I think we can all agree that the Eiffel Tower is passé. Thinking of Pompeii – yawn. The pyramids? It’s been done. Family holidays are all too samey and bland. None of your friends want to see the shot of you ‘holding up’ the leaning tower of Pisa on your weekly slide night.
Thankfully there is another option. Quietly hiding in the background, and only known to those willing to seek it out is a holiday full of adventure, masculinity and Shakespearean implications. Canada. Polar bear hunting in Canada.
There are limited opportunities in Australia to kill large things, stuff them, and display them in a lounge room as a furry, animal shaped symbol of status and, at a stretch, virility. Sure, maybe you hit a kangaroo that one time, but the bumper mark in its neck doesn’t scream “pride!” to your neighbours and admirers, and using buttons for its eyes just somehow detracts seriousness from your kill. You could maybe join a “fox” hunt, but nowadays it is just a bunch of horses chasing a trail of aniseed left by a bag, and you don’t get the warm glow of seeing a pack of dogs tearing up a defenceless animal.
So, if you have a few thousands of dollars spare, hit up the internet. Googling “Polar Bear Hunting Canada” will get you at least three websites offering this service (just go right ahead and ignore those pesky ‘animal rights’ groups bitching on about things they don’t understand).
Ten seconds and a fleeting glance over the first page of results on Google and I had already found three different companies offering hunting treks. I emailed one, just to see if there were any international limitations, and within the hour received a reply saying, not at all. The only limitation is money.
So far, so good.
Canada has an open door policy on any international visitor wanting to hunt in their country. Indeed, this policy isn’t limited just to polar bears. If you’re super keen, you can extend your experience to hunting musk ox. As you will see, this option is also more thrifty. In the email response I received, I discovered that for a mere $50CAD, one could have a hunting licence, there is a place “available for a 14 day hunt in mid-April” and that for a $35 declaration you can even import your own firearms! If you want to keep what you kill, you simply pay a “trophy fee” of $1500 for a polar bear, and $300 for a musk ox. Excellent.
As an added bonus, the email I received included two attachments. One was a list of costs (very reasonable), and the second was a ‘happy customer’ story.
Written in the same style as a child’s piece on their trip to the zoo, it detailed a hunting trip with such complications as “rifle malfunction” and the bear “turn[ing] the tables”. It explains how “[the hunter] was tickled to death with the hunt and his trophy and realized how lucky he was”, and concludes with “of course, the moral of this story should be obvious. Your equipment, firearms, clothing & gear must be of the best quality, tried and tested.” Naturally!
Accompanying this delightful story that any person would be insane to not want to replicate were various pictures of moustachioed men holding rifles as they knelt over the limp carcasses of their trophies. The men wear white jackets, white hats and broad smiles as blood drips from the bears, through their white fur onto the white snow. Bliss.
Yes. That’ll teach Steve to laugh at my bumper bar damaged Kangaroo.