Polar Bears Scare Me Shitless
In one of his adventures Ron describes an expedition to the far north of Ontario to study and mark polar bears. Here's a sample from that story:
WE FOUND A BEAR having a nap, off by itself on an island, miles away from any other animals. Our helicopter hovered over the animal, rising and falling a few feet to get his attention – no easy task. He was a large male, afraid of nothing on earth. We had to disturb him, get him up and moving to estimate his size then fill the tranquillizer darts with precisely the right amount of sedative.
"He’s a big hoss,” said the biologist with the dart shotgun, preparing two darts for him. Each dart held drug and an explosive cap that discharged on impact, injecting the hypodermic contents into the bear’s muscle.
We moved off about a mile and lightened our load for the final chase. The photographer was deemed excess weight and left to wander the shoreline. That would be me. In those days, you were not supposed to be on the ground in Polar Bear Provincial Park unarmed, but with all the camera equipment I carried, I could do no better than stay as close as possible to a heavily armed biologist.
It was a magical interlude of waiting. The shore was littered with huge snow-covered rocks, any of which could have been a bear, not a boulder. The salt water of the Arctic Ocean lapped on the shore. V’s of snow geese and blue geese honked as they flew overhead. A peregrine falcon, one of the arctic race, stooped and hit a duck; there was an explosion of feathers as predator and prey collided. In the distance, the sound of the helicopter chasing the bear went ta-pocketa, ta-pocketa.