Mathews Inc.
Polar Bears are adapting...
Bears
Contributors to this thread:
spike buck 04-Jan-23
MA-PAdeerslayer 04-Jan-23
Huntcell 05-Jan-23
APauls 05-Jan-23
Kurt 05-Jan-23
Bow Bullet 05-Jan-23
WV Mountaineer 05-Jan-23
Fields 05-Jan-23
APauls 05-Jan-23
APauls 05-Jan-23
Fields 05-Jan-23
Brotsky 05-Jan-23
hdaman 05-Jan-23
Keith 05-Jan-23
JohnMC 05-Jan-23
Supernaut 05-Jan-23
APauls 05-Jan-23
kakiatkids 05-Jan-23
APauls 05-Jan-23
sitO 05-Jan-23
t-roy 05-Jan-23
midwest 05-Jan-23
MA-PAdeerslayer 05-Jan-23
tacklebox 05-Jan-23
DL 05-Jan-23
DonVathome 05-Jan-23
iceman 05-Jan-23
drycreek 05-Jan-23
[email protected] 05-Jan-23
azelkhntr 05-Jan-23
[email protected] 05-Jan-23
[email protected] 05-Jan-23
azelkhntr 05-Jan-23
Matt 05-Jan-23
JSW 06-Jan-23
WhattheFOC 06-Jan-23
Ambush 06-Jan-23
Old School 06-Jan-23
tobywon 06-Jan-23
Inshart 06-Jan-23
RK 06-Jan-23
APauls 06-Jan-23
APauls 06-Jan-23
Beav 06-Jan-23
Ziek 06-Jan-23
Medicinemann 06-Jan-23
APauls 06-Jan-23
Nick Muche 06-Jan-23
APauls 06-Jan-23
Ambush 06-Jan-23
fuzzy 07-Jan-23
APauls 07-Jan-23
t-roy 07-Jan-23
APauls 07-Jan-23
Zbone 09-Jan-23
ILbowhntr 10-Jan-23
From: spike buck
04-Jan-23

spike buck's embedded Photo
spike buck's embedded Photo
Enviromentalists think they are starving...Picture off of FB...

04-Jan-23
Ya there staving alright….looks like he found a nice steak dinner

From: Huntcell
05-Jan-23
Starving for attention, haven't seen an adorable polar bear Coca Cola ad in sometime

From: APauls
05-Jan-23

APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
Sow (cub off frame) eating cloudberries
APauls's embedded Photo
Sow (cub off frame) eating cloudberries
Interesting thing is they are adapting. As some of you know I am actually in the polar bear ecotourism business on the western Hudsons Bay. We have 3 lodges scattered over the coast from NE of the Nelson river mouth towards and the most northern one is north of the Seal River which is approx 40km north of the town of Churchill.

What is interesting from my point of view is seeing how many berries and seaweed the bears do eat in the summer time. But where the adaptation comes in, is seeing the bears kill beluga whales in the summer time. This behaviour was only first documented by us approx 10-12 years ago. At the time we would see 1-3 big male boars hunting belugas in the river estuary. At the time they would make a kill every week to week and a half. Usually calves, but still...large meals in a time of typical walking hibernation. Their summers are like a deer's winter. They walk around and eat, but it doesn't really do much for them just carries them over. Fast forward a decade and we have seen up to 19 bears this past summer at a time feeding at one time in the "Whale hunting grounds." They are killing whales every few days now with more bears in on the action. So they are definitely learning, although the situation that exists here is extremely unique due to location, topography and the whales wanting to use the area.

What will be interesting is seeing if the whales also adapt or what happens. But there are 50,000 whales in the Hudson's Bay, and the area at the River mouth is the highest concencration of whales period on planet earth. So safe to say they're going to start putting a real hurting on the belugas before something changes. We'll see...supposedly belugas are very intelligent animals.

From: Kurt
05-Jan-23
Adam, great post and photos, again.

Bears are very resourceful…especially when hungry! Desert to the arctic, they are survivors! Looks like summer sea ice may not be the only way they hunt contrary to what some want you to believe.

From: Bow Bullet
05-Jan-23
How can you expect us to believe they are adapting without providing us a scientific, peer reviewed study?! LOLOLOL

Really cool pics!

05-Jan-23
They are truly an amazing animal.

From: Fields
05-Jan-23
How exactly do they go about killing a whale?? shallow water would be my only guess, but whales don't tend to be in shallow water... Any videos?? Thanks.

From: APauls
05-Jan-23

APauls's Link
Hey Fields you are correct it is shallow water. There are giant boulders in this area, and the tide here is as high as 14ft, twice a day. So the bears paddle out to the rocks and as the water comes in they wait for the belugas to come in and then try and jump on them. I'll also try and find a video from when we've had professional film crews come out. It's pretty awesome stuff.

