Sépaq Anticosti remarkable comeback

The largest deer hunting outfitter in the world can boast that it faces some happy problems.

In the heart of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, there is an 8,000 km2 game island that is home to an impressive population of white-tailed deer.

However, the climatic conditions on Anticosti Island are very harsh and have often disrupted the life cycle of deer.

Imagine, there were winter hecatombs in 2003 and 2008 which each time decimated more than 40,000 animals.

In December 2019, we were presented with a poor 18-month old inventory. This has raised eyebrows more than one and has been contested by several residents of Port-Menier.

It was explained that the main reason for this decrease was linked to the dreadful winters of 2014 and 2015 and the late springs accompanied by freezing rain.

Cheering

Fortunately, the last three winters have been very mild.

What has incredibly helped the herd to go up the slope, it is the months of January to April 2021, during which there was in total only 101 cm of snow and no significant ice which is deadly for these animals often at the end of the line. of breath at this time of year.

Sépaq Anticosti occupies half of the area of ​​the island, which is the dream of all deer hunters, ie 4000 km2.

“During the pre-season preparation of the territory and the trails, our employees did not discover any carcasses, jubilant director Robin Plante. In addition, the resilience phenomenon of this species is so strong that we can now observe a marked increase in reproduction. The vast majority of females have had two offspring, or even triplets in some cases. Hunting promises to be excellent this fall. “

According to some speakers, with a concentration exceeding 22 specimens per km2, the Anticosti population was in overcapacity and unfortunately nature could no longer feed everyone’s mouths.

Nowadays, we seem to have reached a balance with an approximate density of 10 to 12 animals per km2, which represents one of the best places in the province.

It was by venturing beyond the beaten track, into a bog bordered by a plain, that I was able to collect this buck.

Courtesy photo

It was by venturing beyond the beaten track, into a bog bordered by a plain, that I was able to collect this buck.

No less than 110 deer

I had heard a lot of “blah” and wanted to confirm it in person. During a stay, which took place just a few days ago, I was frankly impressed by what I saw.

The first morning, arriving at my spot, there was a big 10 points which made the lookout, as if to taunt us, and it scampered at the first opportunity. I saw a minimum of 110 deer (including several at dusk).

During the following days, the animals seemed more tense with the approach of a weather depression, but I still saw 20 to 25 deer daily.

My partner and I outsmarted our four deer and above all, above all, missed many opportunities orchestrated by winds and rains that made the game very nervous.

Book early

“Quebecers have reclaimed this gem surrounded by water, 222 km long by 56 wide. We have really had a banner year. In fact, everything was full in 2021 and everything is already booked for 2022 at the Auberge Port-Menier, explains with a broad smile the director of catering, Francis Perras. There are only a few availabilities at the McDonald pavilion which has been completely renovated and in a few cabins located by the sea. ”

When it comes to hunting, the big problem is that everything, but absolutely everything is sold for this year. It is therefore desirable to mark in your diary the dates from December 15 to January 15, when more than 256 places will be allocated by drawing lots.

Those who came this year will have priority to renew their stay next fall. There is a waiting list (which seems to be getting longer) for all the different packages, ranging from low campsites to royal handsets.

Succession

The manager, who oversees more than 80 employees, welcomed his new team made up mostly of prime-age recruits who, in many cases, are replacing workers who have taken a well-deserved retirement, like Jean-Paul Français and Wilbrode Tremblay, whom I frequently worked with at Vauréal.

As in many other places, the Sépaq network wishes to prioritize customer service, and executives rely on the well-being of their workforce, which is often difficult to recruit in such remote places.

In the woods

A study carried out in collaboration with Laval University, on behalf of Sépaq, showed that 90% of amateurs did not move more than 300 meters from main and secondary roads, even if they were provided with free tools. .

Upon arrival, everyone receives a detailed paper map with all the numbered trails, the forest cover and the various interventions and cuts, the rivers present, peatlands, etc. Customers are even invited to download the Avenza application and Sépaq Anticosti’s digitized and georeferenced maps. These last reveal the 2700 km of marked trails and many sites in the background to the nimrods who wish to go on an adventure.

The clientele catches an average of 1.73 deer per hunter, all segments combined.

Anyone could catch their two beasts. But human nature makes us want to be more selective. Remember that we intercept between 30 and 50 bucks sporting 10 points and more per year.

“We see more than 600 males adorned with eight pine trees per fall, out of a possible harvest of 4800 deer. We therefore only take a small percentage of the working population, ”Sépaq Anticosti director, Robin Plante, specified.

For more information: 1 800 463-0863 or sepaq.com/anticosti



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