At the age of thirteen, Cayouche left eastern Canada with his mother to go live in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. He later joined the United States Marine Corps when he was 19. While serving, he took part in the Vietnam War. However, he never went into combat. When his military service was over, he returned to Massachusetts where he spent the next ten years. In 1979, he returned to Canada and went as a nomad with his back pack and his guitar.
His nickname comes from the United States. He says that people would tell him: "t’es pas Acayen t’es Acayouche", meaning "you're not Acadian, you're Acayouche". "Acayouche" later became "Cayouche", which is now his nickname. He started his career as a musician in various community centers of northern New Brunswick.