From: APauls
05-Jan-23
Here's a Video shot by a team staying at our lodge. As you can tell these big boys are really hurting for calories. But picture a black bear that instead of hibernating now has more food than during its "time of plenty." Some of these big boys are absolute units by the end of their summer starvation schedule. But like I said - this is a unique area. It's not like all Western Hudson's Bay bears can just start hunting belugas. They don't all have the situation that transpires right here.

From: Fields
05-Jan-23
APauls...

Thank you!!!!! Unreal!!

From: Brotsky
05-Jan-23
That's one of the coolest things I've seen Adam. Naure is awesome!

From: hdaman
05-Jan-23
Thanks for the informative video!

From: Keith
05-Jan-23
Climate has been changing throughout history. Species that adapt, survive. Others die off.

From: JohnMC
05-Jan-23
Adam your place is a bucket list trip for me. Hell might see if you would hire me to clean toilets if I could spend my off time out with my camera.

From: Supernaut
05-Jan-23
Adam, thanks for the great pics, video and information. They are amazing animals!

From: APauls
05-Jan-23

APauls's embedded Photo
There's a few around.
APauls's embedded Photo
There's a few around.
APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
Thanks guys - glad you enjoy it! I'll attach a couple pics that show you the whale density in the area. Loooooots to potential food out there!

From: kakiatkids
05-Jan-23
Awesome APauls, thanks for the info...

From: APauls
05-Jan-23

APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
Sometimes I get the feeling that this is what the polar bears think of what we predict of them:

From: sitO
05-Jan-23
Amazing pics and video Adam, thanks for posting.

From: t-roy
05-Jan-23
Amazing stuff, Adam! In the aerial photos of the beluga whale pods. Are all of the members of each pod, family members, or do they just randomly group together?

From: midwest
05-Jan-23
That's badass Adam.

05-Jan-23
Jeeze….amazing Adam. great pics and videos

From: tacklebox
05-Jan-23
Wow, absolutely awesome!

From: DL
05-Jan-23
Rather amusing that the people that rave about a finch on one of Galápagos Islands they say evolved (Adapted) over a period of 30 years can’t believe a highly intelligent mammal can do that. Those bears have had to adapt many times over thousands of years to environmental changes.

From: DonVathome
05-Jan-23
Fun fact. Polar bear numbers are the highest ever recorded.

From: iceman
05-Jan-23
Awesome stuff, Adam!

From: drycreek
05-Jan-23
Very interesting APauls, thanks !

05-Jan-23
Adam, this brings back memories, to 1970 when I was working on my Masters degree at NMU in the UP of Michigan. A group of Masters students and two professors, traveled by train to Moose Factory, at the south end of James Bay. We also brought with us eight snowmobiles as we had been invited to later, travel along the coast, on the ice/snow to the Polar Bear area, on the SW end of Hudson Bay. After we did some studies of the local people, we attempted to make that trip to see Polar bears. We would also stay over night on the ice in tents and then travel north to the Park. WE never made it, as we ran into deep slush made by tidal water seeping through the ice cracks, and could not continue but half way. We also had purchased bad gas at Moose Factory causing the engines to shudder. We had to leave one of the snowmobiles there, stuck deep in the slush as it froze in during the night.

Thanks for posting. Paul PS, we all got an A for the effort.

From: azelkhntr
05-Jan-23
The population of Beluga whales worldwide stands at 279. The population of Polar bears stands somewhere between 22K-31K. I'm no genius but I'm thinking that the Belugas need a whole lot of protection, and the Polar bears need a massive amount of reduction in numbers. This is what happens when govts allow feelings to dictate policies.

05-Jan-23
Worldwide, belugas may number in the hundreds of thousands; however, some stocks are small, numbering in the low hundreds. The endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale population has declined by nearly 80 percent since 1979, from about 1,300 whales to an estimated 279 whales in 2018. The rapid decline and dire status of the Cook Inlet beluga whale population makes it a priority for NOAA Fisheries and its partners to promote recovery to prevent extinction.

The population of Sakhalin Bay-Nikolaya Bay-Amur River beluga whales, a stock in the eastern North Pacific off the coast of Russia, is estimated to be around 3,961 whales. In response to a petition, NOAA Fisheries conducted a status review of the stock and designated it as depleted under the MMPA in 2016.

