Bowhunter Jim Ryan goes to the Northwest Terrirtories to conquer his fourth polar bear.
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There are few bowhunters that have matched the experiences and success of Jim Ryan. Starting with a longbow at the age of eight, he was quick to become proficient enough to help provide food for his financially struggling family in the coal hills of West Virginia. It did not take long for the thrill of bowhunting to take hold inside of Jim and as it grew so did his desire for trophy animals. He has since become one of only a handful of bowhunters in the world to take all 28 North American game animals, a feat known as the superslam, and is just a couple of animals shy of completing the monumental task a second time. Just as impressively, is the fact that over 100 of the animals that he has taken qualify for the Pope & Young record book.
When Jim decided to head to the Northwest Territories last fall to purse his fourth polar bear, Bass Pro Shop’s founder Johnny Morris requested to send a cameraman along to capture the adventure. Mike “Tater” Haviland has spent the majority of his life behind the camera filming hunts all over the world and averages 240 days a year looking through the lens. When he received the call from Bass Pro Shops, he quickly jumped at the chance. “I’ve been called on more than one occasion to tackle a tough, adventurous hunt that others were reluctant to accept. I had never been to the Northwest Territories or even seen a polar bear but had witnessed Jim’s archery skills first hand on a Wyoming elk hunt and I wasn’t going to let this opportunity get away,” he said.