Box 1320, Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (QC), J0M 1C0, Canada
Phone: +608-370-5071 / Email
: tundra@thelon.com



-presents -

What the 'Pros' have to say about their photo trips with us:

"It's hard to believe it's been only two weeks since I left that beautiful location, high up on the Canadian tundra north of Kuujjuaq! I can still feel the breeze blowing across the dwarf birch, rocky eskers, and red bearberry. I love the absolute silence and endless vistas of lakes and glacially-scoured landscape up there and the camp was situated in a location to really take advantage of the area's special beauty. The glorious aurora, reflected in the calm water of the lake, danced across the sky for us almost every night in magical light shows."

"I stayed at the camp for two back-to-back trips and am glad I did! Having that many more days to hike out on the tundra, to sit quietly in the company of a herd of muskox (a safe distance away, of course!) was a wonderful experience. As a professional wildlife cinematographer it was important for me to be able to film these animals going about their daily lives unaffected by our presence. Our guides ensured our safety around the animals while keeping their well-being uppermost. After a day out on the tundra, we devoured the delicious meals the staff prepared for us."

"It would take little to lure me back to this beautiful place, to spend another autumn with the muskox and Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures!"

Beth Davidow - Cinematographer
Beth Davidow WorldWild Productions
Prescott, AZ (2015 & 2016)

 

"Hi Tom, I just wanted to let you know that our musk ox expedition was absolutely great!   It took a while to approach the animals but I'm glad we did it on foot.  The herds tolerated us and did not panic and run.  With patience we got close enough to shoot some amazing footage with long lenses.  It takes a lot more to film animals than to hunt them, but the rewards are lasting! I can't say enough good things about your guides and staff.  They were kind, courageous and very aware of the animal’s behavior.  They are people you can place your trust in.  I wish you every success in this non-consumptive low-impact, small-footprint approach to wildlife viewing.   Kindest regards from everyone on the shooting team for "Arctic Secrets".

Allan Code (2015)
Producer/Director/Cinematographer
Arctic Secrets Inc.
Whitehorse, YT

 

 

"As a boy I had dreamed of traveling to the far reaches of the Canadian north. So in the fall of 2009 the opportunity of a lifetime became  a reality.  I was on my way to the "Barrenlands" of Nunavut. I traveled with my friend Ron Burmeister who had explored the vast wilderness with Tundra Tom and his guides several times before. The flights in to this pristine wilderness was dotted with clear water lakes and the  rich colors of the tundra. The first thing that I realized is how immensely large this region is. Our base camp was set up in a strategic location to see caribou,musk ox and many other animal species of the north. The camp was set up to make our stay in the arctic as comfortable as possible. Sleeping accommodations in our tents and the food were excellent. Both exceeding my expectations. I have traveled to remote area of Alaska to the rainforests of central America and I was very happy with the camp life here. We learned of ancient civilizations that had been here and also were taught the art of dancing with the caribou. Tom and his guides also taught us  about the unique landscape and its flora. This area called the Barrenlands  is the farthest thing from barren. It's  landscapes is filled with endless photographic opportunities. The tundra is a macro heaven, colorful images of plant life were abound. As I lay on my stomach to photograph these jewels of the arctic ground, my scents of smell was enveloped by the greatest fragrance of plant life I had ever taken in. Countless species of berries were ripe for eating. Our days were filled with hikes,plane rides and boat exploration for wildlife and  history of this ancient realm. After long days on the Tundra we could always look forward to a feast every night to fill our hunger. Every night the sunset was an incredible hues of purple,reds and oranges which reflected on the water and tundra with its magnificent light. At night the photographic opportunities began again, the Aurora Borealis was in full force .Climbing out of my sleeping bag at 1;00 am was well worth it. I spent several hours each night capturing this awesome display of light and color. At times I would be surrounded by the northern lights confused on which direction to point the camera. With the silence of night time in the arctic you could almost here the light's dancing in the sky. We hiked out into the tundra in search of Musk Ox, what a prime evil feeling stalking a creature that survived the Pleistocene era over 10,000 years ago. I was armed only with my camera. On  this  day we had located a herd of over 60 Musk Ox. Photographing from a rock blind we witnessed the herd resting,feeding and even some bulls being territorial toward each other, great natural behavior images were taken of this. Our motto of not disturbing this great mammal was held up by our guide. We were able to witness and photograph the Musk ox and caribou without disturbing their daily battle of life in one of the harshest places to live on earth. Laughter and a great sense of place were an everyday occurrence here. My travel partners and my guides were only strangers for a short time before the arctic brought us all together. All of us knowing that this trip would change our views of this great place and our place in the world. All of my dreams and expectations of this land  and wildlife were realized with Tom and his wonderful staff they are all very professional and that is definitely what you want at an outpost like this. I hope to return to this magical land with Tom. This is a short poem of my time there:"  

"As I stand in the Barrenlands with a cool wind in my face,

only the sounds of nature fill this place.

Bird's on a wing fill the arctic skies,

the howl of a lone wolf are it's midnight cries.

Colors of the tundra fade green to red,

and the Aurora Borealis is my night light in bed. 

My body and soul would no longer need to roam

for I knew this is a place, I could call home.

For this magnificent land has forever changed my way,

this was a journey I remember everyday." 

- David C. Olson (2009)
David C. Olson Photography
Rockford, IL, USA

 


 

"I was out for dinner this evening with some friends, and I was describing, in part, my trip to Baker Lake at the end of August. In fact, I've told quite a few people about it.  "It was the totality of the 'Dance with Caribou' trip that was wonderful: encountering caribou and muskox and some other wildlife as well as the arctic flora during our exhilerating hikes across the seemingly endless tundra, our good group dynamics, the awesome Aurora Borealis at night, exploring the Hamlet of Baker Lake, the boat trip across the lake, flying in your bush plane (even if it wasn't the classic Beaver), the plentiful and wholesome food prepared by the two Steves, your camp library, conversations, and more. "This was my third trip North of 60, and I hope to do more. In fact, I'd like to make a documentary film about the North. The governments of Nunavut (and the NWT) and the Federal Government should be doing everything possible, including subsidizing travel costs, to make the north readily accessible to those of its citizens who want visit that part of Canada. My article on our trip will be published in the Travel section of the Winnipeg Free Press sometime this coming spring. I don't know the exact date yet. But, if I'll make sure you receive a copy of the article after it comes out. Photos taken by fellow participant/professional photographer and naturalist, David Olson, will accompany my story."

