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Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Polar bears prowling, wolves howling, for new Lodge at Nanuk

Wolf howling at New Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Andy MacPherson photo.

Wolf howling at new Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Andy MacPherson photo.

by Nolan Booth, Director of Lodge Operations, Churchill Wild

What an incredible day! Our two local polar bear guides chose to head west this morning to look for Ursus Maritimus, the great ice bear, and it turned into events beyond anyone’s expectations.

Andy, Albert and the two Rhinos take 15 guests on this adventure every day and it always seems to hold something different. It was slightly overcast this morning and from the windows at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge we could see a couple of bears sleeping on sandbars on the edge of Hudson Bay.

The trek west and across the river was exciting; as there were two polar bears we already knew of that we were going to attempt to approach, and spirits were high!

After a brief visit with one of these giants, the group headed west towards the Cross about 5 km away. They had a brief encounter with a beautiful black wolf near this old landmark, but the wolf did not display much interest in sticking around, so farther west they went.

Another couple of km and the stalk was on, with two sets of mothers and coys (cubs of the year), but this ended before anyone could leave the vehicles. This is a common occurrence this year and we suspect it may have something to do with the incredibly large number of big male and female polar bears that have graced us with their presence for the entire season.

At the peak we were seeing up to 14 different bears a day, and even now we’re seeing six to eight bears on our daily rides and walks.

A few hours into the morning and the wolves, moms and cubs seemed to want to be left alone, so the guides decided to start back towards the Lodge for something hot. Jump forward an hour, the group arrived at the river crossing within minutes of Nanuk and out stepped the black wolf.

Wolf meets polar bear at Nanuk. Andy MacPherson photo.

Wolf meets polar bear at Nanuk. Andy MacPherson photo.

The wolf approached to within metres of one of the lazy bears we talked about earlier. This is a level of tolerance we have not yet seen. An older male polar bear not only co-existing with a wolf, but also standing on the same little piece of island real estate, both enjoying the view of the copper penny roof on our brand new accommodations at the Lodge!

This story could continue on, but the Coles Notes version is that the evening did not end until near midnight, and the day included two polar bear moms and cubs, one black bear mom and cub, wolves on the coast and a dinner wolf at the fence, along with three bears on the runway.

The aurora lit up the sky around 10:30 p.m. and the entire pack of wolves behind the lodge began howling. With just two more days this year at this special and magical place, it made our time under the stars that much more special.

With sunrise came more polar bears lying on the beach, and off our guests went with eyes wide open and hearts full joy, anticipating their next adventurous encounter…

With the great white bears of Nanuk.

Forgot to mention our dinner guest at Nanuk last night!

Forgot to mention our dinner guest at Nanuk last night! Chris West photo.

Best Arctic Safari ever!

Master of his domain.

Master of his domain.

Photos and story by Terry Elliot, Churchill Wild Polar Bear Guide

Today was the final day of our Arctic Safari and I believe that this was the most successful one we’ve had! Everything just fell into place this year, from the weather to the wildlife and the guests.

Pretty in... you pick the colour!

Pretty in… you pick the colour!

I don’t know if I can list all of the wildlife we saw but here we go: wolves, Arctic and red fox, Arctic hares, Gyr and Peregrine falcons, tundra swans, short-eared owl, ptarmigan, least weasel, beluga whales, bald eagles, flocks of sandhill cranes, snow geese, Canada geese, uncountable shore birds and ducks, hundreds of caribou and of course, polar bears!

Caribou cuddles forthcoming.

Caribou cuddles forthcoming.

The fall colours at our caribou camp were at their peak and we’re now seeing the same vibrant palette at Seal River. The Arctic Safari really is my favourite trip and I can hardly wait for next year.

Vibrant fall colours on the tundra.

Vibrant fall colours on the tundra.

We had such great people to share it with… and sparring bears to end it all!

Shy bunny :)

Shy bunny :)

 

Special Exclusive Polar Bear Photo Expedition 2014 — Maximum 6 spots available October 25 to November 2

Be the first to experience one of the greatest wildlife photo opportunities on the planet. Polar bears, polar bears, polar bears!

We live near Nanuk Polar bear Lodge.

We live near Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge.

Endless ground-level photo opportunities within easy walking distance of our new Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge near Cape Tatnum on Hudson Bay.

So far numbers of bears on site in September are incredible, giving every indication that we could well be into our most successful season to date, and confirming that the Lodge is indeed situated in the heart of the best polar bear viewing on earth.

