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Outfitters: Wizards of the woods

6 May 2011

Les magiciens de la forêt

Developing access to nature, offering remarkable comfort in remote locations, giving people the opportunity to take part in a variety of outdoor activities—to fill all these different roles, sometimes it seems like outfitters have magical powers.

These men and women have developed a unique network of outfitters in Quebec, and they deserve high praise for their efforts. Over the past 30 years, I have toured Quebec several times. Every time I went to an outfitter, I was impressed by the courage and resourcefulness of these people, who stop at nothing to share their passion with the enthusiasts who visit them. We have come a long way from the uncomfortable old log cabins of the 50’s and 60’s. Today, all you need to do to make your forest adventure a reality is visit an outfitter. You’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for.

Courage

It took real courage to develop this network, which includes areas of land that do not belong to the outfitters. They made major investments to build cabins, roads and docks, and to buy boats, motors and fishing kits. All this work, just to create large areas for nature lovers.

When it comes to fishing trips, times have changed. Once upon a time, it was almost always groups of men. Nowadays, trips for couples, families and even women only are not uncommon. The world of fishing and outdoor life has changed. Outfitters have quickly adapted to meet these new demands. Currently, many families spend their vacation in Quebec’s forests, and they choose outfitters because they know they can find what they want. Whereas dad might want to fish all day long, the rest of the family might want to watch wildlife, take long walks in the woods, or just relax. It is not uncommon nowadays to see outfitters with play areas for children.

Forest access

Outdoor enthusiasts from Quebec and around the world who come to our province to enjoy the wilderness owe a debt to the outfitters for their experiences.

They have shown courage and tenacity along the way in the face of natural hazards such as damage caused by heavy rains and powerful storms. They never give up. The far north of Quebec would have never been as accessible as it is without the hard work of outfitters and their unique network. The same can be said for the majority of regions where outfitting companies have existed for several generations. The passion is still there, and the objective is the same: to meet the needs of the outdoor enthusiasts that come to visit. And young people aren’t left out either: outfitters provide coaching to help them to safely discover nature.

Whether you are looking to fish walleye, brook trout, salmon or pike or hunt big and small game, you can find an outfitter that fits your needs. Quebec outfitters offer all kinds of packages, from the simple charm of the European package to the American package’s luxury hotels in the forest.

Outfitters are often called the innkeepers of the forests, and for good reason. But I think they need a new name: the wizards of the woods. They know how to make something out of nothing, and better yet, make it look easy.

Quebecers should be proud of this network of outfitters, which is the only one of its kind in the world. No matter what kind of outdoor experience you’re looking for, choosing an outfitter means you’ll get the best experience possible. Quebec’s outfitters are of great value because they allow us to enjoy nature while protecting it for future generations. They know how to get the most out of nature while keeping it pristine.

By Julien Cabana

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