Blog Archives

Caribou and the Great Northern Peninsula

Sir Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, who founded the Grenfell Mission more than 100 years ago, was the first to introduce reindeer to the Great Northern Peninsula. After reading Rompkey’s “Grenfell of Labrador” it is clear Grenfell purchased some 300 reindeer from Scandinavian countries to help provide a food supply to locals of the North.

In North America, reindeer are commonly referred to as the caribou. On the Great Northern Peninsula we are seeing the caribou coming back in larger numbers.

The Great Northern Peninsula has a unique offering including the presence of abundant nature and wildlife. This past winter when I drove from St. Anthony to Green Island Cove I was greeted by a small heard of caribou in Eddies Cove East (Route 430 – Viking Trail) and pulled over to wait for them to cross the road. After driving through this tiny community in “The Straits” to the south I saw a total of nine caribou. It was unusual for them to be grazing for food on the opposite side of the road adjacent to the frozen Strait of Belle Isle with Labrador dominating in the background. It was one of those moments when you just stare in amazement.

In late May, when attending the graduation of students at James Cook Memorial, Cook’s Harbour I also saw a bunch of caribou off Route 435.

Enroute to Croque and St. Julien’s, I met these caribou trotting along Route 432 (Grenfell Drive) near the Town of Main Brook.

The Great Northern Peninsula is a place to visit at any time of year, especially if you want to view the majestic caribou (reindeer).  The Christmas season is quickly approaching, reminding us that Santa and his reindeer will be on his way in just a month from today.

Here is a link to another posting with some great shots of caribou on the Great Northern Peninsula: What a view today on the Great Northern Peninsula…

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Caribou Crossing on Viking Trail

The Great Northern Peninsula has many natural wonders from fjords to forests, rivers to seascapes and wondrous wildlife. For the nature lover, it is a place to explore.

This past Monday (November 12) when driving the Viking Trail (Route 430) en route to Englee I had to make an unexpected stop for the mighty caribou.

A total of four caribou had crossed the highway and not a hunter in sight. I had taken my professional camera and quickly grabbed it, only to find it was missing its memory card. Despite loss of time, I did manage a few photos with the camera on a Blackberry Torch. It was a wonderful sight! I drive the Viking Trail and Route 432 on a regular basis and on occasion get the pleasure of spotting these animals.

It is evident there has been a population decline of the caribou. As a child one would quickly regularly spot herds of caribou in the St. Paul‘s region or around the St. Anthony airport. A significant decline in population has local impacts on other animal populations,  local food supplies, outfitting, eco-tourism and other economic and cultural opportunities.

When visiting the Great Northern Peninsula, you too may catch a glimpse of the mighty caribou, moose, array of birds or other wildlife on your journey. Keep your eyes peeled and safe travels!

Live Rural NL

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Caribou Stew – Don’t Mind If I Do!

In Rural Newfoundland & Labrador it would not be uncommon to enjoy wild game as part of the regular rotation of meals from the kitchen. Upon returning home we were greeting by a pot of caribou stew – after only hours before experiencing a live herd crossing the main highway. I assure you we did not take any bounty for the road.

A delicious mixture of chunks of caribou meat, celery, potatoes, carrot and turnip. I recommend if you ever have the opportunity while in Rural Newfoundland and Labrador to try caribou.

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Caribou Crossing – Viking Trail (Route 430) Great Northern Peninsula

A caribou herd had decided to establish a crossing on the Viking Trail. My European friend’s were treated to another experience with nature on the Great Northern Peninsula.

The caribou were crossing in two separate lines. The car driving south is also getting a closer view of the majestic animal that is a relative of the reindeer.

Watch this young caribou jump into the shrubbery at roadside.

It is not uncommon to see a small herd of caribou when visiting the Great Northern Peninsula. Our Moose sighting at this point was nil. In fact, I have not seen a moose in the District of the Straits-White Bay North alive since late night July 2011. I did encounter a moose during the campaign in the St. Barbe area back in September. There is a growing concern on the Great Northern Peninsula that the moose population is in severe decline.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
%d bloggers like this: