WOLF, LYNX AND WOLVERINE TRACKING
AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME
Join a large carnivore expert to track wolf, lynx and wolverine deep into their natural habitat, through the wilderness of Norway in the most beautiful winter setting.
Tour dates 2020:
2 - 8 March
Where: Osen (Åmot, Hedmark, Norway)
Length: 7 days
Number of participants: 4-6
Price: 12.500,- NOK (+/- 1325,- Euro) per person
Accommodation (twin bedroom basis)
Transport in Norway (You will be picked up at Oslo Gardermoen)
Food: Food and drinks for during the day will be provided for you
Snow shoe rental
Guiding by a large carnivore expert
An experience of a life time
Flight to Oslo Gardermoen.
Travel insurance: All participants are responsible for their own travel insurance.
Hedmark county is situated in the east of Norway and lies in the interior taiga belt, which stretches from Norway around the whole northern hemisphere. Hedmark is the only county in Norway and one of the very few areas in Europe where all four of the European large carnivores live. The wolf, European brown bear, lynx and the wolverine thrive here in the wilderness of Scandinavia. During this tour we can encounter all of these species, except from the bear, who still is in his winter den in March. We will focus on the three active species, along with other species of wildlife such as moose, beaver, river otter, mountain hare, grouse species and even the mouse. During the tour the guide will give you an unique insight of the whole ecosystem.
Michael Dötteren, (click here to learn more about the guide)
How does the tour look like:
To not lose precious time while you are here, the guide will search for tracks of the large carnivores in the days prior your arrival. Searching for their tracks can take a lot of time, since the home-ranges of the large carnivores are very large. Reaching well up to 1000 square kilometers. Even though the accommodation is situated in the home range of one of the wolf packs, expect that we have to drive long distances to encounter fresh tracks. The day planning will roughly look like this: After having breakfast and preparing our lunch packages, we leave the accommodation at around 9:00 o clock. We spent up five to six hours tracking by foot, with a break in the middle. We will return to our accommodation at around 16:00 o clock, relax, shower and visit the restaurant for a nice warm meal. Find below a day to day planning.
You will fly on Oslo Gardermoen airport. Here the guide will meet you and drive you to the accommodation in Osen. The drive takes about 2,5 hours. We will get to know each other and visit the restaurant for dinner.
Day 2 and 3.
Tracking days as described above. Prime targets are the wolf, lynx and wolverine.
Depending on the group, we can take it a bit more easy today and go ice fishing. We will try to catch our own food for dinner. This can be a lot of fun and you never know which animals we come across while making our way to the lake where the trout and perch are waiting for us. If the group prefers to continue tracking or do other activities, then we do this.
Tracking day as described above. Prime target are the wolf, lynx and wolverine.
Today the guide will take you into an area out of the forest range, to introduce you to a different ecosystem. This is the high mountain plateau Trysilfjellet. We will walk from the tree line up to the high mountains, with a stunning view of this marvelous ecosystem. Here we can expect to find tracks of the mountain hare, willow grouse, black grouse, capercaillie, red fox but also the wolverine might cross our path. We will follow a trail along a ski track, prepared for cross country skiers. Additionally to the beautiful nature, you will get a taste of the Norwegian culture and see what the locals do in their spare time.
Sadly this is already the last day of the tour. It is time to pack the bags and have a last drive through this stunning area. The guide will drive you to Gardermoen airport where the tour comes to an end.
What can you expect to see:
The main goal of the tour is to follow tracks of the wolf, lynx and wolverine. While following the tracks you will be able to observe behavior patterns (territory marking, playing, hunting, sleeping and such) and it is possible to come across carcasses of animals killed by the predators. You will also come across tracks of other animals such as moose, red deer, roe deer, red fox, pine marten, beaver, otter and grouse species. The density of moose is very high in this area and the guide will do his best to show you this impressive animal in real life. During day time it is possible to spot black grouse and capercaillie in the trees and with some luck also the impressive golden eagle. Additionally to all the wildlife, you will see some of the most amazing winter landscapes while walking through the pure wilderness of Norway. As little bonus for the trip, in March the northern light activity can be high and been seen in Hedmark.
