Contributors to this thread:
Polar Bear of Grise Fiord
Of all the Big Game animals in North America, I never dreamt a Polar Bear hunt was in the cards for me. However, In 2015 a few guys from this site started to "peak" my interest. Frank Noska, Blake Patton and Jake Ensign had completed successful PB hunts and after visiting with each of them, I thought maybe I'd start looking for a hunt.
The options for PB are fairly limited. For Non Residents, they are pretty much limited to Nunavut, Canada and originate mostly out of Resolute Bay, Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay and Grise Fiord for the most part. There may also be some hunts out of Cambridge Bay. The total quota including residents in these areas is somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 bears. Of the 80, around 22 are for non-residents. (Someone correct me if they have better numbers.) Currently, there are an estimated 17,000 PB in Nunavut alone and that number is growing. As most of you know, the PB is currently not importable into the US. IMO if the current administration does not get the import ban lifted, it may never get lifted. The fact that there is a ban at all is ludicrous, but we'll save that debate for another time.
At the sheep show in Reno in 2015, I decided to make this PB thing happen. An outfitter had a cancellation hunt out of Pond Inlet available for spring of '16 at an amazing price, but by the time I acted on it, I missed out. Canada North was going through ownership changes and I wasn't comfortable testing the waters with them. Frank Noska and Blake Patton had hunted out of Grise Fiord with great success, booking their hunts through Dan Fredrick America-Cana Expeditions out of Edmonton. (BSC also books some of their PB hunters through Dan). I placed a call to Dan for available dates and a couple days later booked his Jones Sound hunt out of Grise Fiord. (He also had hunts available out of Norwegian Bay, but the dates did not fit my schedule.) I booked for April 6-18, 2017.
I would have some "explaining" to do at home as not only was I going to miss another holiday at home in Easter, I was also going to be gone for my 20th wedding anniversary. My wife is AMAZINGLY forgiving of me and my hunting schedule, however, she is never thrilled about me hunting big bears with a bow. Something about BIG bears and archery equipment freaks her out. As most of you know, I have no problem taking the rifle on my hunts, so after serious deliberation I called Dan and changed the hunt to a rifle hunt. I know many of you here are archery only and that this is the Bowsite, so here is where you need to stop reading if you're offended or put off by rifle hunts. To be honest, I try not to post my gun hunts here, but the response of the other thread and several PM's had me reconsider. Most of all I hope this thread is beneficial to those wanting to hunt the Arctic in the future regardless of weapon choice.
Home Sweet Home
Home Sweet Home
The trip to Grise Fiord would take three days from ND, with stops in 8 cities/villages before reaching my destination. I had overnights in Ottawa and Resolute Bay along the way. In Resolute Bay I ran in to fellow Bowsiter Vance McCullers. Vance had just completed a successful hunt in Grise Fiord taking an excellent bear with his bow. The trip in to Grise was without incident and I timely landed in The village/Hamlet of Grise Fiord on April 6. After meeting the hunt coordinator and my guide, it was decided that I would head out onto the ice the next day. I checked in to the Grise Fiord Hotel/sleeping rooms for the night.
The next day was clear, sunny, calm and unseasonably warm. (Around 0 degrees). We would be traveling by dog sled with an assistant guide riding snow machine, pulling all of our gear in a sled. After a 6 hour dog sled ride through some beautiful scenery we reached a 8x12 plywood shack out on the ice of Jones Sound right next to a beautiful huge iceberg. The plan was to spend the night and continue our trek across Jones Sound, eventually crossing Jones Sound and hunting the South shore of Jomes Sound, or North Shore of Devon Island.
Not my favorite place at -20
Not my favorite place at -20
That night we did a little glassing from the iceberg and we spotted my first polar bear. The bear was a young male out hunting for seals. He ended up passing by our glassing point at less than 100 yards. The guide estimated him as a "7 footer". Game on! I'm freaking polar bear hunting!!!
The next day, we woke up to howling winds and snow. As anxious as I was to get going, there would be no traveling on this day. In fact, the next 4 days were a complete whiteout! I don't know about you guys, but spending 5 days in a 8x12 shack with two Inuit Guides that you just met isn't the way you like to start out a hunt. These guys were great guys though and assured me we have plenty of time and to just be patient. I started doing the math and with two more days of travel ahead and three days back to Grise Fiord, this had turned a 12 day hunt into a 3 or 4 day hunt! Panic started to set in, but Kavavow, my guide kept assuring me we were fine.