- Martin Zeilig - Writer
Winnipeg, MB
(2006, 2009 & 2012)

 


 

"To be one with nature is a concept that most of us (read: “city dwellers”) dream euphemistically about.  We have no real concept of the true meaning of it.  It isn’t until you witness a pair of peregrine falcons literally enjoying powerful updrafts, flying as if they are performing acrobatic stunts at a military air show, to show how it is really to be done, starting in a dive – pulling their wings tight to their body – speeding ever so fast downward in a vertical dive – and then heading straight upward in a powerful vertical rise, only to go headfirst into the next dive – at the same time vocalizing a long joyful wheeee sound every time the new descend was starting.  Was this show put on for us? - probably not – but rather to show their offspring the beauty of flight – but what a chance for us to be one with nature – to be able to share a bird’s pleasure for flight! To apply stealth tactics to get close to a caribou cow and calf, but then to learn to play on the caribou’s instinct for curiosity and in effect using a form of psychology to enable to get the images that you are after, you are learning to become one with nature. The biggest message of being one with nature though was when nature showed us all that she was in total and absolute control! When, searching the whole day for the herd of muskoxen that were seen the day before, and not finding them, mother nature has the whole herd pass by the camp the next morning within a hundred feet.  She was toying with us though by bridling the arrival of the herd with winds of over 60 miles per hour forcing us to be more concerned with the logistics of the campsite rather photographing the herd.  To be fair to big Momma though, she brought her whole herd back on the morning of our departure for ample photo opportunity – a guilt trip by mother nature? – I wonder!! The food in camp was wholesome, and the shelter was adequate, but the understanding and love of the north by Tom and his crew, and what it has to offer was examplitory.  With their expertise, not only did we get the images that we longed for, we also got to be one with nature!  What a bargain!!"

Shirley & Horst Baender (2009)
Moosejaw, SK, Canada

 


 

"I have filmed wolves, caribou and grizzly bears in many areas of the Canadian Arctic over the past 15 years and I have to say that the area around the Thelon River is without a doubt the most beautiful piece of Arctic tundra I have ever experienced. It is a world class wilderness with some of the planets most spectacular scenery and wildlife that is hard if not impossible to see anywhere else. I know of no other place where you can go and watch wild wolves around their den. Wolves are one of the most difficult animals to get close to in the wild and Tom and his crew have been doing it here for years. That says a lot about their sensitivity and success as wildlife guides. Tom and his crew at Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures are ideally placed to give access to this wonderful landscape. There is no-one with more experience and knowledge of the area and they have setup a comfortable, warm and homey camp with good food and facilities in the middle of this wilderness. They live lightly on the land here trying always to keep the imprint of man to a minimum in this pristine place. I admire and appreciate the work they do and wish them much success in the future."

 Jeff Turner / Cinematographer
(2001, 2002 & 2012)
River Road Films Ltd.
Princeton. BC, Canad
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"Thank you very much for providing such a stellar arctic experience.  The arrangements you made with colleagues in Fort Smith and the whole itinerary at the tundra camp were excellent.  We were especially touched by the TLC you and your colleagues provided.  Craig, Naomi, Andy, Elka, Larry, Lloyd, Steven and Brad were outstanding."

George Archibald / Co-Founder
International Crane Foundation
Baraboo, WI (2004 & 2006)

 


 

"I wanted to allow time for my experiences to sink in before I tried to write about them.  The surface stuff, of course, is easy:  a beautiful, enigmatic landscape with animals that appear and disappear as though passing to and from another time or dimension; history everywhere you walk and guides that explain it so that it adds yet another facet to the experience; snow flurries, northern lights, wolf paw prints the size of my hand (not palm, HAND), and musk ox bulls butting heads in a scene that would have looked much the same thousands of years ago.  What is more difficult to express are what the land, its plants and animals, and its history created in my heart and imagination. For example, as I looked into a snow-speckled sky, watching skein after skein of geese race southward, I thought about how lonely this land must become when winter settles in and wondered what the trappers who stayed here in the bitterest of seasons must have felt as they heard the voices of the departing flocks.  To live on this land must have taken great courage and a humble willingness to submit to its rhythms and vagaries. Indeed, many of those who lived here made nearly unbelievable sacrifices to remain - not for any riches they could take from the land but for what the land gave to their spirits. After only two weeks, I began to understand what drove them to such lengths and I, too, know that I must return.  Thank you, Tom, for the immense effort you put into preserving this unique place and for sharing the gifts it holds for all who are willing to open their minds and spirits.  With love and friendship,"

 Becky Grambo / Author
Saskatoon, SK, Canada
2003, 2004, 2005 & 2007



 

"As I watched the endless lakes and boreal forest glide under the Beaver in the two-hour flight from Yellowknife to the Thelon country, I felt like I had traveled back in time to the late Pleistocene.  When we approached the lake on our final descent, the partially frozen lake appeared like a retreating glacier on the horizon, and I half expected to see woolly mammoths or saber tooth tigers awaiting us.  What I found instead was a very comfortable camp on a sandy esker in the middle of the arctic prairie, a rich oasis of habitat teaming with wildlife in the middle of the Canadian Barrenlands.  The next two weeks would afford me opportunities to photograph nesting gyrfalcons, merlins, ravens, and American golden plovers.  I would also photograph Harris sparrows carrying insects to their nests, arctic hares in summer pelage, and long-tailed ducks, not to mention a myriad of gorgeous tundra scenery.  The moonrise and sunsets were incredible! I would participate in a midnight musk ox stalk on the fourth of July and observe white wolves near their den.  While I was busy photographing nesting birds, several others flew out to witness the caribou migration several hundred miles north, and observed wolves taking down a caribou in the middle of a river, a sight few ever see.  Tundra Tom's Whitefish Lake camp is an ideal place for anyone interested in observing the workings of an intact sub arctic ecosystem, whether through the lens of a photographer, the binoculars of a birder, or the curious eyes of anyone who just wants to witness firsthand one of the most wonderful places on the planet.  Many others have said that this place gets to your soul, and I couldn't agree more.

Bill Mullins / Photographer
Boise,  Idaho

 


 

"It's been two months now since my adventure with the caribou. Usually that is time enough for things to settle back down so that I can look back and make a reasonable assessment on a past trip. But I've got to tell you - even now, whenever I think back on my adventure to the Thelon I get just as thrilled and excited as when I was actually there. I chose this trip, as a photographer, because I wanted to give myself the best possible opportunity to watch and experience the movement of caribou across a landscape filled with blazing autumn colors. My hopes and expectations were met beyond what I could have imagined. The experiences with the musk ox and wolves added even more to this magnificent trip. I love getting away to remote areas. Your well-put together base camp gave me this without having to suffer through the little inconveniences that can sometimes be found when spending time in such a wild area. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment spent with your kind and helpful guides and in fact I had a great time with everyone I met during my stay on the tundra. The Thelon is one of those regions were each trip just beckons you to come back. That's what it has done for me anyhow. I intend to set up a return stay for two weeks in September 2004. Thanks Tom for a most memorable journey. Hope to see you and your crew again."

