Driving to Newfoundland in the Fall

Short Track

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Too far east
There is a little known form to declare your firearm on exit. Makes coming home easier. But I never used it, I just dealt with the torture coming home.
 

stevevan

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Mar 23, 2016
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You have it pretty well figured out. I drove solo all the way from Northern Michigan. It was too long of a haul without someone else to swap out on the driving. Should I ever do it again I would still drive but I'd need a passenger before I would do so. Absolutely make sure you have a cabin booked!!! I did not and it was perhaps the worst night of my life. Return trip was beautiful as the colors in the NE , New York were at prime time along with the fact that I had a 52", 20 pointer in the back of my truck.
 

fred14462

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All,

Have a Newfoundland Moose hunt booked for the fall. This will be my 2nd time to Newfoundland as I went along in 2017 with my Uncle. Going with the same outfitter as we had a great time and everyone at camp got a bull, and looks like they've had very good success the last few years as well.

However, this time I am planning the trip for myself and 1 buddy, and we are driving from Virginia instead of flying.

So, I've been researching logistics here and talking with my guide and have alot of the trip planned, but would appreciate any input or advice if there's better ways to do something. Have not booked things yet, but plan to very soon.

Plan: Hunt is booked Oct 1 to Oct 8th. Outfitter is in the deer lake area. We are to meet the guide in deer lake at 12noon on the 1st. I'm planning on driving my Tundra (I do have a 10ft trailer available but at this point I don't think I need it for 2 guys). The drive to the ferry from Northern VA is listed at 23 hours on google. We'll leave VA Thursday morning at 6am, drive about halfway, sleep for the night and aim to be at the Ferry by 9pm Sep 30th. Book the 11:45pm ferry, overnight in a cabin, then disembark ferry in the morning and drive to deer lake the morning of Oct. 1.

Gear will travel in the rear of the Truck quad cab, while the bed will have a 5 cu. ft freezer and three 165qt coolers in the bed. Last time I had the moose processed in Newfoundland, and this time I want to bring it back and have it processed here. My plan is to fill the freezer with water bottles. When needed, we'll turn the freezer on and freezer all the bottles of water for ice. Distribute those to the coolers, and pack one moose in 2 coolers and one moose in a cooler and the freezer. I'll either run the freezer off my truck or get a small generator. I figure this should be good to at least cool the meat down initially and if we need to stop and buy ice on the trip back we can.

For gear, I've got Alphaburley boots, Kuiu raingear, and I'll bring 2 rifles. Rifles are my 300 RUM and .308 as backup. My buddy will also bring his rifle (300 Win). Rest of my gear is my standard hunting gear, with some of my competition shooting gear too (tripod, light shooting bag, etc), and med kit/stop the bleed kit. I do need a new backpack. Looking at the Eberlestock Vapor series for a light hunting backpack. Other backpack recommendations?

Return trip: we will leave Newfoundland on the Ferry the night of Oct 8th, and arrive back in VA on Monday Oct 10th.

Questions: Have I planned the travel time up and back correctly? I've seen some threads where the ferries are delayed, so do many guys build an extra day into the planned travel? That would mean I'd leave VA on Wednesday and get to Deer Lake on Sep 30th.

Is my plan to bring the moose back a good one? What do I need to get through customs coming back with meat?

Is there anything else I am not thinking of that I need to?

Both of us are vaxxed, have passports, and I am familiar with the rules for taking rifles across the border, so I believe I am good in that regard unless there were any major changes (outside of covid rules) since 2017.

Thank you in advance for comments or recommendations.
Novahunter, I am booked to hunt the same week as you. We are traveling with 5 of us from New York. I hunted Newfoundland in 2009 and have been wanting to return since. You have done some great planning and it looks like you have it figured out. I did not fill out the state side firearm form last trip and dont remember it being a issue. I will fill it out this time. Times have changed.
 

Trial153

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I just booked our ferry berth and rooms. Rooms go fast book early for the over night trips or you will end up stuck in a chair all night.
 

Trans Yank

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Hey guys thanks for the info on Newfound land moose hunt. A friend and I will be driving from South Central Virginia for our hunt in Sept 2023 to North side of NF. How early (What month) do you recommend booking Ferry Room? Thanks
 

Trial153

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Hey guys thanks for the info on Newfound land moose hunt. A friend and I will be driving from South Central Virginia for our hunt in Sept 2023 to North side of NF. How early (What month) do you recommend booking Ferry Room? Thanks

Spring of the year your hunting, Feb or march
 

fred14462

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I booked ours as soon as i could. I think it was almost a year ahead. Prices will only go up.
 

EdP

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You might consider freezing the water bottles before you leave. It will be easier to get them frozen (can take quite a while) and they will be very easy to keep frozen.

