in Montreal at 4:00pm. It was 11pm when I finally was able to retrieve all of my baggage at the Holiday Inn. I do understand that outfitters are somewhat at the mercy of the airlines, and we are told to be flexible. However, 6-7 hours is a bit much with little accurate communication between the airlines, base camp and outpost camps.
My new friend Claude summed it up best during a period of fishing for brook trout. We had both tagged-out the day before, and after catching fish with nearly every cast for a period of 20 minutes, he turned to me to say: “If I had died and gone to heaven, I would have never have asked for this much.”
I could not have envisioned a better trip! If I am lucky enough to go on a caribou hunt again in the future, it will be with JHA and, hopefully, with Alfred and Theresa.
None to date. If you are the outfitter please email us.
The weather changed every 15 minutes. For the first week, it was generally cool (55 degrees) with a mix of sun and rain. Bugs were not a factor.