Kenny Bahr - Photographer
Falls City, ND

 


 

"To be among the arctic wolves in true wilderness has always been a dream of mine. So when I heard about this trip called Dances with Wolves - I thought this could be my chance. I had never been to the Northwest Territories before and even though I read the literature and brochures from Tundra Tom I still was not sure what this trip would entail or what the Thelon and Barren lands would bring forth. Yet somehow I sensed, even before I left Denver, that a special encounter with one of these magnificent creatures would take place before my two-week visit to the Thelon would end. Late Tuesday afternoon on July 2, 2002 the sun was still high in the cloudless blue sky. As I sat alone on the esker hillside where I could watch the wolves in the den area several hundred yards away, the wind shifted and coming from behind me it carried the human scent down the hillside. Immediately the large alpha male looked up the hill towards me. He moved swiftly across the sand and disappeared into the trees. Traveling up the backside of ridge he reappeared within minutes above me and to my right. Looking at him through my camera and telephoto lens was a sight to behold. His head, face and shoulders filled the entire image as he peeked over the top of the ridge searching for my exact hereabouts. He seemed to sense I meant no harm or danger to him so he descended the small ridge, crossed over in front of me and headed for the shade of the esker pine trees that were below me and to my left. There in the shade sat this great white wolf, intelligent, inquisitive and extremely social. No fences, no enclosures, no platforms, no blinds, no vehicles--just the beauty of this wilderness and the two of us enjoying each others company as any two friends would do. Finally the wolf got up and started crossing yet another ridge. There he paused and looked back at me one more time before disappearing over the backside. Today my photographs stand as testament to what was for me a true spiritual experience. The Thelon is true wilderness--vast and remote with its own unique beauty and mystique. While nature and true wilderness can be unforgiving to the creatures who struggle to survive there, whether arctic wolves, foxes, musk ox, caribou, song birds, water birds, birds of prey, moose or bear, we on the other hand can visit this beautiful country with all the comforts of home--good meals, hot showers, warm and comfortable shelter, and a superb staff of people who are there 24 hours a day to serve you and to make sure your trip is the best you have ever experienced. And for those occasional days marked by sporadic rain and wind, Tundra Tom's Whitefish base camp library is the ideal place to go to stay warm and dry while learning more about the history and natural beauty of this land. Memories of the Thelon and the Barren lands along with all the wild creatures who live there are not soon forgotten. This is a world you want to see and experience for yourself. I hope to return in the late summer and fall of next year to photograph the caribou, the Musk Ox and with a little bit of luck, the arctic wolves--all with the fall colors and the northern lights."

Eric Peterson / Photographer
Engelwood, CO



 

 "We are on the fringe of the great North and its living whiteness, its loneliness and replenishment, its resignation, and release, its call and answers -- its cleansing rhythms. It seems that the top of the continent is a source of spiritual flow that will ever shed clarity into the growing race of America, and we Canadians being closest to this source seem destined to produce an art somewhat different from our Southern fellows -- an art more spacious, of a greater living quiet, perhaps of a more certain conviction of eternal values."

- Lawren Harris, 1926, Canadian painter & member of the Group of Seven

"What has the two weeks in the North meant to me? First of all, I feel profoundly blessed. Maybe what Lawren Harris, the great Canadian Group of Seven impressionist painter, said three-quarters of a century ago still holds true today. I would like to believe that my photographs do convey a sense of place "more spacious of a greater living quiet, perhaps a more certain conviction of eternal values." If a photograph is a mirror of a personšs inner landscape, then indeed the North has connected me to a vibrant, clean, pure, robust inner reality that has been lying dormant. The light there dances with a little more joy. The colours of the autumn tundra mix and blend magically as if splashed together from the brush of a master painter. I found it difficult to walk because each new step felt as though I were treading on a delicate and fragile Masterpiece -- naturešs canvas of infinite size and import.  I open the tent flap and step out into a dazzling light that illuminates the hoarfrost that has blanketed the beach before dawn. There is my friend Jeff, binoculars to his eyes, a distant silhouette on the far ridge. Tundra Tom walks into the kitchen, book in hand, ready for our morning story -- which, legend has it -- he has memorized and only pretends to read!  We are cruising the pristine waters of Whitefish Lake on a pontoon boat as a brilliant crimson sunset explodes on the western rim, then spreads like wildfire across the entire hemisphere. Caribou antlers shine iridescent white in the nurturing glow of a pregnant moon. The aurora, like a saucy and unruly sorceress, mocks our inability to keep pace with her dance, or to catch her with our cameras. Rain, sleet, wind, snow, sand, piercing cold, brilliant sun, Arctic light, luminescent colour stream by us and at us in a kaleidoscope of cosmic sensations. I am a child; I am old; I am alive; I canšt comprehend; I canšt cope; I am exhausted, euphoric, mesmerized, satiated, starved for more, eager to return ... and already there. My senses are in overload, my body on the brink of collapse. The spell is cast."

Courtney Milne
Photographer & Artist
Grandora, Saskatchewan

 


 

"The Tundra. A feeling of space, infinitely moving air, miniature gardens, tiny, enduring, huge and fragile.  My thanks to you cannot be summed up easily. Your passion and devotion to this land is contagious. More specifically I want to say that I think you strike just the right balance in your programme with scheduled options, free time, natural history, human history - both aboriginal and European.  Your hiring philosophy is perfect. Or maybe just the people who made up your staff this summer were perfect. It would be hard to imagine my week without Allicia, Terry, Andrew, Steve and Larry. But then I guess I do believe that this is not chance and that your manner of hiring is what results in these kinds of individuals making up your team. A bonus and much appreciated service is the expediting carried out by Cindy in Yellowknife."

Adele Curtis / Photographer
Singer & Songwriter
Victoria, BC

 


 

"Visiting the tundra at the headwaters of the legendary Thelon River was one of the most exciting experiences of my life. I came for the musk oxen and the caribou, but left with ever so much more. The exceptional beauty of the area begs for superlatives, but all of them seem trite in comparison to the incredible feelings generated by one of the most profoundly stirring landscapes in Canada.  The huge rolling sand eskers covered in a mantle of bearberries, and a host of other colorful tundra plants, seemed too red to be real. They almost looked more like planted hanging gardens than nature at her best!   The feeling of solitude and wilderness became most acute under the breathtaking night sky as aurora danced and sang their hypnotic music of the spheres. No one could look up at the shows we experienced and not feel a sense of awe and humility.  It was a real treat to see and share in the passion you and your staff so obviously feels toward the North. Your stories about the early aboriginal inhabitants, and the explorers and trappers who followed them, made history come alive. No one could visit your camp without a new respect for God's country and all who have dared to call it home. Let's hope that the Thelon watershed remains a sanctuary for generations to come, especially for the wildlife and plants, which thrive only when given room to breath.  I have traveled to many places in Canada and other parts of the world, but few have ever stirred me so deeply as the tundra and the wildlife at Whitefish Lake. In my mind I am back there already."

