Caribou Hunting in Canada

Caribou herds can be found from the High Arctic region south to the boreal forest and Rocky Mountains and from the east to the west coasts. Since the dawn of time, people have been caribou hunting in Canada.

Caribou Hunting in Canada

Arctic peoples, including the Caribou Inuit, the inland-dwelling Inuit of the Kivalliq Region in northern Canada, the Caribou Clan in Yukon, the Iñupiat, the Inuvialuit, the Hän, the Northern Tutchone, and the Gwich’in, who followed the Porcupine caribou (also known as Grant’s caribou) for millennia, have depended on caribou for food, clothing, and shelter. Today is no exception, caribou hunting is still popular. It’s just become…. more complicated.

Huntable Subspecies of Caribou in Canada

  1. Woodland Caribou
  2. Mountain Caribou
  3. Barren ground
  4. Central Canada Barren Ground Caribou
  5. Quebec-Labrador Caribou
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woodland caribou hunting in Canada

Woodland Caribou

Woodland caribou AKA Boreal caribou are found year-round within the boreal forest.

They occur in most provinces and territories in Canada, except for Nunavut, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. They occur in small groups, spreading out across large, continuous areas of mature forests and peatlands.

Woodland caribou herds span across nine provinces and territories.
Woodland caribou herds span across nine provinces and territories.

Woodland Caribou Hunting

The island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador is home to thousands of rare woodland caribou. This region is the only non-resident huntable woodland caribou herds in the world.

Non-resident hunters for woodland caribou have experienced more than a 90% success rate, with mature bulls weighing anywhere from 350 to 500 pounds. They are among the most difficult species for hunters making an attempt at the North America 29.

World Record Woodland Caribou

The world record Woodland caribou was killed in 1910 in Newfoundland. Taping out at 419 5/8 inches, this great bull is the epitome of what woodland caribou have to offer.

If you’re looking to go Woodland caribou hunting in Canada, please contact us for more information.

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Mountain Caribou

Mountain Caribou

These are actually a variety of woodland caribou that live in the rugged mountain region of Northwestern Canada.

Mountain caribou (Rangifer tarandus), are unique to the mountains oBritish Columbia and northern Washington and Idaho. Mountain caribou are the southernmost caribou subspecies in the world. The southern population of mountain caribou that dwells in the south of British Columbia is threatened by predation and habitat fragmentation, but the northern populations are healthy and legal seasons are open in Alaska and some Canadian provinces including Yukon and British Columbia.

Mountain Caribou Hunting in Canada

Unlike tundra caribou, they don’t usually have mass migrations, making your hunt more predictable. During the hunt they are typically high up on the open ground, where they are relatively easy to spot but may be difficult to stalk. Boreal highlands are some of the most difficult terrain to navigate, so a hunter should be prepared for heavy physical activity.

  • British Columbia has guaranteed, OTC mountain caribou tags.
  • Mountain caribou carry more mass in their antlers and are thicker than the caribou of the far northern Yukon and Northwest Territory.
  • Our hunters in B.C. can hunt early caribou still in velvet, or above timberline during the rut.
  • Mountain goatmoosestone sheep and grizzly can all be hunted in combination with mountain caribou in British Columbia.
  • Fair chase, spot-and-stalk true mountain hunt.
  • The weather can be snow, rain or sometimes pleasant Indian summer.
  • On one of our BC hunts, bulls harvested during the rut average between 350-380 Boone and Crockett, with a couple bulls close to or exceeding 400 mark each year!

World Record Mountain Caribou

The Smith bull is an incredible specimen. With a jawdropping score of 460 inches, this giant was taken in the Yukon Territories by Gregory Smith in 2016.

A mountain caribou hunt in B.C. is a memorable feather in any hunter’s cap. We’d love to help you book this amazing hunt.

A British Columbia caribou hunt can be physically demanding, and you will earn your critter. You’ll need the right gear, and the right mindset. If you have all of that, get ready for the hunt of a lifetime!

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A nice caribou bull

Barren Ground Caribou

This subspecies accounts for about fifty percent of all caribou found in Canada.

Barren ground caribou are much smaller than the woodland caribou,with the prime stags tipping the scales at 200-225 lbs. on the hoof. Their racks are huge in comparison to their body weight. They are found in Arctic and sub-Arctic environments. Occurring in the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Historically, they used to occur in Alberta.

Barren-ground caribou require large ranges, particularly because of frequent shifts in their Arctic and sub-Arctic environments, such as changes in snow cover, plant growth, as well as predation.

They are known for their long-distance, yearly migrations and their tendency to gather in large groups at common calving locations in the spring. Barren-ground caribou naturally migrate to shallow snow covered regions during the winter. Over the summer, they often seek cool, damp and windy habitats that provide high-quality forage and low exposure to biting insects.Barren Ground Caribou Range in Canada

Hunting Barren Ground Caribou

Barren Ground Caribou are a subspecies of caribou hunted in Canada and Greenland. The arctic caribou hunts in Canada start in mid-August and end in mid-September. Whether you plan on hunting the first week or the last week, you should see plenty of caribou during your hunt.

World Record Barren Ground Caribou

The Dobbs bull is the No. 1 Boone & Crockett entry in the barren ground caribou category. Coming in at a whopping 477 inches, it was taken in 1999 by Daniel L. Dobbs at Lliamna Lake, Alaska.

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Central Canada Barren Ground Caribou

Central Canada Barren Ground Caribou

These caribou are very similar in appearance and size to their Alaska cousins, but can vary in size dramatically, based on where they are found. These caribou live on the tundra, and are found on the arctic islands and mainland NWT and Nunavut. They can also be found in extreme northeastern Alberta, northern Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba. When hunting Central Barren Ground Caribou, you are hunting a non-migrating Caribou which remain in the same region year-round. This particular caribou hunt is in the Arctic Circle in the new territory called Nunavut, an area that is seldom traveled and sees few outsiders.Central Canada Barren Ground Caribou Range

SCI categorizes the Arctic Island caribou separately, but for the Super Ten®/Super Slam® those are classified here as CCBGC.

The caribou found south and east in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Nunavut are within this same CCBGC classification. They could be considered medium-sized, but with mature bulls ranging all the way from 250 to 450 pounds. Antlers for the CCBGC usually score about the same as the Quebec Labrador caribou. However, they score about 10 to 15 percent less than their western barren ground and mountain caribou cousins.

World Record CCGC

The Hotter bull was killed in Humpy Lake, NT in 1994 by Donald J. Hotter III. It scores 433 4/8 inches.

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Quebec-Labrador Caribou

Quebec and Labrador caribou is a variety of tundra caribou that is characterized by large scale seasonal migrations.

The famous Leaf River and George River herd migrations of northern Quebec have been the focus of many hunter’s dreams for decades. However, after their numbers took an inexplicable downward surge, the province of Quebec has closed the hunting season. While once numbering in excess of 1.4 million animals, there are now fewer than 150,000 prompting the season closures as the George and Leaf River Herds are in free fall. This subspecies can however, still be legally harvested in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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