It must be twenty years ago now, when on one morning during a hike in Saltfjellet NP in Norway, I opened the zipper of my tent, and I was looking straight in the eyes of a Wolverine! I remember very well we were both shocked, and when the animal ran away over the fjell, the only thing that came up to me, was to follow it (on my bare feet, only wearing my boxershorts…). I wanted to see were it ran off to, but needless to say, I lost sight of the animal within minutes.
It was going to take me until last week to see this wonderful animal again, on my trip to Finland with a good friend. I had a chance to see them though last september when I was guiding a group of photographers in Finland, but I wasn’t fortunate. All my members saw Wolverines, and even photographed it, but I missed them. It was at that time I decided it had taken me long enough to see them again, and I planned a trip dedicated to the Wolverines.
Before I knew it, I was spending a complete week in a hide at temperatures outside of reaching -31°C, but comfortably warm inside thanks to a small gasstove and some candles. This isn’t a perfect timing to see Wolverines, because most of them are spending all day in the dens with their freshbourn cubs, but I really wanted to see them in winter conditions, and photograph them in deep snow. While we had a new traffic queue record in my homeland Belgium (1630 km!), I was sitting relaxed deep in the taïga forests waiting for the Wolverines. They turned up after some long and unsuccessful days, and we were rewarded with a great show of the playful Wolverines, during some decent light. And on top of that, a female Goshawk treated us with a visit in soft evening light.
I have been many times to Finland now, and it never bores me. It’s a fantastic country, full of nature, wildlife, nice and exciting people. Wished I had stay longer again, there is always so much more to do in a place like this!
I’m looking forward for my next visit in September, when I will guide a group of photographers to see the Brown bears, Wolves and of course the Wolverines! See Tierra Photo Tours for a description of the trip.