In 1972, Jack Hume began seasonal work as a caribou hunting guide for Laurentian Ungava Outfitters in the Eastern portion of Nunavik where the George River Caribou Herd migrated. Jack’s love for the north and for caribou hunting drove him to leave behind his off-season job as a machinist to pursue a career as a caribou hunting outfitter, when he eventually purchased Laurentian Ungava Outfitters from his employer, John Bogie, in 1986. This marked the beginning of 31 years to follow as operators under the company name Jack Hume Adventures Inc.
By the late 80’s, the population of the George River Caribou Herd had exploded to approximately 800,000 heads, and business in the north was booming. In an effort to control the caribou population, the ministry increased the bag limit from 1 to 2 caribou per hunter and increased the issuance of outfitting permits within the territory. Through hard work and determination, Jack expanded his outfitting territory West into the Leaf River Caribou Herd migration in the early 90’s and maintained a harvest success rate for his client’s that was second to none until his retirement in 2003.
In 1982, Jack’s son Richard began spending his summer with his father in the north, helping to repair camps, working on the dock, and essentially learning everything there was to learn about becoming an outfitter. By the age of 18 in 1988, Richard and Jack completed training for their pilot license together, and Jack purchased a float plane to fulfill the need to have a dedicated aircraft in the outfitting business.
For years following, Richard and Jack worked together to maintain a solid reputation among their clientele, and expanded into new territory as needed in order to offer the best opportunity for success to their caribou hunters, some years hosting upwards of 400 hunters during the season. By 2003, at the point of Jack’s retirement, Richard purchased the business with the goal of continuing in his father’s footsteps as Québec’s most trusted caribou hunting outfitter.
At the beginning of Richard and Amanda’s relationship in 1998, Amanda had the opportunity to spend a few weeks in the north with Richard and Jack during her vacation time. It didn’t take long for the “northern bug” to set in, and from the point of that first visit she increased her vacation time each year in order to spend as much time as possible integrating into the business. By 2003, she left behind her day job and joined Richard working full time with Jack Hume Adventures. Richard and Amanda were married in 2004, and welcomed the next generation of outfitters in 2006 and 2007, their sons Sawyer and Seth. The family has spent every season together in the north up to the present day.
The Evolution of the business
Jack Hume Adventures’ operations remained relatively smooth and uninterrupted, until 2007 when both the George and Leaf River herds were afflicted by a parasite which affected a large portion of mainly the mature bull caribou. The spread of the parasite was quick, and a sudden drop in the population of both herds was noticeable. To make matters more difficult, in September of 2007, the First Nation’s of Schefferville put up a blockade preventing all outfitters from transporting clients from the airport to the float plane base at Squaw Lake in protest of the sport hunt. Jack Hume Adventures was forced to relocate to another base camp 125 miles West in Caniapiscau for the remainder of the season.
By 2008, with the news of the caribou parasite spreading among hunters and the worst global financial crisis since the 30’s in effect, Richard and Amanda were holding on to the family business as best they could. Hunters no longer had the disposable income to partake in hunts and fuel prices exploded.
Things improved somewhat with the state of the health of the caribou by 2009, and although still present, there were significantly less caribou that seemed to be infected. There were however, more troubles on the horizon for the couple. In September of 2009, their Cessna 185 was destroyed beyond repair during a wind storm, and amidst the financial turmoil, a new plane had to be purchased in order to finish the season.
By 2010, there were 1/10 of the caribou outfitters left in operation, and the ministry of wildlife announced a complete closure of caribou hunting East of the 67th parallel, in order to protect the declining George River Herd. In order to continue operating further West solely off the Leaf River Herd, Richard and Amanda purchased the assets of a former caribou hunting outiftter in Caniapiscau, including a base camp at Lac Pau which would be their base of operations for the next 7 years.
In total they now had an investment of 51 equipped hunting camps and 2 base camps. From 2011 until 2017, they hosted an average of 220 clients per year and maintained a 95% success rate as the health of Leaf River Herd seemed to be improving, but license quotas from the ministry were progressively cut each year.
A few days before Christmas in 2016, they were informed by conference call that caribou hunting on the Leaf River Herd would be terminated after the 2017 season. This was the end of the line for Jack Hume Adventures as caribou hunting outfitters in Nunavik.
Despite the shock and devastation regarding the loss of their investment, Richard and Amanda decided that their time in the north was not yet done. In September of 2017 Richard piloted them 240 miles northeast of their base camp in Caniapiscau to “have a look” at an Atlantic salmon fishing lodge established by Albert Fortier in 1960 as Wedge Hills Lodge. Sadly, Mr. Fortier had passed away 6 years prior and the lodge had not been operated since. Although the lodge was in need of significant repairs and upgrade, Richard and Amanda saw great potential with the site and the surrounding territory.
They are now the owners of Wedge Hills Lodge, and hope to someday pass it down to Sawyer and Seth to continue the tradition of hosting outdoor enthusiasts in the “Great Land” of Nunavik.
If you are interested in receiving information regarding the possible reinstatement of the caribou sport hunt in Quebec, please complete the form by clicking below.
A New Venture in Nunavik at Wedge Hills Lodge
An unforgettable escape to a land less traveled
Discover the amazing fishing opportunities, aerial excursions, and activities offered at Wedge Hills Lodge for an unforgettable escape into the wild. With all inclusive packages from Montréal, we make traveling to such a remote area smooth and civilized.
With over 30 years experience outfitting and piloting in this vast territory, your hosts, Richard Hume and Amanda Kat, will take care of every detail. Together their mission is to provide first class northern adventures for groups of family and friends, creating memories to last a lifetime.
We believe that the only way to ensure customers' safety, satisfaction and success is for the owners to be present and hands-on in absolutely every aspect of the adventure. From the initial greeting, to baggage handling and logistics, piloting and guiding, we strive to maintain happy customers by immersing ourselves in the daily operation - That is key.
-Richard & Amanda