As promised a few weeks ago, here is my E-blast Report of my visit to SEPAQ Anticosti … beginning our promotion of their deer hunts.
SEPAQ Anticosti is the largest outfitter on the Island of Anticosti. The island measures 130 miles long and 30 +/- wide. The last census of deer on the Isle was done 2 years ago, and the population was assessed at 125,000 deer! A new survey has been recently done and the results are expected to be available later this month, but estimates are as high as 150,000 deer. SEPAQ is affiliated with the Government of Quebec, and this means that no expenses are spared to provide a quality experience for hunters. SEPAQ offers both European (you prepare your own meals) and American plans (all meals are included) at 24 different lodges or camps. Their hunting areas take up 60% of the entire Isle! Virtually all of their lodging options sit right on the north shore of the Island, overlooking the Bay of St. Lawrence, with breathtaking view of the ocean. While I was there I spent most of my three days (actually a four-day hunt but we were weathered off the island for one day) with the Operations manager, touring the Island and seeing as much as possible. You’ll be welcomed and served by a gregarious staff who are there to see that you enjoy your stay. One of the first things that I noticed was that EVERYONE on the staff wears a name tag so you are immediately on a first-name basis. Flights to Anticosti originate from either Montreal, Quebec City, or Mont Jolie, located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence, which is a great option for us New Englanders.
Every lodge that I saw, including the one where I stayed (McDonald) was well equipped, comfortable and spotlessly clean, and has double occupancy rooms. Accommodations and amenities are the best that money can buy. All bedding and daily room service is included. Food was excellent with Filet Mignon, duck a l’orange and seafood linguine as examples. Every evening meal offered choice between two entrees, and breakfasts included about every breakfast option you can think of. Each lodge has its own chef and service staff.
Three quarter ton, 4-wheel drive pick-up trucks were the mode of transportation. All guides trucks carry an ATV in the truck bed, when needed to extract your deer from the woods. English-speaking guides and your arrangements are from 1 guide per 2 hunters or per 4 hunters depending on the hunt plan option you select. SEPAQ’s exclusive territory is divided in sectors and you hunt a different sector each day. Hunters are allowed to harvest two deer of either sex. Your guide will take your deer to the chilled meat house, then skin, quarter and bond your deer so you have no issues bringing the meat back into the US. This is in compliance with the new restrictions from the latest Chronic Wasting Disease emergency announcements. The big story in this is the sheer numbers of deer you’ll encounter. There are deer everywhere. In 3-1/2 days on the island, I saw an estimated 100+ deer, in the roads, woods, lawns of lodges and even at the facility where we waited to take our plane off the island. Hunting licenses are purchased at SEPAQs offices on the island.
Having hunted the island twice in past years, with a different outfitter, I found two very unexpected factors to be present with the deer: first, the deer were amazingly fat and in great shape! The hind quarters of every deer I saw skinned and in the meat house was covered with about 2 inches of hard, white fat. My previous experience on Anticosti found much leaner animals. I learned in my visit of years ago that the largest deer ever taken on the island was 206 lbs, field-dressed, with the average being 140-160 pounds. During my recent visit, a 9-point that dressed 195 pounds was taken, and a 7-point at 175 also was harvested. Based on my previous and current experiences, I feel that the deer at SEPAQ’s operations are 15% heavier. To be sure, smaller deer were taken, including the deer that my hunting partner and I harvested, but on average the deer are larger and in very good condition.
Among SEPAQ’s pricing options is a great deal for couples: they offer a husband-wife package when the wife is coming as a non-hunter. First, the wife comes at 50% discount on the package, and the real news is that, even though she is there as a non-hunter, if the husband purchases a second license, he can harvest 4 deer!!!!! SEPAQ offers hunting seasons from September to December with many, many options for hunting plans. Hunts are either 4 or 5 days, guided or unguided (unguided still includes a pick-up truck) and with or without meals. Note: hunters who opt for preparing their own meals need to know this, you are still restricted to a total luggage weight of 75 points, including firearm. This usually means you will be locked into buying your groceries on the island. Port Menier (where you arrive and depart) has a very well-stocked grocery store where you can purchase any and everything that you’ll need….the prices are, however, 30% higher than what you’d pay at home.
We have brochures that outline SEPAQ’s hunts, with pricing and amenities and will have and our informational literature ready to mail for the 15th of November. Please note that prices are in Canadian funds and do not include hunting licenses or the 15% taxes that apply.
Quite a few of you have already contacted us expressing interest. If you have already sent your mailing address…thanks. But, if you have not, feel free to send it along. We do follow every mailing with a call or email if you need further information.
Lastly, we are already working on a Hosted Adventures hunt on Anticosti during fall 2019. Come with us and enjoy this very unique, world-class hunt.