This expedition is geared towards the adventurous intrepid photographer willing to spend hours in the field up close and personal with our Great Ice Bears. Non-stop serious bear encounters will definitely result in a need for supplementary hard drive storage space!

It can’t hurt that wolf sightings and northern lights are a very real possibility as well, perfect for filling out this ultimate polar bear safari.

All inclusive from Winnipeg, Manitoba with five full days of the Arctic’s most exclusive polar bear viewing opportunities, excellent food, and the Hudson Bay’s finest remote accommodations.

At $11,395 CAD, don’t delay booking on this very limited release opportunity. The previous excursion sold out in a week!

Come experience the Cape Tatnum polar bears like no one else can.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call Toll Free:  1 (866) 846-9453 (UGO-WILD) or 1 (204) 878-5090 or email us at info@churchillwild.com.

Go ahead. Take my picture.

Go ahead. Take my picture.

Polar bear fight on Hudson Bay puts kink in plans at Seal River Lodge (in a good way!)

Polar bear pounces on rivals in Hudson Bay.

Polar bear pounces on rivals in Hudson Bay.

by Andy MacPherson, Polar Bear Guide

The winds blowing from the northeast put a small kink in our planned activities for the morning, but three restless polar bears stirring on One Bear Point certainly provided enough distraction to keep everyone’s mind off the weather.

And the change of plans paid off in photo opportunities!

After breakfast I went out to see if our neighbours had begun to move, but I was too late. They had already ventured 100 meters into the water and were fully engaged in a three-way brouhaha! We spread the word to the guests that departure time was moved up and all came surging out of the Lodge to watch the melee from ringside seats. Front row!

The bears were already swinging for the cheap seats and leaping off the turnbuckles as we settled in for the show. Sucker punches were definitely part of the action and an ongoing hushed commentary could be heard from the guests.

Mork, a resident bear, was chewing on Bob’s neck, while Nanu Nanu circled looking for a weakness before submarining and emerging to pounce and dunk whichever rival was within his reach. The show and the combatants never seemed to slow down.  Moving back and forth in front of us in the water, the bears used every tactical advantage the terrain provided, especially boulders. To climb on, hide behind and leap from.

Amazing!

Ouch! Just kidding. Love bite.

Ouch!!! Just kidding. Love bite.

What were we going to do for an encore? How about a Beluga trip?

Low and behold the wind dropped and the sea calmed as we finished our lunch. The decision was made to try a dropping-tide Beluga trip on the spur of the moment, and everyone rushed to catch the high water before it was too late to launch the Zodiacs. The weather and whales cooperated and everyone was excited to have another opportunity to commune with the whales, both from the surface and in the water.

We ended the perfect day with a glass of wine before bed, and the promise of Northern Lights still to come.

Fingers crossed.

A perfect day  for polar bears.

A perfect day for polar bears…

We don’t play soccer at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. We might now.

by Nolan Booth, Director of Lodge Operations, Churchill Wild

Look what I found!

Look what I found!

We have a new hire this year and it’s been a pleasure to have him around. Joshua Robson came on board this past winter to help with the hauling of equipment and materials over the sea ice to Seal River Heritage Lodge and Dymond Lake Lodge. We cut wood and hauled materials for 10 days and Josh was instantly hooked on our lifestyle.

Josh made his love of soccer known from the very beginning. He had traveled to Ecuador on a mission to build homes, and his stories of playing soccer with the kids as a way of getting to know them were inspiring.

We don’t play soccer at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. We don’t own a soccer ball, and the bears would likely be too tough to beat anyways. Eating the ball all the time and… well, you know.

Anyways, last Friday night a funny thing happened. The guys and I needed to get out of the compound and blow off a little steam after a long week so we gassed up the bikes and loaded up the new Rhino II for its maiden voyage to the Mistikokan River east of the Lodge.

After about an hour of laughing and bumping along the coast with numerous stops on the sand ridges to gather handfuls of fresh strawberries, take photos of giant wolf prints in the mud and enjoy a wandering polar bear, we were nearing the river and the end of our journey, when Josh suddenly yells “Soccer Ball! and jumps out of the moving vehicle to snare his prize.

A young man with an extreme love of soccer, finds an old weathered soccer ball still full of air, hundreds of miles away from civilization, on the remote coast of Hudson Bay. What are the chances of that?

Good karma.