October and November, during polar bear season in Churchill, are the best months to see polar bears squaring off in mock fights. Churchillian’s know that nearly every month is polar bear season and really never let their guard down. During true polar bear season one of the main attractions is sparring usually by adult or sub-adult male polar bears preparing for the long winter on the Hudson Bay ice.
When polar bears venture onto the ice in the Hudson Bay come late November they are prepared for potential confrontations with other bears over territory dominance of mating disputes. Sparring sessions in the Churchill wildlife Management Area and around the Hudson Bay Coast play an integral part in polar bear interactions and communication all year round. A dominance and respect is established through these fights and on the whole most bears know when to stop before serious injury is inflicted. There is also reason to believe the bears use the mock fights as a way to keep fit and alert for the long seal hunting season out on the pack ice.
The fight sessions are incredible to witness in person on the tundra in the Churchill wildlife Management Area.