Leqve First Woman To Arrow A Polar BearGary Gustafson, Bear Hunting Magazine
|Michele Leqve, her team, and her bear. Jim Leqve photo|
|Titus's Dog Sled Team. Cathy Allolloo Narwal photo.|
|Advertisement (Great Canadian Sportsman)|
|Michele and Jim with the cargo sled. Cathy Allolloo Narwal photo|
"Xtreme Bowhuntress" Michele Leqve has taken many North American game trophies. One of her favorite species to hunt is bears. After successfully tagging several black bears, her dreams turned to hunting Nanook--the Polar Bear. When she discovered that no woman had recorded the feat of harvesting the giant white bear with a bow and arrow, her desire to take one increased even more.
After a conversation with Mark Buehrer of Bowhunting Safari Consultants at the 2005 Pope and Young convention, Michele and her husband Jim began making serious plans for a hunt. Her dream became a reality in April 2006 when she and Jim arrived at Pond Inlet, Nunavut. Michele was armed for the hunt with a Mathews Switchback XT and arrows tipped with 100 Grain Steelforce HP Serrated Sabertooth Broadheads.
Michele and her Inuit hunting party first departed for the sea ice via dog sled and snowmobiles on April 12th. Michele was guided by a local outfitter named Titus who assigned a fellow named Omik and 2 assistants to personally accompany Michele, although Titus himself also came with. Titus made the hunt a family affair by bringing his wife Cathy and their ten-year-old son Devon along. The entire hunting party was comprised of 8 people. The weather in polar regions is "predictably unpredictable". While traveling to their hunting grounds, the party was kept in a shelter for 2 solid days by blizzard conditions.
The morning of the 14th dawned clear, and the guides rousted Michele, Jim and the rest of the crew out to finish their trek to the ice. After a journey that lasted all day they arrived and began to set up camp.
Immediately the guides came across polar bear tracks. While glassing in the direction that the tracks went, they spotted another Inuit hunter in the distance. They waved at him and he drove over on his snowmobile. The other hunter, named Jobie, then joined in to help them follow the track. They located the bear, came back, and directed Michele to board a dog sled for the final leg of her date with destiny.
There was no time to lose. The great hand of the Arctic night was slowly closing it's grip on the small party. Michele, Omik and the dogs headed towards the bear. They first saw it at about 500 yards. Michele glassed the bear through her 10X42 Nikon Premium LX binoculars. Omik turned loose one of his specially-bred bear "fighting dogs" to close in on the bruin. The dog fixed the bear's attention, and more importantly it's location, as Michele began her stalk with the guide. Michele was so filled with adrenaline that Omik had to tell her to slow down!
Omik appeared to be having trouble loading his back-up gun in the frigid temperatures, leaving Michele on her own should the huge bruin charge.
It is difficult to gauge distance on the featureless Arctic seascape. Michele estimated the bear to be 25 yards away and let an arrow fly--a clean miss! Then she had the presence of mind to use her Nikon range finder. After measuring the range at 35 yards, Leqve double-lunged the bruin. She followed up with a heart shot that anchored the 9' bear--and her place in the history books--for good.
A DVD about Michele's hunt will be released in April. Call Bows R Us at (507) 358-1844 to pre-order.
Michele Leqve's first public showing of her polar bear mount will be at the Wholesale Sports Store Grand Opening in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan April 13th-15th, 2007. Michele will be on hand to sign copies of her DVD.
For information on products and services that Michele used on this hunt, visit:
Bowhunting Safari Consultants
Steel Force Broadheads
Justin Charles Wool
The Whisker Biscuit
Nikon Sports Optics