Sep 7, 2012, 1:01 AM EDT
By Bill Miller
The last “Around the Campfire with Bill” blog left the intrepid hunters stranded in the small northern Quebec Inuit village of Kuujjuaq. While the 2 ½ days there did get long, it provided the opportunities for getting to know some great people and learning some things. For example, before our stay there I could never spell K-u-u-j-j-u-a-q from memory. Now, I’ll never forget it! (By the way, for those of you learning of this town for the first time, it’s pronounced KOO-joo-wak.)
Though the third day began looking like the worst weather so far, it cleared out around midday enough to fly. Believe me, a cheer went out from the collected hunters! All our gear was already staged at the float plane base, so it didn’t take long for the first flights to load up and take off.
I was in the second group of hunters headed to the Jack Hume Adventures camp called Bobby’s Camp in the direction of the Leaf River in the northwestern portion of the province. This cluster of Hume’s camps are about 100 miles from Kuujjuaq.
We flew out to the camp, landed and immediately made preparations to hunt. That’s one of the great things about Quebec. You can hunt the same day as you fly. This saves valuable hunting time when your hunt is already being cut short by the weather!
No animals were taken that first afternoon in our camp, but it sure was nice to get out and stretch our legs on the tundra after being confined in town for so much time. There’s something special about that first step onto the tundra of any visit there. That give of the moss, lichen and low lying berry bushes under your boots. It’s a you have to do it to understand it moment, for sure.
The next day was the one sunny day of our entire hunt, so it felt good just to find a hilltop rock to sit down and glass. That’s how we spent most of the day until we spied a respectable bull caribou a couple miles distant. He was back across a huge bay of the lake, we cut the distance in the boat and made a stalk from the back side of a ridge that separated us.
By the time we relocated him, he’d bedded. We made a stalk and got to just over 200 yards. I rested the rifle on a huge boulder, and it wasn’t long until he got suspicious of that new “bump” on the horizon and he stood. The Weatherby Ultra Light in .300 Wthby. shooting Federal 180-grain Trophy Bonded Tip bullets brought him down quickly.
We packed the bull back to the boat and headed for camp. While we’d enjoyed success on our first bull, neither we nor any of the other hunters in camp had seen a lot of animals – that’s why you travel all this way – to really see the start of the caribou migration.
The Hume Team was opening up another of its camps and had seen many more caribou in its vicinity. The decision was made to move hunters to that camp as quickly as possible. It was time to pack up again.
The ability to move hunters to camps near the unpredictable migration is the hallmark of top Quebec caribou outfitters, and Jack Hume Adventures has to rank at the very top of that elite group. Founded in the late 70s by Jack Hume and now run by his son Richard today, this operation is the oldest continuously operating outfitting service in all of Quebec. They are service oriented and do all they can to make every trip the hunt of a lifetime for their clients.
The other great thing about Quebec is that each license covers two caribou … so our adventure will continue!
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