Destination Newfoundland

The older I get, the more I enjoy my hunting adventures. Going somewhere you’ve never been, hunting a species you’ve never even seen, and hiking in a totally unique and challenging environment... I call that adventure. In fact, I choose many of my destinations based on the simple fact I’m doing something totally different. It was that feeling of adventure that first drew me to Newfoundland to bowhunt for woodland caribou. There was a float plane trip to a remote lodge, meeting people with a unique heritage, and having the hunt of a lifetime.

Hunting a new species is all part of the challenge. You can hunt various species of caribou in a number of places, but the woodland caribou is unique. They are the only species of caribou that are found in forested habitat. In fact, they depend on the expanses of undisturbed boreal forests found in Newfoundland. They also do not migrate, so they are always there. You can be successful in the early season, during the rut, and after the rut. No matter when you go, a hunt for woodland caribou involves a lot of walking, though there are higher elevated points where one can go to scope for animals. Either way, you will find them along the edges of spruce forests, making ‘spot-and-stalk’ hunting the norm.

The woodland is not normally found in large herds. It is possible to find 30 or so together, but you are much more likely to find five or ten of them feeding and moving over the wet, alpine meadows. As the rut approaches in October, the bigger bulls begin to round up cows and drive smaller bulls away. That also is an exciting time to hunt this critter.

I’ve bowhunted for woodland caribou twice, each time taking friends with me. All of them have returned several times, some taking their wives. The hunting lodges are comfortable, with great food and many new friends. One close hunting buddy now goes to Newfoundland every fall, spending a week touring the sites and scenery with his wife, then bowhunting for caribou, moose, or black bear. He tells me that the west coast of Newfoundland contains the most beautiful scenery found anywhere in the Maritimes.

Give Newfoundland a try. Just being on this wild, untamed island is an adventure, an ultimate adventure, and hunting there will create memories of a lifetime. I’ve not been on the west coast of the island, so that, and the woodland caribou, are enough to draw me back to another Newfoundland adventure.