05-Jan-23
Population There are currently 22 stocks of beluga whales recognized:[142]

James Bay – 14,500 individuals (belugas remain here all year round) Western Hudson Bay – 55,000 individuals Eastern Hudson Bay – 3,400–3,800 individuals Cumberland Sound – 1,151 individuals Ungava Bay – 32 individuals (maybe functionally extinct) St. Lawrence River Estuary – 889 individuals Eastern Canadian Arctic – 21,400 individuals Southwest Greenland – Extinct Eastern Chukchi Sea – 20,700 individuals Eastern Bering Sea – 7,000–9,200 individuals Eastern Beaufort Sea – 39,300 individuals Bristol Bay – 2,000–3,000 individuals Cook Inlet – 300 individuals White Sea – 5,600 individuals Kara Sea/Laptev Sea/Barents Sea – Data Deficient Ulbansky – 2,300 Anadyr – 3,000 Shelikhov – 2,666 Sakhalin/Amur – 4,000 individuals Tugurskiy – 1,500 individuals Udskaya – 2,500 individuals Svalbard – 549 individuals[6] The Yakutat Bay belugas are not considered to be a true stock because they have only been present in these waters since the 1980s, and are believed to be of Cook Inlet origin. It is estimated that less than 20 whales inhabit the bay year-round.[citation needed] Overall the beluga population is estimated to be 150,000–200,000 animals.

From: azelkhntr
05-Jan-23
279 is the number of Belugas in Cook Inlet. Thx Paul.

From: Matt
05-Jan-23
"The population of Beluga whales worldwide stands at 279."

You just figured out what the rest of us already knew. You are no genius.

From: JSW
06-Jan-23
Have you noticed that there has never been a single positive prediction about global warming/climate change? Wouldn't you think that warmer temps or a changing climate might actually be a good thing at least some of the time? Why is it always, 100% of the time, catastrophic?

We know CO2 is fertilizer to plants. Might that not be a good thing? Wouldn't warmer temps in certain areas not be a good thing? Just something to ponder.

While I'm venting, have you ever seen an endangered species lawsuit against a wind or solar farm? Can't say that I have.

From: WhattheFOC
06-Jan-23
azelk - one got killed in the video, so It’s 278 now.

From: Ambush
06-Jan-23
When someone starts going on about the catastrophic results of climate change I always ask them can it really be always all bad. "Yes!" they exclaim.

"So it would be better if most of North America was still covered with ice?"

"No!"

"Was that climate change man made?"

"Don't talk stupid"

"Well you started it"

06-Jan-23

Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
My dog Sumo thinks he’s a polar bear. And I’m confident he would try to drag a Beluga out of the water also.

06-Jan-23

Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo

From: Old School
06-Jan-23
Climate change - when it gets warmer it’s bad and when it gets colder it’s bad. You know, because there is always something we should be worked up about and feel guilty that we Americans are the root cause of the majority of it… Oh the poor Polar Bears

From: tobywon
06-Jan-23
Very interesting and informative Adam, thank you for sharing.

From: Inshart
06-Jan-23
Great post Adam.

From: RK
06-Jan-23
Very cool post

Adam could you post your web address for your ecotourism polar bear business. Would be cool to see what you offer

From: APauls
06-Jan-23

APauls's embedded Photo
Always travel in twos (minimum)
APauls's embedded Photo
Always travel in twos (minimum)

APauls's Link
Of course Robert - we are found at www.churchillwild.com and I will also include a link. How could I say no? ;)

Troy I'll dig into your pod question. I actually have a friend who did her PhD thesis on the belugas in the Hudson's Bay so I will get you a qualified answer before I just spout off some nonsense.

Altitude - I can almost guarantee that your pup would scare away 95% of polar bears!!!

Paul that trip sounds like quite the adventure!!! Moose Factory sounds aptly named and I bet that place was a moose Mecca in its time! If I was to do that trip nowadays I know what machine I'd be using! I've posted pics of the Sherps before but it's just cause they're so dang cool. Nearly completely unstoppable, the tires are insanely durable, and you can fill them with diesel fuel. A small Kubota diesel engine powers them and you've got about 1200 km of range with what you can put in them. Never mind that you could carry more fuel with you. Inflate and deflate the tires from inside the cab, and they can traverse open water. Definitely the safest thing out here for when there is sketchy ice like what you guys ran into.

We had one call into a crack and get stuck, but we've since studded tires so that it can climb out onto the ice better. A pull from Sharp #2 pulled it out, so maybe NOW we are unstoppable lol

From: APauls
06-Jan-23
Not sure how many of you guys enjoy nature documentaries, but this one is coming out soon in North America already out in the UK. I believe to be on Netflix. I'm super stoked about it. We had them filming polar bear stuff with us, but I particularly always enjoy the predator kill shots on these kinds of things, and this one is all predators! Just an awesome crew to work with.

From: Beav
06-Jan-23
Cool stuff! APauls that series coming out looks incredible!

From: Ziek
06-Jan-23

Ziek's embedded Photo
Ziek's embedded Photo
In 2017 I visited a family summer camp near the mouth of the MacKenzie River. There were several similar camps scattered in the area. They were all waiting for the belugas to show up for the annual hunt. It had the same feel of our wilderness elk camp, and I asked if I could stay a while and help out on the hunt. Outsiders could not only not participate, I couldn't even observe. I jokingly asked if they might adopt me.