It had now been a week since I left home, and I really hadn't hunted yet. We woke up to day 6 to marginal conditions, but by noon, the sky's had cleared. We would be on our way. This travel day was fairly uneventful. We saw a couple sets of tracks but nothing to get excited about. We rode the dog sled from iceberg to iceberg stopping to glass at each high point. At about 10:30 pm we decided to stop and make camp for the evening. It was well below zero and we'd be sleeping in a 8x10 wall tent. The guys made short work of setting up camp and after a meal of Raman Noodles it was off to bed. I crawled into my -40 Mountain Hardware Ghost sleeping bag for what would be my most miserable night in my life. The "Ghost" is somewhat of a mummy bag and I'm a bigger guy. In the "shack" I was able to use the bag as a "quilt" just tucking my feet in the bag, but on this night it was so cold, I was going to have to squeeze into the bag. I got zipped into the bag just fine, but at some point in the night, must have unzipped it a little. I woke up shaking uncontrollably from the cold. I thought i was going into a state of hypothermia, but got resituated in the bag, got in a fetal position and warmed back up. I've never been so happy to see morning in my life.
Lots of Glassing
Lots of Glassing
Day 7 was clear and calm and we would be approaching prime bear country. After a mostly uneventful day of glassing from icebergs, we spotted some musk ox on a distant ridge on land and one smaller polar bear digging for seals out on the ice. That night we would go ashore to Devon Island and spend the night at a vacated Government research facility. The facility was used in the '70's for research of climate, botany, fish and wildlife. There were a series of small shacks and towers on the compound. I was just thrilled to NOT be staying in a tent and as a bonus, the cabin we were in had a diesel burning stove! We were up high overlooking a freshwater lake with a great view of Jones Sound as well.
Day 8, we awoke to foggy conditions that appeared to have blue sky above. We would stay put until the fog broke, then head out onto Jones Sound, heading further up the coast line to another favorite glassing spot. I made a quick update SAT phone call to Mark Watkins, while the guide glassed as the fog lifted over Jones Sound. No sooner had I hung up the phone with Mark and my guide came running around the corner yelling "Nanook, Nanook"! I grabbed my binos and sure enough, out beyond the rough ice of Jones Sound was what appeared to be my first mature Polar bear sighting. We watched the bear as he hunted for seal. He would eventually catch one and laid down for his morning snack. From the distance the bear appeared to be a good bear. He was substantially larger than the other two bears we had seen.
Kavavow wanted the weather to clear a little before taking up the bear's trail. I paced the cabin as the guides drank coffee, had their morning smokes and finished up breakfast. I was getting excited and the guides knew it. Finally after what seemed like hours it was game on. We got the dogs ready to go and were off. We would ride through the rough ice toward the bear. There was an iceberg a couple km from the bear and the guides assumed he would head there when he heard us coming. Sure enough we broke through from the rough ice to the open ice to see the bear lumbering out towards the iceberg.
We casually rode out to the iceberg to find the bear pearched on top looking us over. After careful examination of the situation, Kavavow decided this was not the place to kill a bear as the ice around the berg appeared to be thin. Where it wasn't thin or open, it was rough. Retrieving the bear from this iceberg would be almost impossible. After a couple feeble attempts by Kavavow waiving his arms and running at the bear to scare him off the ice berg, and the bear mock charging, the decision was made to back off and see if the bear would leave the iceberg on his own. We would head towards the next logical place for the bear to go, a huge stretch of rough ice. Mike the assistant would keep an eye on the bear as we headed for the rough ice. About the time we got to our ambush spot we could see the bear slowly making his way towards us. I was crouched behind a huge chunk of ice with the dog sled partly exposed ahead of me. The bear was coming directly at me and thought I might have to take him front on. I wasn't too worried as my .375 Ruger was loaded with 300 grain GMX bullets and packed a pretty good punch. At 55 yards, the bear stopped, facing us, and started to go behind me to my left, but in an instant changed directions and came streaking by in front of me left to right at 55 yards. My guide yelled shoot. I stood up with the bear running full speed, took aim and freehand fired the first shot. I immediately saw the blood spot appear right behind his front shoulder as his hind end stumbled and hit the ground. Within seconds he was up and running again for the rough ice. My second shot anchored him an inch from the first and he slid nose first, stone dead on the ice.
