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White-tailed deer paradise

23 June 2011

After 26 years in the hunting industry and hearing about the amazing white-tailed deer hunting to be had on Québec’s famed Anticosti Island, I decided that it was high time to visit this place that so many talked about with such reverence. Even better than just going myself, I arranged to have my daughter Eva fly into La Belle Province for the hunt, along with Matt Gibson, cameraman for my “Hunting Adventures” and “Professionals” television shows on Outdoor Channel; we would all have two tags and would hunt together. With so many deer on the Island, it made perfect sense to bring Eva there to try for her very first (and hopefully second) white-tailed deer, and to film the event for television.

The trip started with a tour of historic Old Montréal, a little antique shopping and then some of the finest dining to be had in Canada. This was topped off with a comfortable stay at the Holiday Inn near the airport. From there it was a two-hour flight to Anticosti and a four-hour bus ride to our hunting camp. We enjoyed the company of 45 or so other hunters during the voyage, most of whom were return clients to the Island, which we all agreed is one of the most affordable big game hunting destinations in North America. Virtually all of the hunters we spoke to intended to return for years to come, both for the spot-and-stalk style hunting and for the fact that they could take two deer.

The camps were definitely top of the line, roomy and clean. The food was even better; I’d rate it as world-class. The guides were friendly and experienced and knew where to search for the elusive white-tails. During the four days we stayed on the Island, our guide Ben led us along birch ridges, through grassy swamps and over spruce-covered hillsides. We hunted on cut quad trails and fossil bedded limestone roads, sat by beautiful lakes and when the curtain dropped at the end of the hunt, our dreams and hopes were realized. We had our television show, Eva had her two bucks, one a nice 4X4 and one a truly special 5X5 that Ben assured us was the exception to the rule on Anticosti… and I had a pretty 2X3 which—as Eva was more than happy to point out—was exceptionally small.

Alas, Matt, the hard-working cameraman, did not get a deer. Such is the life of a cameraman. Anticosti Island definitely was a white-tailed deer paradise!

Jim Shockey

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