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How close are the polar bears?

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S.Windsor, Ct
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13 posts
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How close are the polar bears?

Planning an independent trip in Nov.2012. I'm hoping to get a day trip or two with one of the tundra buggy tours, but am wondering how far away are the bears generally speaking? I hate the thought of spending all that money without some good close ups of the bears. I'll be bringing a telephoto lens 70mm - 300mm. Can anyone give some feedback??

BTW, I live in the U.S. and was able to use miles to book my flight with Calm Air through Aeroplan. Yay!

One last thing: Does anybody know if Brian Ladoon still allows people to come to his property? Thanks to any and all for information!

S.Windsor, Ct
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13 posts
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11. Re: How close are the polar bears?

Thanks for that link. I gave those folks a call but unfortunately they won't do day tours, only 3 day packages.

I'm so surprised that the most difficult aspect of this trip seems to be finding a way to see the bears without a tour package! It's definitely proving to be a challenge.....

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8,130 posts
36 reviews
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12. Re: How close are the polar bears?

Oh well . . . hopefully something will work out for you . . . but at least you do have one confirmed day out on the tundra!

It is probably because those are very expensive to operate and they need them full to make their money. Add to that, very few people go to Churchill independently . . . most are on a tour package that bundle in the tundra buggy trips.

When I did mine, our group was 21 or 23 people, and while the buggy would have held more people, our tour operator keeps their group size at less than capacity for the comfort of their guests.

Sydney, Australia
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38 posts
188 reviews
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13. Re: How close are the polar bears?

Well Lazy Bear definitely have their own buggies, two of them. They are recent acquisitions. Don't know if they take independents, but on the two days I was with them, the buggy was not full. But they call theirs "Crawlers" Although the hotel was full at that time.

Edited: 2:35 am, November 04, 2012
Sydney, Australia
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38 posts
188 reviews
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14. Re: How close are the polar bears?

By the way, I would not personally have anything to do with Brian Ladoon. He is not an animal lover, and the conditions under which his dogs are kept is a disgrace.

our-compass.org/2012/…

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8,130 posts
36 reviews
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15. Re: How close are the polar bears?

A good resource for knowing what's happening in Churchill is this blog, kept by a local resident . . . http://www.polarbearalley.com/blog/index.php .

It doesn't answer the question of "how close do the bears come" when you are out looking and viewing them. They are wild animals and cannot be predicted in terms of their movement.

That said, we recently learned from Geoff's experience with Lazy Bear Lodge, it would appear that not all tour operators have access to the tundra area where the bears are largely located. It seems from his review on that lodge, he did not have that great of an experience viewing bears . . . so buyer beware . . . you get what you pay for.

Lastly, just because a bugger (or crawler) is not full does not mean they would take on more passengers. (See my comment #12 above) While they used to take more people on their tours, Churchill Nature Tours now only takes 18 out, meaning their buggies are also around half full when they go out for viewing.

16. Re: How close are the polar bears?

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