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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Northern Lights

Hunting snow geese in the company of a polar bear audience generates a hair-raising experience
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“Your end, this time,” is the reply. Gotcha.

But that's OK. For whatever reason—the sedge and grass patches are likely the primary attraction—more and more birds are drawn to this meadow. Right to left. Left to right. Front to back. This was a spectacle. Ross's by the swarm. Guns remain silent as those birds literally hang over the pulsating windsocks. Snows arrive in family groups of six and eight and ten. They receive much attention—and steel.

Better yet, there are no polar bears in the gallery. But there is news when we return to camp. Seems that earlier this morning one lonely bruin had become somewhat smitten with Webber's yellow Labrador retriever, Hank. The bear had walked up and shook the fence a couple of times, presumably to see if the dog could come out to play.

“We've been here a month,” Stewart says. “And in that time, we have seen 65 to 70 bears walk by the camp. The one this morning was just a little bit more curious.”

Not one's typical day at the office. Unless you work at Nanuk. The camp kitchen may now be human domain. But local traffic jams might also involve wolves, moose, black bears, and similar residents. Wilderness begins just outside the front gate.

(If you want to learn more, Stewart Webber of Mistikokan Outfitters and Nanuk Lodge can be reached by phoning 306-296-4405. Hunting package fees include airfare from Winnipeg to Thompson, Manitoba. Besides the regular fall hunting season, Nanuk also offers a limited spring snow goose hunt. Additional information may be obtained by viewing the company's Web site at www.nanuk1.com.)

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