I stood in disbelief of what just happened and how fast it had happened. Kavavow had hit me on the back in congratulatory fashion and soon Mike joined us with the snow machine. HE had watched the whole thing from a couple hundred yards away.
After the photo session, the guys made short work of the skinning and cutting of the meat. It was now late afternoon and we decided to spend another night at the research cabin before making the long journey back to Grise Fiord.
Polar Bear steak anyone?
Polar Bear steak anyone?
That night we cooked up some fresh, boiled Polar Bear back strap. The meat was "interesting". It had the texture of roast beef and was a bit "stringy", but fairly tender. It didn't taste like anything I'd eaten before but wasn't too bad. After eating it, I had a hot sensation seething through me, much like a hot flash would feel. My understanding is that seal and Walrus can have the same affect on people. Polar bear wasn't bad, but isn't something I need to eat again.
After a good nights rest, we were up getting the dogs ready to head back. Kavavow looked to a distant plateau and noticed 5 wolves sitting on top watching us ready for the day. Kavavow said these wolves were once a pack of six, but his nephew killed one earlier this year. They appeared extra cautious now. We loaded everything up and started our journey back to Grise. If we made good time, I'd be able to catch the Tuesday flight out instead of my planned Thursday departure. The trip was going as planned when all of a sudden the snow machine was running rough. After careful examination, it was determined that the frame had broken in two places!
Here we are in the middle of Jones Sound on the Arctic Ocean and our snow machine was disabled. We had planned to ride all day and try to get to the shack we stayed at on day one, overnight and ride into town the next day. I assumed we were "up a creek" without a paddle, when I noticed Kavavow getting his harpoon out of the sled. He proceeded to take out a tiny hand saw out of a pouch and started sawing the harpoon in half. My first thought was "no way"...He is going to try to make a snow machine frame out of the two harpoon halves. Sure enough, within 45 minutes he had the harpoon rope weaved onto the snow machine frame stabilizing the track and frame! Can you say MacGyver??? These guys have to be able to "do it all" up North. With no parts stores and no repair shops, you have to be creative. I called it "magical"...
We were back on the trail. A few miles later more problems developed. This time the shock absorber and everything associated with it had broken. This time the guides "pooled their resources" and came up with most of the parts to make the repair, but this one took some time. After about 2.5 to 3 hours we were off and rolling again. We struggled with the machine for the next several miles. The weight of the sled was too much for the hobbled machine to pull. Everytime we got to deep snow, or uphill we were getting off and pushing the machine and sled. It was taking us forever to get anywhere. About 16 km from our shack destination, Kavavow made the decision to tie up the dogs for the night and off load a majority of our gear from the sled to make it lighter, I would ride in the sled and him and Mike would ride the snow machine. GPS told us we were 56 km from Grise Fiord. (About 16 km from the shack)
At midnight we "limped" the snow machine to the shack. We were tired and cold. We fired up the Coleman stove, had some tea and Raman noodles and made the decision to head for town. On a good day with one guy, this trip would take a little over an hour by snow machine. (6 hours by dog sled). Tonight, who knows how long it would take. After awhile we could see the lights of Grise Fiord in the distance. The scene reminded me more of Christmas than Easter, or maybe a Terry Redlin print. Due to rough ice, you can't ride directly in to town. You go through a series of zig zags and a maze for miles to finally get to town. The machine was running rough. Every time we stopped to check on the machine it was harder and harder to get going. Our final stop was a few km from town. It was two in the morning and the sled was running hot. We pulled the hood off the sled and slowly continued onward. At 2:30 am we pulled in to town. The boys dropped me off at the hotel and went about one block before the machine quit for good. It had a broken frame, broken shock, two bad bearings and the engine was overheated. BUT we made it!
I woke up after a short night and realized it was Easter Sunday! The guys had left me some steaks and pork chops to cook up for the next couple days, as the store in Grise was closed for the Easter holiday. I made my Easter dinner of TBone Steak and rice. I relaxed most of the day reflecting on the hunt and our good fortune. Monday I laid around watched TV and did laundry all day in preparation for the journey home Tuesday.
