We left St. Jerome Qc. on the 5th. of April 2003 on our way to Sept-ILes Qc. this is on the Northshore of the Saint Lawrence River. A 12 hour drive from Montreal. The next morning we took the Naskapi Train up to Schefferville. This was also a 12 hour ride when things go well. It may be 15 t0 20 hours when things don’t go well.
We arrived at the small village of Schefferville at 8 pm. It was pretty cold, a good minus -15* Our native friend Tommy was there to pick us up. After a good hand shake we were on our way to his place. Tommy is a police officer for the community of Machemechush, has been doing this job for a good 20 years.
While having our excellent supper, which was “caribou bourginon” with that great bottle of red wine from France. Tommy gave us the bad news, that he could not leave tomorrow as planned. He had to work on one of his files and transfer someone to Sept-Iles. Well I said Tom your the one that’s going to miss out on an interesting caribou hunt. If you don’t mind we shall leave as planned and if the weather is okay. Tommy’s response was quick, ” I knew that it would be an answer like that, coming from you.”
Is there any caribou around? They have not seen many in the last two weeks. Are the people out hunting? Yes the usual ones. How about Wackuwack Lake have they been up there? I don’t think so, that, maybe would be good spot. I looked over to my buddy Guy and ask him, what do you think? He said, Fred I’m 100% in favour to go where you want to go. Heck, that way we’ll never have any problems then. I asked Tom are your snowmobiles ready? Yes and both of them have been inspected and tuned up. All you need is another 10 gallons of gas also the lunch is packed and ready. You can gas up at 7 am. What time does Bla Bla restaurant open for breakfast? 6 am. great, a good and healthy breakfast with, fat bacon and a few eggs, we’ll be okay for the whole day.
Next morning at 6 am. we where having that healthy breakfast. Gassed up the two 5 gallon reservoirs, tied ever thing to the sleighs and on our way towards Wachuwach Lake. This is 70 miles north of Schefferville and on the Quebec side.
It was a beautiful day, sunshine and at 8 am. it was all ready up to +3* Not a breeze of wind. I told Tommy if all goes well we’ll be back late to night. If nothing is in site we will be back tomorrow. Mr. Albert’s lodge was up there and if we needed too we could sleep there for the night. We had been traveling for about two and not a track to been seen, not even a skidoo track or snowmobile track. We stopped and took a short break and an excellent cup of hot coffee.
We continued our pleasure trip, the winter caribou hunt. About 45 minutes latter we had just crossed some caribou tracks. Not to old and maybe 50 or more of them. I told Guy they’re heading west and that’s good as there on the Quebec side.
We traveled another hour and we could see that the caribou headed into the bush. we stopped and I told Guy that with the snowmobiles that we have there’s no problem going straight into the bush after them. Guy had a Bombardier Tundra and I a Skandic wide track. So that we did. I was in front. The caribou trail was about 10 feet wide. We kept on following those tracks. I saw a clearing in front and then a small lake.
We kept on following the tracks and then about 1000 feet ahead on the small lake, they had stopped and were looking at at us. Yes at least 100 of them or more. They took off for the bush which seemed pretty close from where we were. I jumped for my rifle, pulled it out of the case, put the charger in and aimed over their heads and for the bush in front of them. Pulled the trigger, they stopped, turned around and headed straight for us at a full gallop. I said Guy get your rifle out, their going to pass right in front of us. That’s what they did and let me tell you they even stopped and were looking at us. I picked out my fist one and down it went and for the second one the exact same thing. I heard Guy’s two shots and saw both of them fall one after the other. We had both our caribous. What a feeling. We both shook hands and patted each other on the back. It was done.
We gutted all four, tied them up on the sleds. Had a sandwich and another hot cup of coffee. It was only 1 pm. and all ready on our way back to Schefferville.
This is what I call another great trip. Also let me tell you that the best eating caribou meat is when it’s shot in the winter time. Tender and delicious, from my past experience it’s the most tender wild meat that you will ever eat.