As it is with many other animals around the world, polar bears might have faced extinction had it not been for the efforts of conservationists. Sportsmen hunting polar bears have helped by giving them value. Polar bears are a conservation success story.
In the 70’s, there were so few polar bears left that Inuits would get excited if they came across their tracks. Hunting polar bears was shut down, and the Inuits were given a quota of how many they could harvest each year. Sportsman currently harvest 60 polar bears a year with each hide hide leaving the Arctic being tracked.
One of the coolest things about hunting polar bears for sportsmen is the extreme location. Nunavut is the northernmost territory in all of Canada, and was part of the Northwest Territories until 1999, when it was officially separated via the Nunavut Act. Nunavut is the largest territory with 680,000 square miles and only 36,000 residents. It also has the lowest average temperature of any Canadian Province.
The Inuit Experience while Hunting Polar Bears
What makes this hunt especially attractive is that it allows the hunter to take part in the Inuit experience. For over 4,000 years the Inuits have been hunting the Arctic, slowly moving Westward. The Inuits are one of the oldest hunting cultures on Earth. However, in 1952 the Canadian government took steps to limit the nomadic lifestyle that was a part of their culture. Since then Inuit life has changed drastically.
Inuits are some of the toughest people on Earth as this story attests: A small group of Inuits were starving and actually survived by taking caribou dung and wrapping it in sealskin before dipping it in hot water and eating it like a horrible spring roll. Only encountering a small herd of caribou allowed them to survive the winter. Another story told of an Inuit who scraped the hair from his caribou jacket and ate the hide to survive.
The Canadian Government had Dark Intentions
Let me backup a bit. In October,1952, the government displaced Inuit families from Northern Quebec sending them to Resolute on Baffin Island above the Arctic Circle with the promise of lots of game amongst other things. They wanted to teach them how to survive in the high Arctic, settling them in villages where they could supply them and trade furs. They had to learn to endure six months of darkness and six months of light. RCMP officers would shoot their dogs, replacing them snowmobiles, which sounds like a pretty good deal until you look at the reasoning behind it. Snowmobiles run out of gas. Consequently, the only place to get more gas is to go back to the community.
Sportsmen hunting polar bears help a great deal in supporting these communities. Hunting polar bears helps Inuits support their families. Make sure you bring the right gear though, as it’s one of the coldest places on Earth. If you are interested in planning a polar bear hunt, please feel free to contact us.