In summary, this was an EPIC adventure. The logistics of a hunt like this are not easy to pull off, but between Dan Fredrick/America-Cana Expeditions and the committee members and guides of Qutsitumiut Outfitting it went off without so much as a single hiccup. The same cannot be said for the hunts out of Resolute Bay this year. The hunt coordinator and guides on my hunt look after every detail and try very hard to make your hunt as pleasingly successful as possible and their efforts show with a near 100% success rate over the last 20 years.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention my gear for this hunt and will attach my complete gear list separately as it could be beneficial to any Arctic hunt be it Polar Bear or Musk Ox. But, I have to be up at 3 am to catch my next flight so I'm going to call it a night. I will update either tomorrow or else over the weekend...Stay tuned...
Great write up! Thanks for taking the time and sharing it with us!
Awesome adventure and beautiful bear. Congrats Kota!!!
Congratulations that thing is an absolute monster. Unreal.
Nice getting to meet you in Iqaluit! We made it to Resolute Bay with all our gear and head out for GF tomorrow. Congratulations on the trophy of a lifetime!
Cory, as always a wonderful? sharing experience. Thanks for taking the time and energy do a great hunt superb justice. Congratulations on what looks to be a mighty fine specimen.
Congrats on a great adventure Cory!
Huge congrats Cory! Helluva a bear and you'll never ever forget that adventure! Thanks for keeping us in the loop while you were out there, I looked forward to the updates. Way to go!
What an incredible adventure. This has to be your "best ever"- to date. Truly a beautiful animal. Congrats and glad all is well and all are safely home.
Congrats and thanks Cory. Hope you get to bring that big boy home someday.
Awesome Hunt, too dam cold for me. Forrest
Beautiful bear and excellent adventure! Thanks for sharing.
Congrats man. Awesome stuff. God Bless men
Awesome man! Couldn't be happier for you!!
Wow! Truly the stuff memories are made of. What an incredible adventure.
Nice bear Cory! Sounds like a Hell of an adventure.
Great bear Cody!!! That's a hunt you will never forget!
What an adventure. Congrats!
Congrats again on one more "Kota Adventure!"
Great bear, story and pics!!!
If you don't buy yourself an InReach, I'm going to have your understanding Bride get you one for Fathers Day:)!!
Man what an awesome adventure Kota! Congrats on your bear and the trip of a lifetime! Incredible!
Thanks guys. It is 3 am and I have yet another flight to catch. I'll finish this thread up when I get a chance. Good luck out there Mathew. (Halibutman). You are in for the trip of a lifetime.
Good for you
Good luck, Robb
The Outfitter provided Canada Goose Brand parkas and heavy down expedition grade snow bibs. They also provided Baffin snow boots and/or Mukluks. I wore a Mad Bomber hat lined in Rabbit Fur along with a turtle fur Balaclava and neck gaiter. I used Marmot expedition down mittens. I used Sitka Traverse gloves as my shooting gloves. I used chemical hand and foot warmers most of the time and glad I brought plenty to be used the entire trip.
I took three pair of goggles. My best investment for this trip were the Smith I/OX Goggles with the built in fan. Whenever my goggles would start to fog, I'd start the fan and it would clear them immediately. I never used either of my other pairs of goggles. My fan (like the snow machine) "gave up the ghost" and quit on the way in.
My feet were my only issue on this hunt. I wear a size 12 boot and the largest boots they had were a small size 13 which were too small. I tried them one day and frost bit my toes. I should've taken up Jakes offer to use his North Country Outfitter boots. The remainder of the hunt I wore original mukluks they provided with 4 pair of socks and my feet did "ok", but not without a couple Coleman stove warming sessions while on the sled.
My base layers were Sitka Merino boxers, with Sitka Heavyweight Long Johns and KUIU Puffy Pants. In lieu of the bibs, I wore my Sitka Blizzard outer pants most of the time as they were plenty warm and fit inside my mukluks. On my upper I wore First Lite SS Tee, Sitka Merino 1/4 zip and a Sitka Hoodie. On the cold days I wore my Sitka Blizzard Parka with the Canada Goose Parka. (Yes, 2 parkas)
An extra beanie was crucial for me for sleeping. I usually wore a set of long underwear, wool socks and the beanie to bed.
Like I said, overall my gear worked, with the exception of my footwear. Next time I would probably take my own. My -40 Mountain Hardware Ghost worked, but I am just not a fan of "skinny" bags. Next time I would arrange for the outfit to provide me one (be it a GOOD one), or pay the weight penalty and take a bigger Wiggy's or Cabelas bag for comfort.
