The hunt: Caribou are one of Canada’s most inspiring game animals, occupying vast tracts of broad, majestic countryside that can change in the blink of an eye from empty and lonely to alive and moving. Hunting migratory caribou is all about intercepting and ambushing, and today’s best opportunities are found in northern Quebec’s Nunavik region. There, the Leaf River herd remains one of Canada’s largest and healthiest caribou populations, numbering around 430,000 animals.
These caribou are characterized by their long, wide and comparatively thin-beamed antlers sporting numerous points, as well as broad shovel and bez formations. Annual migrations can be challenging to predict, so the best hunting camps are highly mobile. And when the caribou arrive, it’s truly a sight to behold, with thousands of animals passing through each day.
Hunters have the opportunity to glass countless bulls, searching for just the right trophy. Once you’ve selected your quarry, it’s all about the stalk, using the natural creases and rocky outcrops for concealment as you sneak into range. If your bull gets by you before you’re in range, you just let it go—there’s no catching a migrating caribou from behind. But whether you hunt with a bow, blackpowder or rifle, the odds are high you’ll get many, many more chances before heading home. —Ken Bailey
When to go: Mid-August to early October is the time to hit it.
Gun and load: For rifle hunters, any calibre from .25-06 and up is suitable, with shooting distances ranging from a few yards to as far as you’re comfortable shooting.