  Dennis Fast
Wildlife Photographer
Kleefield, Manitoba
 

 

"An absolutely wonderful experience! I have traveled from Circle City, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, through the Rockies and Andes and into the Amazon, and to Nepal and Southeast Asia. I worked as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands and as a park interpreter in Banff National Park. My wife and I have hiked and backpacked throughout wilderness areas in the Rockies, Andes and in the Himalayas. In all of my travels, I have never experienced a sense of awe as I experienced in the Barren Lands on my trip with you last September. It is still an experience and a feeling that is difficult to express in words. The Barren Lands are the heart and soul of not only Canada, but all of North America. It is the incredible expanse of untouched wilderness that brings us so much closer to Nature and ourselves. You, your guides, cooks and support staff are all to be commended for being sensitive to both the natural and cultural heritage of these lands and for promoting their protection"

Jeff Waugh / B.Sc. Wildlife Science
 Inti Travel and Tours, Inc.
Banff, Alberta

 


 

"When I climbed off the plane at Whitefish I was immediately struck by a sense of space and isolation. Having lived my whole life on the Canadian prairies I'm used to open spaces, but this place was like stepping back to a time before people had invaded most corners of the planet. This is true wilderness and you can lose yourself here. And I wasn't prepared for the beauty and diversity of these " barrenlands ". From the smallest macros to sweeping scenery to encounters with caribou and musk ox, I have never photographed in a place so full of possibilities. In one day we photographed vivid autumn landscapes, caribou walking across an orange carpet of tundra, a musk ox herd fording a stream, and dancing Northern Lights. It was a photographer's dream!  But I found more here than pretty pictures of scenery and wildlife. In the silence of a sunrise over the tundra you can begin to get a sense of the vast history of this land. Having listened avidly to nightly stories of the people who followed the caribou and the early trappers, I found myself contrasting the beauty of this place with the harsh reality of surviving here. While quietly waiting for caribou and musk ox, I thought about those hard lives and about the hectic life I had put on hold for two weeks to come here. And I found what was, for me, the essence of this place: an immense expanse of space and time that puts everyday things into perspective. And does so with an ancient, quiet beauty. This place gets into your soul."

 Glen Grambo / Photographer
Warman, SK

 


"Well, I didn't know how it could be better than the prior year, but it certainly was. The wildlife never stopped coming, from the first musk ox we encountered on the "get acquainted" tour, to the last caribou that were roaming through camp as we readied ourselves for the trip back to Yellowknife. When you told us that we would become blasé about the caribou coming through camp by the end of the trip, I thought you were just hyping the situation. To my surprise, you were absolutely correct. Our daily visits in the camp by caribou bulls became a part of being there. The daily stalks in the surrounding country, led by the very competent Andrew and Alicia, were exciting throughout. With the cool overcast days giving the wildlife more incentive to be active, we were able to find our prey wherever we ventured. Absolutely no hike was un-rewarded -- we were never shut out. Andrew's calm and smooth "dancing" seemed to mesmerize the caribou, and several ventured to within a few yards of our groups. We were able to see the truly wonderful inquisitiveness of these gorgeous animals. One can only wonder what they must be thinking of all these weird people with cameras venturing into their domain. When the opportunity presented itself, Andrew turned his magic towards the musk ox with the same fantastic results. His caribou dance brought a young bull quite close to investigate what was happening. The complete lack of fear that you find in many of the tundra's animals gives me hope that man and beast can actually find a way to live together, without us doing harm to them. The fall colors were abundant before we left and provided us with excellent photo opportunities, too. Some of our group caught lunch and dinner for a couple of days for everyone, fishing in the pristine waters of Whitefish Lake. If there is a better total package for photographers to visit the wilderness, I have no idea where it could be. This is the epitome of untouched lands, and, without a doubt, I have become addicted. See you next year!"

Lonnie Brock
The Nature Workshops
Scottsdale, AZ

 


 

"I just wanted to touch base with you and thank you once again for an outstanding barrenlands experience with you and your staff.  I learned so much about your area and all that it has to offer.  It was really valuable to experience everything first hand and get to know how you operate.  I've gone through my pictures with everyone I know and people comment on how passionate I am about what I'm telling them, from the history to the landforms to the wildlife, oh yes the fish too!   I hope that you will be able to pass along my comments to your staff.  The staff did an exceptional job accommodating the multiple interests of the group each day, and showing patience with all.  The interpretive trips were great.  Once we found the animals, the guides did a great job ensuring that we got closer for good observation, without being obtrusive and that the viewing opportunities were maximized.  It was obvious that all your staff cares a great deal about their work and they understand how important customer service is.  I felt that they did an exceptional job in keeping the interpretive hikes fresh, even though they've done it dozens/hundreds of times before.  This is a key point for me as an agent who will send my clients there, and all your staff deserves a big pat on the back for that.  The camp and the day's activities were very well organized, and everything ran smoothly.  The staff followed a tireless routine and everything was kept amazingly clean.  The meals were great, really impressive considering the logistics, and even though I burnt off thousands of calories each day, I actually put on a few pounds while I was there.  The fishing was good and I wish I had another week there to truly 'bond' with those big lakers. The barrenlands are a wonderful place to be: seemingly empty, yet so rich with history, plants, birds and animals.  I'm quite drawn to this land that you love so much and I am beginning to understand why you call it home and why it is so special to you.  I've got a lot more reading to do and I'm going to seek out some of the titles from your library.  There were a couple of special moments for me when I was there, and I'm sure all of your guests have them.  For me the best was when I was sitting down by the creek trying to figure out which lure to use next when a gyrfalcon came lazily along the shoreline, flying low, totally oblivious to my presence and when he saw me, he came closer and actually hovered above me for 3-4 seconds and then continued on his hunt over toward Indian Lake.  He was so close I could have touched him with the end of my fly rod.  A couple of other moments were the musk ox stalk (where he was stalking us!) and when Vicki and I were on the Sandy River portage and we came very close to a small herd of about 15 caribou.  The history of 'Gusland' and the spiritual rock by the creek also had an effect on me.  The challenges that your region is facing from mining interests are massive.  There is no doubt that the wildlife and the ecosystem will be impacted.  Your operations, as with most tourism interests, are a sustainable type of development that impacts natural environments very little.  If you ever need my company to speak up on behalf of your operations, the Thelon region in terms of its value as an intact ecosystem, tourism potential and value, etc. please do not hesitate to contact me and let me know what I can do.  If you are ever in the Edmonton area and need a place to stay, Vicki and I would be pleased to have you come out to our home east of Edmonton and spend some time with us, and by all means come by the office anytime and say hello.  Thanks again for the opportunity to experience your camp at Whitefish Lake, your gracious hospitality and the terrific contrasts of the tundra." 

