Photo: Watching the polar bears

Being ferried out in a tundra buggy in Churchill, Manitoba is one way to see polar bears, but a more thrilling way is to do it on foot.

You can do it with Churchill Wild, an outfit that manages Nanuk Lodge in in Wapusk National Park. It’s on the shores of Hudson Bay in northern Manitoba, not far from York Factory. Guests fly in from Gillam and stay in the lodge which is surrounded by a tall fence to keep the bears out.

It doesn’t take long to spot bears. In fact, they tend to wander to the edge of the lodge’s fence, attracted by the cooking smells from the kitchen. When it’s time to head out on the land to get a closer look at the bears in their natural habitat, guests are ferried out on ATVs to scour the landscape to see how many they can find.

We saw bears just about every day we were there and found this fellow on our last day. The weather had cleared a bit and he was one of maybe a dozen which were within view in the vast, flat landscape. He came close to us. Sat down for a while, then wandered on, not paying too much attention to us, but definitely scoping us out.

We had bears come a lot to closer to us, as I wrote back in 2010.

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