Got Bear Mitts?
Bear Hunting Magazine|November - December 2020
FOR EXTREME WARMTH, BEAR MITTS ARE THE WAY TO GO. CONSIDER TURNING THAT OLD BEAR HIDE INTO SOMETHING FUNCTIONAL & INTERESTING.
Timothy Fowler

When you run a dog sled in the bitter cold, you need bear mitts.

You can swing an axe and carry a rifle with these mitts on, but you can’t strike a match or squeeze a trigger. I wear a light finger glove inside when hunting something that requires fast action, when squeezing the trigger is imminent, I shuck the glove and proceed. What follows is the directions of how to turn that spare bear hide into a pair of black bear mittens that will keep your hands warm in the coldest weather the globe has to offer, and they are wearable trophies. But first, a little background.

I don’t own a pack of sled dogs, nor do I own a Qamatiik (dogsled.) But I have run both, north-east of Alaska, near the Canadian town, Inuvik in Northwest Territories. Olav and Judi run Arctic Chalet Resort and Adventure Tours there, and before they rent you a sled and a team of dogs Judi will hook you up with the right (over) sized pair of her prized bear mitts. She knows how warm these mitts are. The trail the dogs will take you on is a crazy loop through the extreme cold-stunted forest on the Mackenzie Delta. Don’t go without the mitts. These might be made from polar bear, black bear, or grizzly. The local Inuvialuit would just as likely use Caribou for the over-mitt, but the thick fur of the bear drives the cold away and keeps your hands toasty when you’re on the sled. On my return from the sled trip, I reached out to my glove-making contact and commissioned three pairs of black bear mitts.

Jonathan, the glovemaker, is part of a local Hutterite Colony. His day job is Field Boss. He’s the guy who’s in charge of crop rotation, planting, and harvest schedule. His side gig is glove making. He does this mostly in the winter and I wanted to photograph Jonathan in his black work suit, suspenders, and hat. I imagined the smell of tanned leather and glue, the backlit shot of him in his work shed leaning over the press as he places his hand-made steel cutting dies in various sizes, corresponding to the customer’s hand size. (Mine size 12) I would want a shot of him arranging my black bear hide and one of him lowering the massive press handle. I imagine a photo of Jonathan laying the neatly cut glove components on his side table and another of him working the sewing machine––the kind you would see at the shoe shop if they still made handmade boots. But none of this could happen, besides Jonathan being the modest type, there is a no-press no-interview policy on the colony.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BEAR HUNTING MAGAZINEView All

THE END OF 2020, CHALLENGES COMING IN 2021

SOMETHINGS EVERY SPORTSMAN OUGHT TO KNOW ABOUT. STAY ENGAGED!

7 mins read
Bear Hunting Magazine
January - February 2021

SPRING HUNTING IN MAINE

In 1982 Maine closed its spring season, but you can still spring hunt with an outfitter on some tribal lands.

3 mins read
Bear Hunting Magazine
January - February 2021

Bears & Gobblers

SPRING BEAR & TURKEY IN MONTANA

9 mins read
Bear Hunting Magazine
January - February 2021

Western Bear Hunting

Picking the right outfitter - Picking the right outfitter can make or break your experience.

6 mins read
Bear Hunting Magazine
January - February 2021

Three Phases of the Spring

Understanding the Pros & Cons in the Timing of Spring Bear Hunting

8 mins read
Bear Hunting Magazine
January - February 2021

Extreme Utility

Jeff Senger kills for a living.

7 mins read
Bear Hunting Magazine
January - February 2021

Canning - Bear Meat

The last six months my non-hunting friends asking increasingly specific questions about how to turn animals into meat.

6 mins read
Bear Hunting Magazine
January - February 2021

Bear Dogs - East vs West

The term “bear dog” means something different to every houndsman.

8 mins read
Bear Hunting Magazine
January - February 2021

Alaska - One Last Grizzly (DIY)

NOTHING LASTS FOREVER, BUT THE AUTHOR HAS HAD A HECK OF A RUN ON ARCTIC GRIZZLY

10+ mins read
Bear Hunting Magazine
January - February 2021

Understanding Skull Size in Evaluating Trophy Black Bear

Black bears can be one of the most difficult big game animals to judge before the shot.

7 mins read
Bear Hunting Magazine
November - December 2020
RELATED STORIES

BANKRUPTCY RACKET!

Brazen Boris Becker gets 2.5 years for covering his assets

1 min read
Globe
May 23, 2022

muddy boots welcome

Casual chic rules in a Kentucky home inspired by the great outdoors.

3 mins read
HGTV Magazine
June 2022

The National Interest: Jonathan Chait

Political Correctness Is Losing How the Democratic Party fought back against illiberalism.

6 mins read
New York magazine
April 25-May 8, 2022

My Job Is to CHANGE LIVES

The Queer Eye star sparks joy, one home makeover at a time

3 mins read
inTouch
April 18, 2022

Simone Ashley

PARTING SHOT

2 mins read
Newsweek
April 01 - 08, 2022

Looking For Love

Bridgerton returns

1 min read
Closer US
March 28, 2022

WHERE THE BOOM IS REALLY BOOMING...

Why is business so great for home improvement, chicken, health-and-wellness, and pet brands? The answer tells you a lot about where franchising is going next.

10+ mins read
Entrepreneur
Startups Spring 2022

IN ‘THE ADAM PROJECT,' A BLOCKBUSTER THERAPY SESSION

Pathos and action are found in equal parts in “ The Adam Project,” the latest attempt by Netflix to create the kind of throwback blockbuster that you might have paid to see in movie theaters.

3 mins read
AppleMagazine
March 18, 2022

WHOOPI READY TO QUIT OVER 'VIEW BLACK EYE

BESIEGED Whoopi Goldberg is so furious over her suspension from "The View" she's considering walking away from the show for good, say insiders.

2 mins read
National Enquirer
February 21, 2022

NO SHENANIGANS

JONATHAN BRAUN, A DRUG SMUGGLER AND LOAN SHARK, WAS GRANTED CLEMENCY JUST BEFORE DONALD TRUMP LEFT OFFICE. NOW HE’S FREE AND BACK IN BUSINESS

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
February 14, 2022