From: Medicinemann
06-Jan-23
Adam, The one video shows a polar bear that killed a young (pup) Beluga whale. Have you ever seen or heard of footage where a bear were able to kill a healthy adult? No doubt that it has probably happened, just wondered if anyone had been lucky enough to get it on film. The comment about filling the Sherp tires with diesel fuel was also pretty cool. Lot of extra weight and reduces the number of fuel cans to be taken along. Is there a special type of pump used to extract the fuel when needed?

From: APauls
06-Jan-23

APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
Underwater mine fields to traverse when there is water. 2 of everything. Smash your only props and no one is coming to help for a long time up here.
APauls's embedded Photo
Underwater mine fields to traverse when there is water. 2 of everything. Smash your only props and no one is coming to help for a long time up here.
APauls's embedded Photo
Behind the scenes madness. Nice weather though!
APauls's embedded Photo
Behind the scenes madness. Nice weather though!
Hi Jake, I misspoke a bit as the fuel doesn't go in the tires. It goes into the hub of the tire. I will edit that above. But basically there is an internal system where you thread a hose into the hub and just pump it right into the tank.

As far as catching adult belugas on film, I think if memory serves me correct and I may be right may be wrong there is a clip done on Disney+ where as the tide went down 2 adult belugas (females I think) got stranded on a shallow rock reef. I think 1 was killed and eaten. I could be wrong, but as far as kills on film of adults that's what I think there is.

This are if the coast is incredibly dangerous to operate in with tides and weather. We've built a custom boat that the big film groups use to film from the water. You can be in some pretty insane rollers and the footage is dead still as if it was shot from land and a tripod. Even with that though, we can't always sit there day and night, as we can only get in and out of the lodge at high tide. So you are drawing a Venn diagram of when we can move, when the weather is good, and when the whales kill a bear, and when we even have a filming contract. They typically come for a month minimum, and may decide to sit at that location "X" days. So it's a pretty tough shot to get, but it can happen.

We see the carcasses and they definitely kill adults. When you got out on the water, soooooo many of the belugas have scars all across their bodies where you can see a bear had grabbed hold of both sides of them and basically got raked head to tail. I remember seeing a beluga where the blow hole instead of being like golf ball or tennis ball size was a 2x10" rectangle as a bear jammed it's paw into the things head. Somehow it survived. When it would blow it wasn't the usual poof and cloud, the air and water just kind of drizzled over its head. There must be places where the bears try and get them along the ice, because there are just too many scarred up belugas.

06-Jan-23
Nice boat. It doesn’t look like it would cheap

From: Nick Muche
06-Jan-23
A friend of mine has a few of those Sherps here in Alaska. Crazy ass machines!

From: APauls
06-Jan-23
Nick is your friend Kanye West? lol. Supposedly he has the worlds largest fleet of Sherps. Sounds like a ranch where if you walk around you'll be able to find a Sherp before long lol.

From: Ambush
06-Jan-23
Looking at all those rocks and the props at the same time just makes a man shudder!!! Heck I wrecked both on a dua-prop last year in a harbor! I'm surprised you don't use jet legs.

That north country is something!

From: fuzzy
07-Jan-23
Science teaches us: 1) Climate/environment changes. 2) Life adapts or perishes. The Old Testament teaches us: 1) God alters climate/environment 2) God gives us warning and directions on how to adapt, prepare, survive. Nothing new no matter which interpretation of the human condition you subscribe to.

From: APauls
07-Jan-23
Troy talked to the beluga experts and sounds like leading theories is that pods are not family groups, but intermixed whales. Makes you wonder if they’re just ones that get along? Moms and calves still stay together

From: t-roy
07-Jan-23
Thanks for the info, Adam! You posted in the comment where you answered Jake’s question, “ when the whales kill a bear”. I’m assuming that was a typo? Which leads me to ask, do the whales ever attack the bears?

From: APauls
07-Jan-23
Sorry Troy a that was a brain fart. No the whales don’t ever attack or even fight back. Just not equipped in any way.

As another note of interest I feel like it’s a matter of time until a band of Orcas figure out that they need to leave the Bay before it freezes. There’s been a few times Orcas come in and it’s just feast mode for them with belugas. But they don’t realize they have to get out of the Hudson Strait before freeze and each group has ended up dying a slow death waiting in a small opening for it to freeze over and dying. If they figure it out though - boy they win the lottery

From: Zbone
09-Jan-23
Those Sherps are freakn cool, I want one...8^)

From: ILbowhntr
10-Jan-23
JSW, there was a lawsuit against a wind farm in Clark County Illinois a few years ago. It sited the damage to the insect population. The company decided not to fight it, so no wind farm. I was tempted to offer them 5 acres in my bottoms if they promised to get rid of the Asia beetles.

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