On this type of trip it is imperative that you keep your electronics close to you for warmth at all times. I had my cell phone, SAT Phone and digital camera that I tried to keep warm at all costs. I usually stashed them in inside pockets of my parkas all day and put them in my sleeping bag at night.
In closing, I would like to thank all those that assisted me with making this dream come a reality. The tThomas thread was great, Jake, Blake and Frank, your information, experience and knowledge went a long ways in me pulling this off successfully and thanks to anyone else here that posted a thread or I talked to about hunting the Great White Bears of the North. Your information was invaluable. I can only hope this thread provides the motivation, inspiration and information for those dreaming of hunting the Arctic some day.
As a side note, I did run in to Halibutman in Iqualit, Nunuvaut on a layover. We had a nice visit and I wished him luck on his adventure. I think he has the same guide that Vance and I had! Can't wait to see how he turns out on his hunt. It never ceases to amaze me how one can travel to the top of the world on a hunt and meet not one, but two fellow Bowsiters, What a small world meeting Vance and Mathew. Apparently, it was the year for Bowsiters heading to hunt the Polar Bear of Grise Fiord!
Arctic Gear List
*Parka (Provided) *Snow Bibs (Provided) *Boots (Provided) *Camp boots (Sorrels) *Warm Puffy *Puffy Pants *3 Long Underwear *3 Merino Tees *3 Merino Underwear *Merino Hoodie *Sitka Hoodie *Bomber Hat *Turtle Fur Balaclava *XL TF Neck Gaitor *First Lite Neck Gaitor *Thin Stocking Cap *Down Mittens *Shooting Gloves *4 Heavy Wool Socks *4 Light Liner Socks *2 pair of ski goggles *Sun Glasses *-40 Sleeping Bag *Pad? *Pillow *SAT or In Reach *Baby Wipes *Sunscreen *Binos/RF *Digital Camera *Disposable Camera *Knife *Multi Tool *Soft Case *Hard Case *Waterproof XL Duffle *Kifaru Duffle *Kifaru Pack (TarryAll) *Snacks *Nalgene Bottle *Weapon *Ammo *Knife/Blades *Headlamp *Multi-Tool *Toiletries *Hunt Info File *Passport *$$$ *Handwarmers *Taxi tags *Book(s) *Iphone *Goal Zero Charge
Loved the adventure. So much more to this than meets the eye I'm 100% certain. Good job on the story and big congratulations on your po-bear! ;-)
Congratulations on an epic adventure and a beautiful bear! Thanks for taking the time to share it with us. I'd be interested in details about your rifle/optic if that's ok? Thanks again!
Congrats Cory! One hell of an adventure.
What a bear! Excellent recap. CONGRATS!
Congrats Cory!!. Makes me want to get onto the ice!
Congrats Cory! Great write up and it was fun following along and watching Mark sweat about you not having an In-reach....
Thanks for taking the time write this story up.
Congrats! I enjoyed the story & pics. Thanks for taking the time!
Congratulations on your bear! Thanks for taking us along!
Congrats again Cory! I sincerely hope this administration can get your trophy back to the states for you.
What a freakin' adventure! Thanks for taking the time to do the write-up for us. Congrats again on a truly once in a lifetime trophy. Well deserved.
Good job Cory! Congrats on surviving the north country and a great bear!
Congrats Cory! Great big bear
AWESOME bear and adventure Cory!!! CONGRATS!!!
Incredible adventure Kota!! A dream adventure for most and glad you made it happen. Congrats again
Cory, congrats on an adventure that most would not even dream about taking! That is an adventure of many lifetimes and one hell of a bear as well! As always, thanks for sharing with us, you and your adventures are an inspiration for us all.
ps- you have to be getting close to your Super slam, how many more and which ones?
Awesome - thanks for sharing!
Great recap! That is an awesome bear, thanks for sharing.
Congrats! That is the trip of a lifetime no doubt. Amazing that the Inuits can live in that environment year round. They're tough people. Now what happens to the cape? Does it get tanned or frozen and who stores it?
That experience will be with you for the rest of your life. It really isn't just a hunt....it is an expedition.....and I couldn't agree more, the ingenuity of the Inuit's is remarkable. I saw similar feats of improvisation during my time in the arctic. I don't remember polar bear meat or seal meat giving me "hot flashes"......Let's hope that the current administration gets the importation ban lifted. I can't tell you how many times I have just sat in my gameroom and stared at that bear....reliving the hunt. Regarding the boots for your feet, I hate to say "I told you so", but....... :)
Congratulations on your success, and I hope you did a journal while up there. Even if you did not....do one now from memory, while the details are sharp in your mind. You won't believe how many small details will slip as time goes by.....the journal will minimize that from happening....and it makes for an enjoyable review if you reread it every couple years...... BZ
Excellent hunt. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm also curious about the cape. What's the law on polar bear meat import? Is it any part of the animal, or only the hide?
