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Polar Bear Safety & Firearm Handling

A three-day intensive course in non-lethal polar bear safety and firearm handling. This course is designed for new and existing expedition guides, scientists, sailors, adventurers and anyone operating in polar bear habitats. 


Combining theoretical knowledge with practical skills, it aims to equip participants with the expertise needed for safe and respectful operations in polar bear habitats.


Course Content:

  • Non-Lethal Polar Bear Safety

  • Firearm Handling & Safety

  • Polar Bear Scouting Theory & Operation Logistics

  • Online Pre-Course Component

Please note: course structure may vary depending on the course you book. Some courses run with Firearm Safety & Handling followed by Non-Lethal Polar Bear Safety. Other courses run in reverse order. Content is the same for all courses.


Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Language: English Proficient 

Age: 18+

Previous experience: None required

Requirements: Proof of clean police report/clean record or firearm license from home country.

Who is the course for?

Those new to the industry and seasoned guides. The course is designed for anyone looking to become more proficient and confident in operating in polar bear terrain and with firearm handling.  

Ratio practical firearm training: Maximum 1:6

Ratio non-lethal theory: Maximum 1:24


Course minimum: 10

Price: USD $1699

Course Outline

Non-Lethal Polar Bear Safety

  • Expert instruction from Dr. Nikita Ovsyanikov, a globally recognized authority on polar bear behaviour. His delivery is the product of 25 years of studying polar bears. This study includes polar bear behaviour in encounters with humans and polar bear's social and hunting behaviour.  

  • Comprehensive coverage of polar bear behaviour, encounter prevention strategies, and conflict resolution using non-lethal methods.

  • Please note that Nikita will deliver his content via a live video link in the classroom.

Non-lethal topics include:

  • Avoiding and preventing terrestrial polar bear encounters

  • Avoiding and preventing the escalation of an encounter into conflict

  • Stopping aggression in extreme cases, using non-lethal techniques

  • Factors that cause conflict encounters

  • Drivers and basic features of polar bear behaviour

  • Briefing and managing guests for operations in Polar Bear habitats.  

Firearm Handling & Safety

  • Advanced training at a cutting-edge indoor facility equipped with the latest technology.

  • Extensive hands-on firearm experience, including live firing exercises and instant feedback mechanisms for technique refinement.

Polar Bear Scouting Theory & Operation Logistics

  • Detailed classroom sessions on effective scouting techniques, operational logistics, and best practices for polar bear habitat expeditions.

  • Focus on practical insights for safely conducting land-based excursions and managing firearms during operations.

Online Pre-Course Component

  • A mandatory preparatory module designed to standardise the knowledge base of participants from diverse backgrounds.

  • Key topics include firearm terminology, safety protocols, and foundational shooting positions.


Practical Course Information


Once you have booked

Once you have booked a spot on the Polar Bear Safety & Firearm Handling Course, you will receive a welcome letter and specific pre-course information. This will include location details, course outline, and timings. Included are also accommodation suggestions. It will not include the online-training component, which you will receive roughly one month out from the start of your course.

Arrival and Departure Recommendations
For optimal course experience, we advise arriving the evening before the course starts and planning departures for the morning after it concludes.

Accommodation and Meals
Participants are responsible for their accommodation arrangements. The exact location and accommodation suggestions will be sent to you once you have booked the course. Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch box with their own meal for each day during the course. The course is busy and we have short lunch breaks as a result. We advise participants to bring their own lunch each day. The course includes coffee and tea (with cow and oat milk).


Important Additional Course Details

Successful completion leads to an EGA Certificate of Training, which is instrumental for participants aiming to guide in Svalbard and other Arctic regions. If you are a member of the PTGA, please note that this certificate can be sent to the PTGA and filed as part of your profile. It is also this certificate that can be used to apply for a loan permit with Sysselmesteren in Svalbard. Please keep in mind that there must be a time-limited lender declaration between the borrower and the lender for the loan permit to be valid. This is something you will have to contact your employer to confirm.


Successful completion leads to a Non-lethal Fire arm certificate from Dr. Nikita Ovsyanikov

Safety & Responsibility

  • The safety of all participants is paramount. Our instructors and/or the instructors at the shooting cinema have the authority to modify or halt training if safety standards are not met. As a result, the EGA will be unable to issue a certificate of training.  

  • A waiver acknowledging the risks and personal responsibility is required from each participant before entering the shooting cinema.

  • Important: The shooting range requires that all participants have a clean police record/criminal record. This means that you will need to provide this to the EGA prior to arrival. It is your own responsibility to do so. Our normal Terms and Conditions apply on this matter. The range can't instruct any member of a nation whom Denmark is in conflict with.

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