For decades, a caribou hunt in Northern Quebec was one of the great bargains of North America. Sportsmen could drive to Montreal, fly to the North, and harvest two caribou with velvet antlers in late August and hard antlers by mid-September. With the caribou population nearing one million, the resource seemed bright. However, a dramatic population decline has lead to greatly reduced hunting opportunities and a near eradication of the caribou-hunting industry. Today, several regions of the historic caribou-hunting area have reopened, with a two-caribou limit; the outlook seems promising. Here’s the latest information.

582247-R1-E067The Québec Outfitters Federation welcomes today’s announcement from the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks, Yves-François Blanchet. In a press release published a few hours ago, the Minister said that the Leaf River caribou herd was stable and confirmed that it was completely safe to maintain the allocation of two caribou per hunter for the 2014‒2015 season.

The Leaf River herd is the only one currently being hunted for sport in Northern Québec. Numbering roughly 430,000 heads in 2012, the herd shows positive signs of stability, with an estimated recruitment of 33 calves per 100 females. Furthermore, researchers found individuals from the herd to be in good physical condition and the proportion of adult males to be on the rise.  Marc Plourde, President and Director General of the Québec Outfitters Federation, said he was “very satisfied with the Minister’s decision. It shows a real commitment to developing a wildlife management framework based on scientific and biological principles. This decision is the guarantee outfitters need to sell their packages at Québec and international trade shows.”

The Federation will continue to collaborate with the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs on the caribou issue, among other things to develop a species management plan, and hopes that the caribou hunting terms for 2015‒2016 and 2016‒2017 will be announced as soon as possible in 2014.

For the latest information contact