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Archive 2013 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox

  
 
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


Last week I flew from Calgary to Yellowknife to Gjoa Haven NU, in the Arctic. Gjoa Haven is above Minnesota/Manitoba by above 2000 km.

Gjoa Haven, named by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, is the only settlement on King William Island in Nunavut. Amundsen landed in the area’s natural harbour during the first attempted traverse of the Northwest Passage; he ended up staying there for nearly two years in 1903, learning to live off the land from the Netsilik Inuit. Earlier in about 1845, Franklin and about 140 other english sailers perished near and on King William Island searching for the North West Passage (they got iced in for several years and died lacking vitamins and food and eating canned food).

This trip was caused by my search for Muskox pictures. The only place I could find in the high Arctic that promised to find me Muskox with high certainty.

A buddy and I met our guide and went off on ATV's for 4 days camping on the tundra. The plan was 5 days on the tundra camping then fishing, then cultural events (observing carvings and dancing and stuff).

It was a really eye opener for me - milk costs $12, 12 pack of coke $42, .... everything was very expensive, which leads to the the entire community being mostly about hunting and fishing most of the time.

Here are the first shots leading into Gjoa Haven

1-4 of about 26 so be patient.

Scott




1 The Gjoa Haven community from the Air as we arrived






2 The Houses are all high off the perma-frost. Oil, and Water is delivered and Sewage is Removed






3 The Ice was just coming off the Northwest Passage as we Arrived






4 There were very few flowers but lots of shrub not more than a foot tall



Edited on Aug 19, 2013 at 02:03 PM · View previous versions



Aug 18, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


We went ATV looking for Muskox on the first, 2nd and 3rd day and did not find them. The tundra was absolutely pounding. It does not look tough but it is not soft at all and you can see for miles. On the 1st day we found a family of Arctic Fox.

5-8 of about 26




5






6






7






8




Aug 18, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


My apologies but I really liked the fox pictures

9-12




9






10






11






12




Aug 18, 2013 at 06:44 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


On the 2nd day after hours of ATV'ing we found a caribou.

These are not great pictures but she was fun to see. But wait for the next post.

13-16




13






14






15






16




Aug 18, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


And unfortunately for the Caribou - did I say groceries were expensive - the guides decided to shoot the caribou

Leading to 17-18

It was quite a cultural experience. They offered us the pieces of raw liver and dipped them in the stomache contents.




17






18 - Dipping the raw caribou liver in the caribou stomach contents - yumm



Edited on Aug 18, 2013 at 08:30 PM · View previous versions



Aug 18, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


On the fifth day when we were fishing we finally came across a muskox. He was huge and grumpy and I was very nervous getting off my ATV to take a picture

19-23




19 - Looking for Muskox






20






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22






23




Aug 18, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


And the very last posts

Thanks for looking at my very long post. It was a great time.




24 Some muskox hides (not shot by us) hanging near a hunter house






25 Some Arctic Char hanging out to dry for Winter






26 A landscape of Anukshuks looking south accross the North West Passage towards mainland Canada




Aug 18, 2013 at 06:58 PM
birdied
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


Scott, this is an amazing travelogue, very interesting and educational. I can only imagine what an eye opening experience it was for you. I am glad you found the muskox , the shots are sensational.

I love this entire set. I though the foxes were my favorites, but those muskox shots are outstanding.

Exceptionally well done and presented.

Birdie



Aug 18, 2013 at 07:23 PM
dorian
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


this is a really nice chronicle of what looks like an amazing trip! i really applaud the effort to target a specific species and go to whatever lengths it takes to go and get great shots of it. the musk ox picture are outstanding. he really is a majestic beast! foxes are really cute too!

dorian



Aug 18, 2013 at 07:33 PM
kmunroe
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


excellent images Scott


Aug 18, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


birdied: I am glad you like my travelogue. Gjoa Haven is so remote I could not find much information before I went so I thought i would describe the experience. I am glad you like the entire set. The muskox was a thrill when we finally found it (after I had given up). Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. Scott


dorian: It was an amazing trip. I wanted to see the high arctic and Muskox. Its funny - I live in Canada and have seen most of the US but have not seen 2/3 of Canada until this trip. Glad you like the muskox and foxes. Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. Scott


kmunroe: Glad you like the images. It was great to do. Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. Scott