The winters are quite harsh in this part of Norway, with temperatures dropping until -40 degrees Celsius in extreme cases between December and February. In March the winter loosens it’s hard grip, the weather becomes more stable and the temperature rises again. During your stay, the temperature will probably be between 0 and -10 degrees Celsius on day time. If the sun does its best, the temperature can rise a few degrees above 0. At night the temperature will be around -15 degrees Celsius. It is likely that there will be some days with snowfall, but expect most days to be without precipitation.
Physical condition of the participants:
You don't need to be super fit, but need to be able to walk about 5 hours per day on snowshoes. There is no need to hurry and the terrain won't be steep during most of the tracking. Participants have to carry their own small backpack with some extra clothing, lunch and something to drink. We do advise you to prepare your body for the tour, by walking several kilometers per day prior the tour.
Food and drinks:
Breakfast: The breakfast will be eaten in the accommodation. During the tour we will visit a supermarket several times to buy breakfast and lunch. Snacks and alcoholic beverages are not included in the price. You can buy these on your own expenses when we visit the supermarket.
Lunch: In the morning you have to make your own lunch package to bring out in the field.
Dinner: Every evening a hot meal is served in the local restaurant.
(If there are things you cannot eat, please let us know prior the tour.)
You will be staying in a large house, close to the lake called Osensjøen, in the small village Osen. The house has been completely renovated in 2014 and has a good standard. In the accommodation we have three twin-bedrooms which we have to share. Further there is a large living room, kitchen, toilet and bathroom. There is a supermarket at 300 meter from the accommodation and the restaurant, where you will be dining, lays only 50 meters from your door. The wolf sometimes walk on the ice of the lake and have been seen from the accommodation.
You will be outside every day for the largest part of the day. It will be freezing, but you will be active. Good clothing is essential so that you don't freeze when standing still or sweat while walking. Find below a list with the most important pieces of clothing.
A warm ski jacket which breaks the wind would be the best for this tour.
Skiing trousers are perfect for this tour.
For the cold days it is nice to have a set of thermo base layers.
You need either snow boots or hiking boots to be able to use the snow shoes. Make sure that the shoes are not too small, because this will result in cold feet. The best is to bring boots which are a bit too large, so that you can ware an extra layer of socks.
Gamaschen / gaiters
It is the best to have a set of thermo-gloves plus a set of mittens. This combination will keep your fingers nice and warm.
Sunglasses are an absolute must to have. The snow reflects a lot of light, which could damage your eyes when the sun is shining.
Warm head covering the ears
Other equipment needed:
Bring a medium size backpack which will fit some extra clothing, lunch, a thermos and maybe your camera.
Because of the cold, it is smart to bring something warm to drink with you out in the field. In the morning you will be able to fill your thermos with tea or coffee.
The large carnivores we will be tracking, are extremely shy animals and are very seldom observed. By being in their home ranges every day and being in contact with other locals, we try to maximize the chances of observing these animals. But no guarantee can be given! Observing them should be seen as a big bonus.
Large carnivore expert Michael Dötterer, born and raised in Germany, moved in 1995 as biologist to Norway to work as field coordinator in the Scandinavian Lynx research project. Ever since he has worked with numerous interesting species of wildlife, such as wolf, brown bear, wolverine, moose, red deer and river otter. His main focus has been on the large carnivores. He gained a lot of knowledge about their behavior and shared this as teacher in the course “carnivore management” at college university Evenstad.
Since 2012 he has been working as guide in Hedmark, which also has been his home for the past 20 years, where most of his research took place and the only area in Norway where all four large carnivore species live. During the tours he shares his knowledge in a joyful way with the participants. The combination of his friendly character and his knowledge of both the wildlife and the area, make Michael an excellent guide.
Michael speaks English, German and Norwegian.