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Polar Bear Hunting
Weighing up to 1400 pounds and more with a length nose to tail of 10 feet, polar bears are the largest carnivores that walk this planet. Females could weigh 500 pounds or more . Polar bears are similar to other bears the only difference being their white fur, elongated neck and broad forepaws. Polar bears inhabit the most inhabitable terrain in the northern hemisphere. Polar bears are found all over the arctic region circumnavigating the North Pole, preferring to live on the sea ice all year round as they hunt seals. They share the habitat with Arctic foxes, ringed seals, beluga whales, and migratory birds. Polar bears are extremely mobile and are known to travel several hundred kilometers in search of prey.
Posted April 16, 2014 by Justin Ott
Predominantly carnivorous, they do consume vegetation when food is scarce. Highly skilled predators they hunt ringed seals, hooded seals, harp seals, bearded seals, and walruses consuming only the fat rich blubber. This high calorie diet helps them in maintaining a thick layer of fat to endure the long harsh winters. It is estimated that the polar bear population stands between 22,000 and 25,000. Canada is home to 60% of all the polar bears.
Natives of the arctic hunt polar bears for their fur and meat. Hunting of polar bear is legally allowed to the arctic natives in Canada, United States and Greenland. Polar bears can sense and track their prey from as far as 60 miles. Due to their acute sense of smell and ability to stalk and attack humans, they are dangerous animals.
Hunting big game in Canada is regulated; each village in the northwestern territory is issued limited number of permits for hunting polar bear and musk ox. These villages then price their hunts depending on the available permits. Northwestern territory residents pay $10 as license fee. Canadian citizens not residents of Northwestern territory have to pay $20 license fee in addition to $ 750 trophy fee. Non-Resident aliens have to pay $50 license fee plus $750 trophy fee; apart from this, 7% GST is applicable. Generally, Musk Ox hunt is combined with a polar bear hunt. The license fee is payable at the Renewable Wildlife Economic Development Office.
Many hunting guides and outfitters offer their services. A polar bear hunt is acknowledged as one of the toughests hunt. Only fit and mentally tough hunters can endure the mental and physical challenges posed in this expedition.
Hunting teams leave with their snowmobiles, dog teams, and sleds. Temperatures can reach –40F and below, the only forms of protection you have are the clothes and your tent. Polar bear hunting expeditions can take several days and sometimes several weeks due to unpredictable weather. Sometimes visibility can drop below 100 yards.
Hunters and their gear are transported to the hunting area by snowmobiles. The hunt is done in a more traditional way using dogsleds. Your hunting gear and clothing should typically include Sub zero parka with a plush fur trimmed hood to help you face the elements, mittens that can accommodate heavy woolen gloves, Fur hat with flaps, Boots with insulated inner liners specially designed for extreme cold conditions, face mask and goggles, camp boots, sweater or jackets, woolen underwear, thin and heavy wool socks, down filled sleeping bags rated –40F and above, radio set, knife, binoculars, scopes, gun case, a high caliber rifle with about 40-50 rounds of 180 or 220 grain bullets. All outfitters will give you a list of essential clothing and gear; it is advisable to follow their advice.
It could take almost a week and miles of traveling on ice before you could see bear tracks then, you might have to follow those tracks for miles before you actually see the bear. Once you are about 100 yards you take a shot, the bear is down but the hunt is not over yet. Your guide and you need to skin the bear before you go to your camp. This is the most prestigious trophy a hunter can have in his collection is a polar bear skin rug. Dont forget to keep the skull for scoring and to make a European bear skull.
The entire expedition including the experience of living with the natives in their village will be a memorable one.