by Tony Mudd
Immersing ourselves in a Culture that has thrived for over 5000 years in one of the harshest environments in the world had adventure written all over it.
It was that adventurous spirit that lead me to Canada North Outfitting and the Arctic in the spring of 2017. To some the Arctic is an inhospitable place, to others it spells ADVENTURE, a land of tremendous colorful beauty in the Summer and Fall to a harshness beauty of the late fall, winter and spring months. It was the unparalleled hunting opportunities and dangerous adventures that drew me in.
After joining the Canada North Outfitting team in the fall of 2017, I was asked if I would do an exploratory archery Central Canada Barren Ground Caribou (Tuktu) hunt in a new area in Nunavut, Canada, in the fall of 2018.
The Central Canada Barren Ground Caribou makes up one of the five sub-species, the others Barren Ground Caribou, Mountain Caribou, Quebec Labrador, and the Woodland Caribou are all recognized by the Boone & Crocket Club, the Pope & Young Club, and Grand Slam Club Ovis. Currently, however, the Quebec Labrador Caribou are in a population decline and un-huntable. Central Canada Barren Ground Caribou are found on the Arctic Islands, Nunavut, Mainland of Northwest Territories, and Manitoba.
The areas Canada North Outfitting operates in are at the crossroads of several large migrating caribou herds, this allows our experienced Inuit guide partners to explore and locate the best new locations.
When a long-time bow hunting friend Dyrk Eddie of Montana, said he’d like to join me, the planning began. Dyrk and I would be doing this exploratory Hunt which was incredibly exciting.
Prior to leaving the US, Gina Kottke Canada North’s Logistics Coordinator had both Dyrk and I very detailed itineraries, spelling out flight times, accommodations and confirmation numbers making the travel much more relaxing and enjoyable.
Arriving in the community’s airport we were met by our Inuit guides, and taken to an Elders home, he graciously invited us to join him and his family for the next five days. His hospitality and stories of Tuktu hunts from the past over the next five days would prove to make this trip a success.
A short trip to the local Wildlife Office for license and caribou tags, we were then off to shoot a few arrows and do a little sight-seeing.
Dyrk and I spent the next 3 and a half days spotting and stalking caribou, sending a few arrows and taking pictures. A large population of Barren Ground Muskox made for some great photo ops, and set the stage for future Muskox hunts. Hunters now have the option to make it a combination hunt for Caribou & Muskox.
The Arctic is an amazingly beautiful place, just full of adventure, having a chance to enjoy the Nunavut lands with the Inuit people was truly a hunting adventure of a lifetime.