Aug 18, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Tim Kuhn
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


Oh my Scott

To call this set astounding is an understatement. Your description is very intriguing, your trip is something that I could only dream about taking, wow!! Honestly I am in awe of this adventure. The trip alone has to be worth every cent and hardship you had to endure. Add to that the stunning photographs and wow!! You did such a marvelous job on the photos, not only capturing the species but everything else you have presented us. I truly do hope you will bless us with more of this excellent and rare work. My hat is off to you sir

Tim



Aug 18, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


Tim Kuhn: Thats pretty high praising. I am glad you enjoyed my pictures. It was a fantastic week. And between the mosquitoes, pounding on the atv's looking for muskox, eating spam and chef boy r de (sp), and drinking water out of questionable lakes, it was way whorthwhile. Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. Scott


Aug 18, 2013 at 08:28 PM
morris
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


Scott Stoness wrote:
And the very last posts

Thanks for looking at my very long post. It was a great time.


Wonderful set Scott! It looks like a great trip

Morris



Aug 18, 2013 at 08:47 PM
gregfountain
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


Really awesome show and tell here Scott. You made me feel like I was there with you, and as usual, came away with some truly great photography. Thanks for sharing!

Greg



Aug 18, 2013 at 08:50 PM
pliukait
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


Just fantastic, Scott! So tell us, how was the caribou liver dipped in stomach contents?

And why was it dipped? I can understand eating the liver, but the 'special sauce'?

.....Pete



Aug 18, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Karl Witt
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


Scott................I too like those Artic foxes Incredible 'travel photography'..........you sure made good of the encounters you experienced.

This was an adventure, not for everybody but I am surely glad you went and were able to share these incredible shots. That was a little weird when you said they shot the Caribou but understandable.

Hmmm, Muskox............Oh my that is one massive and mean looking machine with its own hint of beauty, what a fascinating animal and the images are super my friend!

Introductory shots were great too!
Karl



Aug 18, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


morris: I am glad you like the set. It was a fun week. Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. Scott


gregfountain: It was great to share the trip. It was a trip of a lifetime. I even saw elders dancing drum dances. It was too cool. Glad you like the pictures. Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. Scott


pliukait: I did not eat the raw caribou liver dipped in stomach but my buddy at the raw liver and he thought it was good. I am not a fan of liver but I fully understand the eating of it. Vitamin C (oranges, etc) is very expensive in the north. I have not figured out what they get out of the stomach dipping but they really enjoyed it, so it must be good for them. I continue to google and have found this diet common in northern Canada but I don't know what kind of nutrients it provides. Glad you like the series. Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. Scott


Karl Witt: The Arctic fox in their summer coats were really cute. I was not upset at the Caribou - food was outrageously expensive and caribou is healthy and nothing was wasted. They also shot at a seal when we were out fishing for arctic char - it would have been an awfully gory experience on a 20' boat. The muskox bulles are big and have a massive head they use to butt into other males when they are showing off for he girls. They were dangerous. I kept my eyes on him as I unwrapped my 200-400 to take the pictures. Glad you like the series. Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. Scott



Aug 18, 2013 at 10:02 PM
ChrisKayler
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


I like the fox images the most. What a great trip!


Aug 18, 2013 at 10:48 PM
big_fish
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Gjoa Haven (Arctic Island) Nunavut Canada - Caribou, Arctic Fox, Muskox


Scott,
Looks like you had a great time. I've travelled to many northern communities throughout the Canadian arctic and Gjoa Haven is by far to most friendly. They really do make you feel like part of their huge extended family.
It's also great to see Gjoa Haven in the summer as it looked very different in Feburary at -60 degree celsius. I've tried narwhal, beluga, seal (eye balls too), and caribou, but never muskox - next time

Your shot of the fox carrying the caribou leg is awesome. It's also amazing how close the foxes allow you get - even when they have kits. Spent an entire night photographing a family one evening with a 50mm on full frame and each shot was filled with fox.

ps. were you made to participate at the drum dance? they often make southerns dance just to watch and laugh.

- gjoa haven is on King William Island, you should crown your thread title



Aug 18, 2013 at 11:20 PM
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