 Jim Storey, President and Managing Partner
The Great Canadian Adventure Company
Edmonton, AB

 


 

"The business of photography can take one many places.I've been in the business many years and have been fortunate to have visited (on assignment) nearly 50 countries. In that time, you do have your favorites, each bringing up a different set of memories: some good, some bad, some utterly life-changing and stamped indelibly in your mind. I've worked quite a bit in northern Canada and Alaska on assignments for National Geographic and Conde Nast Traveler. My assignment from Traveler, late in the summer of 2000, was to photograph Canada's Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary and third-generation guide "Tundra Tom". I'd never been fortunate enough to visit "Shield Country", and was not sure what to expect. The "Dance with Caribou" part was something I had no idea about. The entire trip/experience proved to be one of the incredible memories in this career. The eskers, the light, the wildlife (musk-ox, arctic wolves, caribou, all as guaranteed) as well as the companionship (and food) and expertise of Tom and staff naturalist Terry Elliott was staggering. In between assignments, sitting in my office, daydreaming of where I would like to be, Tom's camp and surrounding wonderland keeps creeping to the top of my list."

Jay Dickman
Pulitzer Prize Winner Photojournalist
Littleton, Colorado

 


 

"I've worked all over the world, including Antarctica, and the Thelon is one of the most unforgettable places of all. It touches a human deeply and originally - not just to know that such an intact, alive landscape still exists, but to actually feel it. Thanks for providing such a beautiful, memorable, and expert entry into that exalted space."

Alan Weisman / Journalist
Conde Nast Traveler Magazine
Tuscon, Arizona



 

"My time on Whitefish Lake is a week I will remember and cherish for my entire life. No amount of reading or planning can actually prepare you for what you are about to experience. No matter how good you hope your encounter with the true wilderness of the Thelon will be, you will only find that it is even better than imaginable. Upon our initial arrival at the base camp, we were met with the news of an awaiting adventure - a herd of musk oxen was feeding and resting nearby. A quick boat trip and our first stealth hike across the tundra put us reasonably close to a group of more than twenty animals. We quickly became acquainted with the fall splendor of what seemed our own personal esker. Wonderful reds, yellows and greens that reflected in the quiet pools found throughout the large dunes glowed brilliantly in the soft light of the north all day long, only to then nearly jump out in their glory and resplendence when touched by the early morning or evening sunlight. he time was so full that I could discuss it forever. From the encounters with the solitary white wolf, to the incoming flight of graceful tundra swans, to the soaring gyrfalcons, to the abandoned log homes of another civilization, to the mood-setting readings of Tundra Tom, to the unthinkable quiet of a perfectly smooth Whitefish Lake, and, finally, to a place where nature is clearly the absolute ruler, I eagerly await my next venture into this wondrous realm within the Northwest Territories."

Lonnie Brock
The Nature Workshops
Scottsdale, Arizona



 

"Shooting on assignment for two German travel magazines and working on a large Coffee table Book on Canada, we flew into Tundra Tom's Camp on Whitefish Lake in the first week of September 2001. Expecting to see lots of Wildlife and hardly any scenery, we were astonished to the beauty of the place. We hit the prime week for fall colors and the colors were just spectacular. Focusing on Landscape and Macro work, we bumped three times into Musk Ox and I got incredible shots of Musk Ox in foliage. To stay and shoot in such a remote "nature paradise" should be reward enough for any serious Nature photographer. Toms Team was going out of the way to make us comfortable. Great food, dry tents and hot showers, what else could anybody need in the Barrenlands?

Christian Heeb
Heebphoto Inc.
USA-Bend, OR



 

"The Upper Thelon is still working its way through my system, even after having some fabulous experiences in Nunavut with different kinds of animals: seals, polar bears and beluga whales! The trip was beyond all my expectations [Great Summer Caribou Migration]. Once I got used to really being outside again, I was completely overwhelmed with the esker-anchored landscape, the flying and wildlife watching: face-to-boss with a musk ox, watching wolves and pups, catching lake trout and stalking a herd of 10,000 caribou. These were the highlights but it was the composite tone of the place and the experience that made the trip stand out among others. I was feeling like this well before we saw the caribou. I loved the camp and being out on the barrens-I even love saying, "when I was out on the barren lands" to people. It makes me sound so adventurous! The truth is your trip, camp and tour make this stunning land and its animals accessible to people willing to let their minds and spirits compel them to a place perhaps more wild and epiphanic than they could have predicted."

Catherine M. Senecal / Journalist
Winnipeg, MB



 

"Tom, I am sitting down to write this three weeks after returning home. I still have yet to come down from the natural high that I was on during my time on the tundra. The haunting beauty of the Barren lands will stay with me always. Having traveled extensively across much of North America in my work as a nature photographer I can honestly say that my time spent in the Barrens was photographically the most productive two weeks that I have ever spent in the field. The diversity and beauty of the landscape, combined with the ever-present wildlife made for an experience that will be deeply cherished for the rest of my life. The day that I watched and photographed Caribou, Musk Ox and an Arctic Wolf all within the span of less than two hours was a day that only happens in the wildest dreams of a nature photographer. The last day of staking out a water-crossing for caribou was an unbelievable day! I wasnšt settled in for five minutes before a herd of a dozen caribou swam across thirty yards away. After a period of about three hours I saw not less than five crossings ------ the largest herd had nineteen caribou! That herd crossed twenty ­ five feet away from where I had positioned myself! I would have called that day the thrill of a lifetime if I had not had the experience of stalking Musk Ox on the day when the fall colors peaked. ---- I donšt think I have had a day in my life when I felt more alive than I did while stalking Musk Ox across the tundra. Returning to base camp after a full day on the tundra and watching the Aurora dance across the sky into the wee hours of the morning was an experience that I will never forget. The trip was truly amazing! The land is unforgettable! The experience was priceless! Your guides are the absolute cream of the crop. Base camp had all of the amenities that anyone could want in such a remote location. I hope to return to the Barren lands with you and your staff in the very near future. It is with deep gratitude that I say thank you for providing this incredibly unique opportunity."