What a great story and adventure! Do you have any pics of the bear checking you guys out on top of the iceberg?
Also, am I the only one wondering WTF you did for 120 straight hours in the 8x12 shack with 2 guys you just met? LOL Juggling? Booze? Dice?
I bounce off the walls and go bonkers on the weekend (after several hours) when it pouring rain, with my wife and 2 kids!
"Legends of the Ice"
"Legends of the Ice"
Dyjack...Nothing is importable.
Jake...In my defense, they told me they had all the Northern Outfitter stuff! Otherwise, your boots would've went with me.
Jacob...Rifle is a custom .375 Ruger built by American Hunting Rifles. The scope is a Swarovski Z3.
Spectacular Cory! A true adventure that will stick with you. Thanks for sharing. Speaking of sharing...I may be raiding the largest Cabela's in North Dakota for my arctic trip
Anything for you Zackman! But, it will cost you dearly". ??
My one regret is not getting a photo of the bear on the iceberg. I had all the time in the world, but the adrenaline was pumping, clouding my thoughts. The bear was 25 yards away on the iceberg and he kept mock charging. I had a firm grip on the rifle at the time.
I got to know those guys pretty well in the 5 days we spent in the shack. Took a lot of naps, read everything I had PLUS all the food labels. The anticipation each morning was crazy, only to look outside and see white. It was depressing.
My cape will go to Edmonton to be tanned, then shipped to a taxidermy shop in BC for storage. (My taxidermist in ND also has a shop in BC). And like everyone here has said, the hope is that the current administration gets the ban lifted. I don't know what the odds of getting the ban lifted are, but IMO if it doesn't get lifted now, it may never be lifted.
Congrats on an awesome adventure.
Enjoyed the story and photos. Congrats on an epic adventure.
So you tied the dogs up for the night 16km from the shack and off loaded gear. Did they end up going back after them the next day or what? Thanks for the recap of your hunt and as always very entertaining.
Thanks for clarifying what happens to the cape. If Trump and his hunting two sons can't get the ban lifted, I agree it will never happen. Twist Pat's arm to contact Donald Jr. and get the ball rolling.
We got the best team working on the polar bear issue. We just need to be patient....
That's encouraging Tom.
Yes, the assistant guide (Mike) and one of his buddies rode out and got the dogs next day. The plan was to pull a couple "dog box sleds" out by snow machine and haul them back in.
njbuck - I have 8 animals left. All eight hunts are booked for either this fall or next. In order of the hunts: Grizz, Tule, Blacktail, Bighorn Sheep, Barren Ground Caribou, Stone Sheep, AK/Yukon Moose and Sitka Black Tail. 5 of these hunts are "repeats"/second attempts.
Congratulations! That is a fine bear and sounds like a great adventure. As others have said, great write up.
I had to laugh to myself when I first saw the pic of you kneeling with the bear both facing head on. First thought was that pic looks like the one Rowdy hijacked and faked of that grizzly. Hope he doesn't repeat....hahahaha.
Congrats Cory!!! Thanks for taking us along!!
Congrats! That sounds like a great hunt and adventure.
What an adventure!! Thanks for the report, as close as most of us will ever get to experiencing this
Awesome job kota!! Huge congrats and well deserved to a great guy!
Thanks for sharing your adventure with us I really enjoyed it! Good shooting too!
Cory there has to be more photos please share them all. This is so excellent. Good for you on this!
Grant- A lot of my photos are on the old disposable film cameras. Taking these "old school" cameras worked great, but not so good for sharing on social media. I'll see if I can dig up a couple more though.
Here's the only regular scheduled flight plane that goes to Grise Fiord. This twin Otter goes out in from Resolute Bay every Tuesday and Thursday.
Cory, Keep these spectacular pics rolling.....
8 animals left with Sitka Blacktail as his "last hunt for the 29" scheduled for November 2018.
Cory, I can't wait to help you pack out your Sitka Blacktail to help you achieve this life long goal!!!
Zackman and I are already planning one heck of a celebration on the boat that night!!!
