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  Field Notes From
Beasts of the Boreal

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From Photographer
Antti Leinonen

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photograph by Sirpa Haverinen

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Beasts of the Boreal

Field Notes From Photographer
Antti Leinonen
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From June to December 2000, I had the opportunity to observe the same young wolverines grow into independent adults. Over time they came to accept me as if I was a natural part of their forest. That’s unusual with such wild and elusive animals.

It was extremely frustrating to photograph wolverines during the winter. At times it seemed impossible. During the summer, warm air traveled upward and allowed smells, particularly the smell of myself in the blind, to travel farther, which lured the wolverines to the hide. However, in the winter the cold air prevented scents from traveling far enough to attract the wolverines. The ones that had been very cooperative during the summer were impossible to catch on film during the winter.

Once I was high up at the top of a pine tree setting bait—a small piece of pig fat—for the wolverines. Suddenly there was a wolverine at the foot of the tree. He must’ve smelled the bait, or maybe he smelled me. I wasn’t sure since, he was just sitting there, looking up at me very curiously. I must have looked very comical to him.

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