Don't expect your drive time to match the google maps times. Google figures you will travel the speed limit the entire trip, no meal or bathroom or fuel stops, no delays, etc. Plus you are travelling a high traffic corridor at least until you clear southern Maine which increases the chances of delays. The extra day you added going up was a good move. You might factor in a couple of hours coming back to stop at Kittery Trading Post in southern Maine.
 

galamb

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Inverary, Ontario, Canada
I lived on the Island for a total of 9 years (two tours when I was in the Canadian Airforce).

As someone else suggested I would cross over from Maine to New Brunswick for a couple reasons.

First you cut off all the traffic mess you could run into travelling through Quebec and there are parts of Quebec where finding someone who speaks english can be tough.

Second, unless something drastic changes gas prices will still be up there this fall. If you think they are high in the US they are "insane" in both Quebec and the Maritimes with Newfoundland redefining nuts. So the longer you can buy "US gas" you will save "hundreds" on your fuel bill - plus the Interstate that goes up through Maine makes the Trans-Canada Highway look like a goat path in comparison - nothing worse than being stuck behind slow vehicles on a single lane highway with no passing lanes "for miles".

In October it was rare in my experience to see any ferry delays - most delays are caused by Ice and it's too early for that, but certainly having a day or two to spare would be wise. The highway between Port Aux Basques (where the ferry lands) and Deer Lake can get so fogged in that you don't dare drive it until it lifts and that can cause you to lose "many hours" at that time of year.

Fill up your truck before you get on the Ferry - there is a gas station or two when you hit the island right near the docks and then you are at the exact center of the middle of nowhere until you hit Deer Lake - it's a lonely stretch - and make sure your spare tire is in order just in case.

(personal experience - carry a spare engine belt with you - all of Eastern Canada is "remote" and under served - you don't want to be stuck somewhere for a couple days waiting for something simple like that - while Toyota is "popular on the Mainland" that is a foreign vehicle when you hit places like "black duck cove" Newfoundland :) )

The highway you will need to travel on the island was just recently totally washed out - like completely gone a couple months back - knowing what their road service is like there, there still could be a "work in progress delay" - the entire highway was closed for a couple of weeks - sucks if you were on the other side when that happened.

But there is lots of moose - if you can't get one there it's best to take up bass fishing :)
 

woodmoose

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I traveled from North Carolina to Newfoundland last October - great trip - didn't reserve ferry passage in time to get a room - going to NFLD I ferried during the day to "watch", well once was enough - coming back I crossed at night but didn't have a room. Thankfully the seats are nice and I slept decent anyhow

It's a long drive but worth it and WAY better than flying to me

I also did the route to avoid DC, NJ and NYC - only added some to the google maps time estimate and expect in reality it saved me time from sitting in traffic and if not, it sure was easier on the drive nerves!
 

Paradox

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If you can, take all your expensive gear (rifle, scope, optics) to your nearest airport with a customs office. This can be done anytime with an appointment. Have them give you a certificate of ownership. That way you’ll always be able to prove you bought it in US and nobody asks questions on the way back. We’ve had many times they don’t even ask to see the guns.
also download the Canada firearm form and have it filled out before you get to the border.
 

Bones24

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The US customs form to bring gun back into USA is CBP Form 4457. Certificate of Registration For Personal Effect Taken Aboard 19CFR 148.! Once your gun is registered it' good for life and can add different guns in the future. It's less complicated doing it going in to canada then coming out at US customs.
Where did you get your CBP Form 4457 signed or stamped on the way in? I'm flying on a trip to Canada and trying to figure out how to get that handled ahead of time. Can they do it at the airport when you check in? Thanks
 

vtmooser

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We drove to NL so we did all the paper work at the U.S. customs border crossing going into canada.
 

Paradox

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Where did you get your CBP Form 4457 signed or stamped on the way in? I'm flying on a trip to Canada and trying to figure out how to get that handled ahead of time. Can they do it at the airport when you check in? Thanks
any airport with a customs office can do it.
we took them to our nearest airport. Make an appointment with customs. It took less than an hour for two of us, list all your valuable stuff! Spotting scope, scope, and guns of course. PM me with questions.
 

Bones24

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Thanks. Was able to stop by local Customs office at the airport this morning and they helped me out with no problem. Only took 15 minutes. Thanks.
 

PA Hunter

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For 2 hunters one truck is enough. Its allot easier just to have them process it & flash freeze it in Deer Lake. I would skip the freezer & just use coolers two 150 qt coolers fit a Newfie deboned moose vac packed. Also i always get up there a day ahead of time & stay one night in Deer lake prior to meeting up with the guide never know when the ferry is delayed by weather. That has happened to me.
Stay a night after your hunt pick up meat next day & take your time driving home. Allot of ice around Deer lake for the coolers to keep good.
 
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