Cory, great adventure and story. Thanks for sharing!
Awesome, Cory, really awesome!
What a dream hunt! Congratulations!! I imagine there were more than a few moments that made you wonder if you were crazy, but in the end an unforgettable EPIC adventure!
These hunts aren't for everyone. And I don't mean from a cost standpoint. (they are cost prohibitive, but that's not what I'm talking about here) The logistics of a hunt like this are almost overwhelming at times. The mental preparation rivals any extreme mountain hunt I've ever done. This, like many extreme mountain hunts, you have your WTH am I doing here moments, but like SteveB says above those feelings all go away with success. Hunting Arctic animals is rarely about the kill, but instead about the adventure. The kill in the Arctic is just the icing on the cake. Let's face it, killing a polar bear or musk ox is not hard. The challenge is getting there and persevering some of the most adverse conditions one will ever face in their lifetime just to get to the animal. For adventure/adrenaline junkies, the Arctic can't be beat.
I've had a few guys PM me about why I didn't do a bow hunt, or could've I done this with a bow. The answer to the "could've part" is yes, the hunt is absolutely doable with a bow. In fact it is a perfect type of archery adventure hunt. In the end, I chose the rifle for a couple reasons. 1. My wife is much more at ease when I'm rifle hunting dangerous game vs. bowhunting. 2. I did not want to repeat a polar bear hunt so I wanted the best chance possible to harvest. To me this hunt is not at all about the weapon whether you chose the bow, rifle or harpoon, your chance for success is great if you find the right animal. There is a bit more "pucker" factor with a bow, but killing the animal with a bow vs. the rifle is a wash. If I knew now, what I knew before the hunt, I would've done a bow hunt as I don't see how a rifle ups your odds a whole lot on this hunt. But still I have absolutely no regrets taking the rifle.
Mark...That's a lot of pressure man. I've got a long ways to go to make the Sitka Blacktail #29. One thing is for certain...The Sitka Blacktail WILL be my 29th species hunted. Time will tell whether or not it will be the 29th harvested. If you don't start being nice to Zack, the Sitka Blacktail may not come to fruition either! (I HATE giving one man that kind of power) :) I can't think of anything better than sharing this accomplishment with some great friends met right here on Bowsite on Kodiak Island in 2018.
Well done Cory!! What an adventure!!! Congrats :)
Cory, Good luck on the SS/NA29 Quest! Lots of hunts and time spent outdoors to accomplish it, or even attempt it irregardless of the outcome! With your approach to things it will happen sooner, not later, hopefully in 2018. Kurt
Only in Nunavut is there a stretched Polar Bear skin by the front door of the school...
Cory, Speaking of meeting fellow bow hunters in isolated places. I met Don Thomas (Traditional Bow Hunter Magazine) on a hillside in southern Arizona miles from no- where and a few miles from the Mexican border. He was quail hunting with wife and dog, and I was bow hunting for deer. Don had been the guest speaker at the Colorado Traditional Bow Hunter Society Banquet a few years before and lives in Montana; I in Colorado.
We chatted for awhile about our chance meeting when he stated, "Paul, Good men with similar interests, are attracted to great and beautiful places."
Sounds like you had similar meeting with Bowsiters. my best, Paul
Wow. What an adventure.... congrats! Not only on the bear but coming back in one piece! I know folks who have done such things that are missing parts because of it. If I were gonna do that it would take me 3 times as long....... I'd have to start south and slowly work my way north till my blood thickened up.......
Interesting, the "hot flashes". I have read those bears have a unique chemical makeup, I seem to recall reading somewhere the liver is actually poisonous?
Great job Cory. These hunts do so much for the community..... And the liberal anti hunters do all they can to halt them. You could see how much is cobbled together, and how hard that environment is on everything. To have some means of repairing or even replacing a snow machine is huge.... even the simplest thing like an old 2x4 has a value. Incredible.
Yes, the liver on a polar bear is toxic to humans.
The Inuits are very resourceful people. Everything has a use. Parts of the sled were used for the tent. The harpoon doubled as a frame for the snowmobile for God's sake! So many things with double uses.
Uh.........speechless. That is an unreal adventure. Mental and physical toughness you have........in large quantity. Congrats, Cory.
What an adventure. Thanks for the tale and info.
Congrats on an amazing adventure and bear!
Great stuff. Congratulations and thanks for taking the time to do a great write up.