Scott Schrader / Photographer
Helotes, TX



 

We were glad we got to spend 2 weeks with you and your top-notch staff this August and September on Whitefish Lake [with Caribou]! Staying there for two weeks provided us with opportunities to watch the tundra change from green and brown to spectacular red, yellow and orange. We also experienced about every type of weather, from rain and wind to snow showers to clear blue skies. We got some great photographs of the Northern Lights which we saw every clear night and of mirror reflections on the esker kettles. The time you spent telling us about the land, its history and people and your experiences there, gave us an even deeper appreciation of this magnificent wilderness. Being on "The Barrens" with Inuksuit, musk ox, caribou, wolves and even a wolverine, was truly unique. We especially appreciated the efforts you and your staff made to "go the extra mile" to provide us with the best opportunities, including the overnight stay at South Camp where we got to see several herds of caribou at the water crossing just outside of the camp. "Stalking musk-ox from the plane and on the ground was unforgettable! The staff was "awesome". They made great meals and were terrific guides and naturalists. Thanks for a great trip!! We are looking forward to our 3rd trip with you to "the Barrens!"

Steve & Suzanne Barger
Photographers
Cincinnati, OH

 


"Great Canadian has opened the gateway to the amazing and austere beauty of the boreal Thelon country. Skilled and accommodating guides provided creature comforts throughout our photographer-customized trip. The rugged landscape not only offered unparalleled natural beauty, but an incredible diversity of wildlife. I valued my time spent in Thelon country as a visit to one of the most impressive scenic locations in all of North America."

Art Wolfe
Art Wolfe, Inc.
Seattle, WA



"Ever since I was a lad I wanted to visit the famed Barrenlands of Canada's Northwest Territories and this past summer I had the opportunity to travel to Yellowknife then on to Tundra Tom's camp at Whitefish Lake.  With 35-years experience photographing in Alaska I thought I had seen it all...but the Barrenlands are different than "our" tundra. Truly the Barrens are one of the mystic, incomparable places on earth. The crew at Whitefish was outstanding, some of the best people I have ever spent time with outdoors. The food was great and the camp comfortable. Photography resource leader Steve Maka was outstanding. Arctic hares, gyrfalcons, wolverines, white wolf, caribou, musk-ox, and foxes...all great photo subjects, indeed.  However, for me, it was the land itself that was so magical. Granite outcrops piercing dry tundra...good walking to isolated eskers that offered evidence of Inuit and Dene' use going back hundreds of years. Crimson bearberry, gold willows and snapping auroras overhead...what colors!!!! I'll never forget the low mist on the tundra, the twisted spruce "forest" by camp, and the clear waters that provided us with several meals of wonderful lake trout.  Thanks, Tundra Tom, for such a great trip and crew. Hopefully I'll be back soon...with some friends!"

Tom Walker / Photographer
Denali Park, AK



"Words seem so pitifully inadequate to describe the Barrenlands of the Northwest Territories. The landscape, wildlife and weather all combine to make this the most unique environment that I have photographed. Just the immense vastness of the country would have been enough of a reminder of how insignificant our self-acclaimed importance really is. But add to the remoteness of that space the extraordinary geology, evidence of pre-history, and the awesome celestial display of the Aurora Borealis, one's soul is deeply touched and changed forever. Even without my passion for nature photography I could have spent every minute of every day in awe of the environment.  Although my passion was rewarded constantly either with a magnificent landscape, abstract macro, or unique wildlife photo opportunity, the images brought back on film can not compare to the rich memories of the experience of this place. The comradely and bonding; being dropped off by float plane to stalk prehistoric Musk-ox on a barren landscape; ancient stone artifacts reminding us of the passing of time and a primitive existence from the earth; and on Wednesday: wind, rain, hail, sun, snow, clouds, and a double rainbow from horizon to horizon.  Tundra Tom provides an incredible tour to such a remote and harsh area. Without a doubt, the base camp at Whitefish Lake is the most comfortably appointed wilderness camp I have stayed in with hot showers, heated tents, and even a cozy library. The well-stocked larder is complimented by freshly caught lake trout or grayling cooked on the grill. Tundra biscuits and bannock bread. The question is not when will I return, but rather, for how long?"

Stephen G. Maka / Photographer
Sherborn, MA

1999, 2000, 2001, 2002



"..A rare opportunity to camera hunt wildlife at a truly wild place.  As photography guide, I took to the field with folks who had a variety of cameras and skill levels, from point & shoot to real professional. They all got some great pictures! And while Tom's rule - and mine - is that clients get the photo opportunity first, I still got great images.  You can't miss: you're so far from "civilization" that you get to work with animals who probably never saw a human being before. While still very wary, because they share the curious nature of their white-tailed deer cousins, many of the caribou would approach you if you used Tom's 'dance with the caribou' technique, and sometimes, if you simply got low to the ground with a wind advantage.  Applying other camera hunting techniques was also a lot of fun and, at times, well worth the effort. I learned some of these by reading about how the original people hunted caribou in Tom's well stocked camp library. The library and other amenities of the base camp, including some great home-cooked meals, provided us the ability to make the most of a truly one of a kind experience.  Because Tundra Tom sets up his camps at strategic locations along classic caribou migration routes, we had the chance to work daily with a number and variety of caribou. That enabled us to really learn about this fabulous species. The images that we got included not only full frame portraits but also glimpses of caribou behavior not often recorded on film.  Pre-migration groups of bulls came down past the camp every day. The first day they were as wary as any of their kind. The second day they visited knowing that humans occupied the site, and you could work much more closely with them. It often happened that they returned for a third day before moving on. And then, with a slow and respectful approach, you could get portraits with a wide angle lens without bothering them!  Tom told me that this was not always the case, which is part of why he worked out the 'dance with the caribou' that is so effective on the open tundra. But when they wake you up gnawing on last year's dropped antler 15 feet from your tent, how hard can it be?  In addition to the caribou, we photographed musk-oxen, Arctic hare and several species of birds, not to mention the Northern lights. A final comment: Tom's guides Terry & Dweeb are the best wilderness guides I've ever known. If I ever got lost in the bush, I'd want to have one of them come looking for me."  Catch them in the good light!

