Manitoba’s Wolf Hunt is Launched!

Dateline: August 1, 2009

Your mission, if you accept it, is to find 49 Spirit Way Wolves across Manitoba. You must record them in your GPS Wolf Hunt Passport to be recognized as a GPS Master Wolf Tracker!

No, this is not a hunting trip! It’s a geocache adventure that stretches from Winnipeg to Thompson to Churchill. It requires someone, who owns a handheld GPS unit and loves to geocache, to track down 49 wolf statues by using GPS coordinates. The statues are 5500 lbs. of concrete and are 7.5 feet tall. Each one has been sponsored by by a business, agency ,or individual and painted by a Manitoba artist.

All this began in Thompson, Manitoba in 2004 when a volunteer committee started the Spirit Way project. Spirit Way is a 2 km walking path from the south end of Thompson to the north end. Along the route are unique 16 points of interest that have won awards for Spirit Way and made it one of the Top 20 Places to Visit in Manitoba by Travel Manitoba. A few of the fascinating and interesting points of interest that showcase Thompson and Northern Manitoba are the  world’s largest lighted mural and the only mural of a Robert Bateman painting, a restored Norseman bush plane being held in mid-air, and the start of Canada’s largest rockface sculpture. The attractions  make for great memories and even greater photographs for visitors and residents alike.

The wolf statues were born in 2006 when 24 were sponsored and painted by Northern artists. Each is a stunning example of public art and each is different from to reflect the tastes of the sponsor and the style of the artist. Many tell a wonderful story. In 2007, more statues were poured, painted, and moved. Some stayed at the Forks in Winnipeg for a few months before coming to a howling rest at their final home. Today, there are 49 wolves spread across a 1000 miles in Manitoba making them one common element binding our province from the south to the north.

What is needed to play (or hunt) is a GPS unit and a Spirit Way GPS Wolf Hunt Passport. Then each wolf is found by using the coordinates listed in the passport. The geocacher writes down the proper title of each wolf. Once the person finds them all in each city, they must get their passport rubber stamped by an official. After all 3 stamps are obtained, the final step is to register online and wait to receive a special GPS Master Wolf Tracker Certificate. The person’s name will also be listed on the website as a Master Wolf Tracker.

The result is a fun, travel adventure across Manitoba starting in the prairie and flood plain of the south, heading to the rugged boreal forest, lakes and rivers of the North, and ending at the tundra and Hudson Bay. You will receive tremendous satisfaction when you have find all the Spirit Way wolves, and you will be recognized for it in a special way.

More details, Passport locations, Master Wolf Tracker registrations, and listings of Master Trackers are all shown on the Spirit Way website – www.thompsonspiritway.ca.

Give it a try. Enjoy yourself. Have a howling great adventure across our big, beautiful province. And come back soon.