Justin Jones, Assistant Editor
Subscriber Armen Avedissian says that Efford’s Hunting Adventure (709-543-2274; http://effordshunting.nf.ca) in Newfoundland is a good bet for moose and woodland caribou combo hunts. In Report 11131, Avedissian says he spent a week hunting from fly-in camps in Oct. and took mature animals despite windy conditions that made the game mostly stick to cover.
“Outfitter Bob Efford has his own planes and multiple camps, which gives him the flexibility to move hunters if there isn’t a lot of game activity in a particular area. After several days without seeing a lot of game, my hunting partner and I moved camps, and I ultimately took a woodland caribou and a moose within the space of an hour. An excellent and well-organized hunt from warm and comfortable camps.”
Avedissian was among the many subscribers who stopped by to say hello at the SCI convention; we also followed up with him for more information on his hunt. This was his 10th hunt for caribou and fifth for moose, so he’s something of an aficionado. He gives Efford’s high marks for communication and logistics, saying that mobility helped make the hunt a success.
“The hunt is booked for a week with six hunting days. We started out at a cabin on a remote lake. The weather was warm and very windy, and we did a lot of walking on hills and in peat bogs. Be sure to bring good boots with gaiters. I hunted 1×1 with guide Tyler Chubb. We focused on caribou first, walking 50 kilometers over several days. We saw three small bulls the first day, and only one bull with eight or nine cows on the second day. On the third day I had an 80-yard shot at a bull, but Chubb said we could do better.
“At noon on day four we flew to another camp, also on a lake. Regulations meant we couldn’t hunt again until the next day. Although it was still warm, we were seeing more game movement in the second area while glassing from small hills. Toward the end of the day I took a mature bull caribou after covering about 2.5 miles to get to him. While cleaning the caribou I asked Chubb for advice on moose calling, which I’ve done a bit before, and I made some calls. We had our packs on our backs when Chubb spotted a 40-plus-inch moose. We dropped our packs and ran to get a shot. After taking the moose we saw two very big caribou at close range in the timber on the way out, both B&C bulls.
“Chubb was a wonderful, fun guy to hunt with and very knowledgeable. Great job with trophy handling.”
Efford’s runs three permanent camps and two satellite camps in southern Newfoundland, all of which are accessed by plane. Camps provide access to the Grey River caribou herd and the Middle Ridge caribou herd, which is the largest in Newfoundland. Efford’s website gives the cost of a caribou/moose combo hunt as $17,600 US. Keep in mind that outfitters receive limited caribou tags (267 in 2017), and hunts with established operators book up in advance. We have six previous positive reports about Efford’s in the database (10736, 10371, 10004, 9864, 8891, 5703) and one negative report from 2001 (2914).
Avedissian says that he did experience a hiccup with Canadian customs during his travels. He says, “I have hunted Canada 15 to 20 times and have always declared guns at the first port of entry. In this case it was Toronto. An agent there insisted that we could declare our guns in Newfoundland, and we double-checked this with another agent. Upon arriving in St. John’s, our luggage wasn’t there. It was stuck in Toronto due to rifles not being cleared. Fortunately, we were able to sort this out and the luggage arrived shortly, so we did not miss any hunting days. We did have to take a cab to the next airport for our bush flight.” Avedissian’s advice is to insist on having rifles cleared at the first port of entry, regardless of what any agent says.