Bill Silliker, Jr.
Saco, ME
The Camera Hunter



"The tundra, yes the tundra... I didn't think any place could affect me the way mountain environments have affected me, but when I first visited the Serengeti I found I was wrong----and I found I was wrong again when I experienced the barrenlands. In both places one feels the true vastness of the earth. When one stops chattering and listens to the sighing of the winds sweeping across the tundra, something inside you carries you back into the far reaches of time when we all carried spears. When it is quiet it is so quiet and the spaces are so great that you feel the earth turning slowly on its axis. This sense of antiquity and the immensity of space are, to me, a fundamental aspect of the tundra. Adding wildlife to the tundra brings it all to life. Without wildlife, one could dismiss any environment, no matter how beautiful, as merely being scenery. The tundra has it all! Nuts and bolts: The camp, staff, food all exceeded expectations. I don't think this is an experience for everyone. I think some yuppie-types have a hard time understanding what a miracle it is that this operation even exists. I think you need to be commended for changing and adapting plans according to changing conditions, but some urban people will always have difficulty dealing with that. Tundra Tom: Now there is a nut case! But a likable nut case. Probably, if I were a young man, I would consider going to the barrens and throw my life away, like I 'm sure many people think you have. It is a life worth living. I plan to return next September and bring my wife!"

Lee Mann
Northwest Photo Arts
Sedro Wooley, WA



"I often judge my wildlife trips by how long it takes me to step back into reality. I was stunned the first day back, depressed the second and speaking normally in a week. I loved being up at Whitefish Lake. My only regret is that I did not swim in those clear waters, but I certainly bathed my soul with the fresh air, fabulous wildlife and wondrous landscapes. I also keenly enjoyed your staff. The trip was an 'A plus'. I don't know how we could have improved it except to let me move in permanently. It was very difficult stepping into that plane and returning to Yellowknife."

Nancy Gibson
International Wolf Center
Minneapolis, MN



 

"Thank you for the wonderful experience in the upper Thelon! I thoroughly enjoyed observing the wolves, musk-oxen, caribou, and other wildlife in the area. The beauty and solitude of the barrens and the eskers are unmatched. And in the middle of it all, it was great that your camp was so comfortable and your staff so accommodating. I can't wait to return next summer!"

Dr. David Mech
International Wolf Center
Ely, MN

 


"While at the Upper Thelon Basecamp, fall color reached its peak and the esker and tundra became covered with mesmerizing tapestry of red, green and gold. With a mixture of hues and textures, the carpets of leaves, mosses and lichens provided me with an endless supply of macro photography subjects. It was a perfect backdrop against which to photograph the caribou, musk-ox & other tundra wildlife"

Irene Hinke-Sacilotto
Osprey Photo Workshops
Baltimore, MD

 


 

"Do I dare admit that I first thought the name of our trip, "Dance with the Caribou," was marketing hype? After all, when you've seen "Dances with Wolves," read Farley Mowat, and then come across a name like Tundra Tom, what's a California photographer to think? Afterwards, I summed up my experience with the following journal entry: "Tundra Tom doesn't promise more than he can deliver, but he does deliver more than he promises. He never said I'd see a wolverine or step outside my tent beside a lake reflecting the northern lights and a crescent moon as wolf howls pierced the night. He never hinted how much more lasting my memories would be of stalking totally wild animals through thoughtful interaction with their environment and perceptions, compared to making equally close photographs of habituated animals from my car window in Yellowstone or Yosemite. Nor did he suggest that my experience in the Far North with him might affect my life back home. Just after I returned, I ran a steep trail in the hills above San Francisco Bay where the deer I sometimes see have always sprinted off when I get closer than about 150 feet. When I spotted a doe and fawn up ahead, I raised my arms and did the slow caribou dance that Tom taught us to do on open ground. To my amazement, the deer just stood there until I got six feet from them, when they politely stepped off the trail. I had no regrets about not having a camera with me. The experience was complete and mine alone, imprinted in my memory with far more detail and significance than film could ever record. In the Barrens, however, I shot nearly a hundred rolls of film of wildlife and a landscape that perfectly fit Farley Mowat's glowing descriptions (despite his fanciful elaborations of his own exploits). Flying in the Beaver we saw summer plains "thronged with life and brilliant with the colors of countless plants in bloom" and lakes "whose very blue depths are flanked by summer flowers and sweeping green meadows." On the ground, I could hardly hold back from laughing the first time I saw middle-aged men and women bending over, raising hands high alongside their heads, waltzing slowly across the tundra with a partner in tow to form a four-legged silhouette with a rack of antlers. When the caribou lowered their heads and returned to grazing, I was amazed to be able to get photos that I never would have imagined were possible on the open tundra. Calves were especially prone to leave their mothers and come walking up to check out the new guy on the range with those three carbon-fiber horns sticking out of that thing that made clicking noises just after the horns reversed to touch the ground. I doubt that the great majority of animals we stalked and photographed had any recognition of us as human. They may not have ever seen humans before. The stalks I think of as being the best were not necessarily those that produced the closest photographs, but those where the decision to retreat was ours and the animals remained where they were, unaffected by our presence. What more could you ask for a great wildlife experience? Well, how about good food, comfortable tents, and hot showers. We had that too!

Galen Rowell
Mountain Light Photography
Emeryville, Ca

 


 

"The barrenlands are one of the most remote regions left on earth. Here you can truly experience the essence of wilderness. In my week with Tundra Tom, my spirit was renewed by the herds of caribou, the northern lights, and the vast sweep of the landscape..."

Dr. Wayne Lynch / Photographer
Calgary, AB

 


"I wish to express my gratification concerning the recent trip on which I accompanied you to the Northwest Territories. The 'Dance with the Caribou' adventure allowed me to take many fine photographs of the Beverly caribou herd, as well as the spectacular fall colours of the northern tundra. Your help in stalking animals, and your insight into the areas early cultures made this a learning experience with considerable information for my future articles [See the article titled 'The Barrenlands' in the March/94 issue of 'Outdoor Photographer magazine]. You were right about the barrens, they will draw you back. I look forward to returning to the north to share more photographic experiences with you and the groups of photographers and nature lovers that come looking for an unspoiled land rich with wildlife and scenic grandeur. This is the place, and if anyone can show it to them, you do".

George Lepp / Photographer
Los Osos, CA

 


"Just wanted to thank you for a great two weeks in the Northwest Territories. As a full-time professional wildlife photographer I have the opportunity to travel to many remote and beautiful areas. However, I was awestruck by the beauty and vastness of the tundra, and certainly wasn't prepared for the diversity of flora and fauna on the sand esker areas. It is in these places that it was most easy to stalk and photograph wildlife. There are not many places in North America where you can stalk animals that in all likelihood have never seen or encountered man. I can honestly say that this is true "wildlife photography". Between your boats, canoes and the aircraft, spotting and approaching caribou was easy. Your choice for camp sites was always excellent with musk-ox or caribou running or grazing often times right through the camp. I came away from my trip with many color images of caribou, musk-ox, northern lights, and close-ups of "fall" Arctic tundra colors. I would highly recommend this trip to others!

