Anticosti Island white-tailed deer hunting is an experience unlike any other hunt to be found in North America. Where else can you hunt a white-tailed deer in its natural habitat that has not been pressured, has not gone fully nocturnal, and sometimes has never seen a human being? Better yet, you will never bump into a fence or someone else that shouldn’t be there. You might see the odd hunter and his guide driving between sectors on our private roads. Imagine a private deer hunting nirvana with access to over 800 square miles of unique white-tail deer territory. You will have the opportunity of hunting alone, with no sounds but the wind, the birds and maybe the grunt of rutting bucks. This is the charm of the island and why the same hunters come back year after of year to Safari Anticosti.
On Anticosti Island you will:
Our Anticosti deer hunting strategy is all about still hunting or the stalk, walk and spot method. We have very few stands. There are, however, ground blinds and elevated stands that have been erected for hunters with limited mobility. To facilitate the still hunting methods of our deer hunters and to allow access to as much of our hunting territory as possible, we have developed a network of stalking or still hunting trails. These trails have been purposely selected and prepared by our guides to help access various deer habitats and productive areas. Hunters have the option of hunting alone or of being accompanied by their guide. The entrances to the trails are found along our private roads in the zones that have been designated for each camp or lodge. The trails are numbered at their entrances and marked for easy navigation. Generally, the hunting trails have been designed to allow you to continually hunt new areas without having to retrace your course. By following the markers you will return onto a road and then be met by your guide. The hunting trails have also been cleared to a width that allows the passage of your guide’s ATV to help recuperate any deer that has been taken near the trails.
No matter which sector you hunt, you will see deer. The quantity of deer varies annually, governed to some degree by the time of year, the winter die-off and the seasonal weather. In early September, the deer are generally in their summer routine, grazing early and late in the day, throughout the vast bogs and burnt areas scattered around the island.
During the month of October, the bucks are more reclusive. They tend to hold in dense thickets with very little daily movement while fattening up prior to the rut. During this period, the hunting can be very tough. For this reason, Safari Anticosti ceases its deer hunting operation for the month of October. Once November rolls around, the annual rut kicks in and the bucks begin chasing the does. The bucks cover great distances during the day and can be seen just about everywhere. Rattling and calling is a very effective hunting strategy on Anticosti Island. With an overall density of 40 deer per square mile, you can make a lot of blunders and still tag out on 2 deer. You will really learn how to hunt white-tailed deer while refining your tactics.
You will have more close encounters on a single hunting trip to Anticosti Island than most hunters will have in a decade of deer hunting elsewhere.
While it is true that there will be opportunities for some long shots along the river banks, across a bog or maybe on the side of a road, the majority of Anticosti deer are taken at less than 200 yards with many shots that are less than 50 yards. The forest can be very dense at times with black spruce stands dominating the tree cover on the island. Blowdowns, resulting from the heavy winds encountered on the island, are everywhere, creating tiny clearings here and there. Rifle calibers such as the 30-06, 308, or 270 are more than adequate. Rifle actions are a question of choice but many hunters on the island prefer the standard bolt action rifle. Repeating rifles such as pumps or semi-automatics have their place on Anticosti Island in the hands of hunters accustomed to shooting at running deer. Of great importance is the choice of your rifle’s optics. The variable scope with a magnification from 2 to 7 power is ideal to handle the varied shooting distances.
You will likely be doing a fair amount of walking, so watch the weight of your equipment and choose your garments and boots accordingly. Early season, in September, the temperature can soar towards mid-day and cool rapidly in the evening. Late October can range from cool to cold while November is cold with probably snow on the ground. Remember that you are in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence and subject to the cold air from the Labrador Current that surrounds the island. The weather can be very nasty at times with heavy winds, fog and rain.