Michael Francis / Photographer
Billings, MT

 


"The Upper Thelon camp was wonderful, all the necessities and great food. And what an incredible location for photography! If I don't get fantastic pictures of barrenlands caribou, musk-oxen and ptarmigan, I have no one to blame but myself. Many thanks for a very special week."

John Alexander / Photographer
Geneva, IL

 


"Just a note to say how much I enjoyed my second trip with Ecoventures. I went with a purpose - to film musk oxen and caribou for a TV show. The program, starring your photography trip leader, Robert Taylor, was aired last winter on the 'Canadian Wilderness Journal. My next project, filmed on your 'Dance with Wolves' trip is now in production, and may be aired on the 'Discovery Channel' this winter. I'd been to the Arctic before, but your camp on the tundra was unique, an oasis of trees, lakes and wildlife. With your help and that of leaders like Bob, I was able to meet my objective, shoot documentaries for TV, and spend a few weeks at one of the most beautiful places in the world. Thanks for having me and sincere wishes for your growing success. I will be back to see that grizzly we saw on the last day!"

Norman Lightfoot /Cinematographer
Cambridge, ON

 


"Our paddling trip through the Thelon country of the central barrenlands redefined wild for me: 300,000 square miles of tundra, lakes and rivers untouched by a village, a road or a power line. The silence was stupendous, the vastness inspiring. I have watched wildlife from Greenland to Siberia and from East Africa to the Himalayas, but had never seen nature in such an innocent state--almost totally free of the influences of both civilization and aboriginal people. It was a journey back to the time when wolves, bears, caribou and musk ox owned the earth. All the Best!"

Ted Kerasote / Environmental Affairs Editor
Sports Afield Magazine

 


"Just a note to let you know our group had an incredible visit to your Whitefish Lake camp on the "Dance with Caribou trip"! The tundra was in full autumn color and it was remarkable to have big bull caribou grazing and sleeping only yards from camp! Plus, we had never seen the northern lights of such intensity! The memory of watching (and photographing!) their brilliant display while wolves howled in the esker hills behind us will stay with us forever. Your camp operations were exemplary-- every bit as good as the fabled safari camps of Africa. Having propane heaters in each large, floored tent and hot showers in the bath house were unexpected pluses. And we certainly didn't go hungry--the food was great and in sufficient quantities to stuff a musk ox. Speaking of musk ox, stalking those Pleistocene relics was a high point of the trip. Your knowledge of their habits was what made our close approach possible. Probably most importantly, your love and dedication to this, one of the last and greatest wild areas on the planet, was appreciated by all on the trip and made the difference between merely a good trip and a truly unforgettable one! Keep up the good work!"

Randy Green / President
International Wildlife Adventures

 


 

"Many thanks for the wonderful trip you ran for us! We had a great experience and were able to capture some exciting arctic images on film. I think you run one of the best wilderness camps that I've seen. Filmmaking is an extremely demanding enterprise and your understanding of that process is greatly appreciated. Also, it's a pleasure to work with someone who cares so deeply about the land and native people. When someone has such a deep respect for the Arctic environment it makes all the difference. I enjoyed your extensive knowledge of geology and natural history. I wish you all the best for the future."

John Howe / Senior Producer
KEUD Public Television
Salt Lake City, UT

 


 

"Just wanted to thank you again for having me on another trip to the Northwest Territories, with Great Canadian Ecoventures. The Dance With Wolves...Musk-ox...and Gyrfalcon trip for which I was the photographer/tour leader went without a hitch. Not only did we see all of these animals but, many others as well and had many wonderful opportunities to get nice close-up photos. In my many years of photographing "wild" wolves this was without a doubt the best opportunity I've ever had to get photos of wolves both in tundra and taiga. I can still remember the thrill for all of the group when we got our first look at the four young wolves out playing in the open. What a sight! I can't wait to go back. Oh, I can't fail to mention that once again I'm amazed at how you can manage so far from anywhere to supply such good food, comfortable beds and a hot shower. See you again in 1997!"

Michael Francis / Wildlife Photographer
Billings, MT

 


 

"A heart-felt thank you for a wonderful week. There was so much that I enjoyed. I loved just being there. I especially loved the "girls" trip with Joan looking for the musk ox. It was so much fun scouting, stocking and scrambling along on our tummies to get above them; then to look down right at them, we couldn't have been much more than 15 feet from three of them, what a privilege. Thank goodness the wind held and we could observe them munching, rolling, butting heads and drinking for over an hour. Michael Francis was a great photo guide. I learned so much, not just about photography, but also about the birds. He was so patient and helpful and made the scouting so very interesting. It seemed a once in a lifetime opportunity to have access to Michael, get pointers and photograph the gyrfalcon coming and going to her nest. Another great day trip was the one I did with Joan down to Gordon's esker. The Ice was beautiful and it was such fun pushing through it. Joan made the hike fun and interesting by pointing out the chipping station and telling how the natives would herd the caribou into the narrows. I felt we were lucky to find the Merlin and see her on her nest, plus see the arctic hare and the ptarmigan. What a grand day! Tom, you are very special guy. The rambles in the evening under the midnight sun, hearing the history of the Northwest Territories, Whitefish Lake and the native peoples were truly a spiritual experience for me. One has to be there to understand. The base camp was comfortable, food and fishing were great, what more could one ask? Thank you, thank you!"

Judy C. Harrison / Publisher
Canoe & Kayak Magazine
Seattle, WA


 

"My first time in North-America was two weeks with Tundra Tom in the vast wilderness of the Northwest Territories. It was truly unforgettable experience. My primary reason for going was to see and photograph the white tundra Wolf. I was not disappointed. In one evening we saw 8 white Wolves - four adults and four pups at a fairly close distance. Fantastic! In my country- Norway _ the wolf is highly endangered - only 5-10 individuals are left. After being one week in the eastern arm of Slave Lake, we moved to the open tundra, to the Whitefish area, a beautiful esker-area with a lot of wildlife. More Wolf tracks, a single Grizzly track, ducks in every pond - and nesting white Gyr Falcons in the spruces. In Norway the gyrfalcons would leave the nest and fly alarming around when approaching the nest, but here they ignored our presence. Why this difference? I think- in contradiction to the Norwegian falcons, the birds out on the Canadian tundra have maybe not seen any humans before. So why should they fear us? It was thrilling to know that I was 400 kilometer from nearest town, that trout's just are waiting for me in the many lakes. - I can guarantee that I will return to this great wilderness one day..."

Tom Schandy / Wildlife Photographer
Vestfossen, Norway



 

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