Born in Alaska and raised in the wilds of Iowa, Drew spent countless hours outdoors as a youth building forts along the Iowa River and delivering an incalculable number of newspapers. The travel bug bit him hard as a teenager when his family lived on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, their base for exploring Turkey, Greece, Ukraine and western Russia. After stints living on the east and west coasts of the U.S., Drew made his way back home to Alaska in the late 1990s. His first job there sent him to a bear-viewing camp where he found his calling—bears. Since then, Drew has spent more than a dozen years observing and photographing brown bears, black bears and polar bears across Alaska and Canada, including six seasons living in the famed McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, home to the largest congregation of brown bears on Earth. Winters are generally a slow time in the bear-viewing business (think hibernation), so Drew fills his time cross-country skiing, editing photos, making homemade pretzels and staying up all night to photograph the aurora.
Upcoming Adventures with Drew:
Polar Bears of Churchill
Northern Lights and Arctic Cultures
Northern Lights Photography Tour
Alaska's Coastal Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai
Alaska's Coastal Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai Photo Tour
Praise from NHA travelers:
"Drew was HILARIOUS! He looked like he had just emerged from the wilds of Alaska - burly beard, rugged flannels, mountain-man hiking supplies, the whole bit... and what a BIG, fun-loving personality! He was engaging and immediately put our group at ease. His easy humor mixed with a thorough knowledge of the area was the perfect combination. Safety was also paramount with Drew. His leadership techniques while among the bears provided our group with security, without negatively impacting our experience. My husband and I felt confident that we would enjoy an amazing adventure away from the crowds - and we did. Thank you, Drew!!"
"Drew was a charismatic walking encyclopedia, extremely knowledgeable about any question we asked. Friendly, personable, thoughtful...I can't imagine taking the polar bear trip with anyone else. You're very fortunate to have him working for your company."
"Words can not express how wonderful Drew was. He made this trip better then
I ever imagined. He was amazing from the time we meet until the time we said goodbye. If I haven't said it yet Drew was absolutely amazing."
"Drew's enthusiasm and love of sharing about bears was
unbelievable. He spent time with everyone who needed help with photography and made shots of the aurora possible for many of us. For us
he added an extra dimension to the trip and made us want to do further bear trips."
"My husband and I have traveled the world and have had many tour guides. We are sure you already know you have a treasure... Drew Hamilton. He is the best of the best. The trip and your company are fabulous, as is Drew!"
"Drew's enthusiasm says it all! His enthusiasm and knowledge about all kinds of bears and bear behavior added richness to our trip! Even though I rarely have energy to get thru a busy day anymore, his excitement and willingness to keep us all engaged in the adventure made this trip so much more special for me! He’s a hoot! As a first time traveler with NabHab, Drew’s style and his genuine energy that will make me look at additional tours with this company…and with his leadership. In fact, I’ve already been talking up this tour with friends!"
"Drew Hamilton as a superb trip leader! He is highly intelligent, well-educated and definitely a bear expert. Plus he's a wildlife photographer--it doesn't get better than that. Drew has a terrific sense of humor as well which is a must when random people are thrown together in a group. He was a complete professional, always gracious and always on top of the day's activities. We could not have asked for a better person as a leader and we'd take another trip with Drew anytime."
"Drew was amazing. We've travelled
a bunch and he's the best tour guide we've ever had. Anything we asked him for he instantly got for us. If we are fortunate enough to go on another Nat Hab bear trip we will certainly request that we get assigned to Drew!"
"With both his obvious knowledge and his passion for bears he made this a very fun and educational experience. I have been on several other tours in the past and Drew was definitely one of the best guides I have ever worked with.
"Drew was incredible. He went to great lengths to ensure everyone
of us the best possible experience. His love for the bears (polar and brown)nature and his job was evident. His extensive knowledge on polar bears and the tundra was impressive. His personality invited everyone to participate and have a good time. I hope you realize the treasure you have with him. Thank you and Drew for an incredible experience."
"Drew is one of the best leaders we have ever had on any trip. This was a true photography trip. His knowledge of cameras, settings
and anything to do with cameras is amazing. He let me borrow one of his lenses so that I could experiment. He made sure that everyone on the trip was able to get the best pics possible. His enthusiasm for the bears was definitely contagious and we loved hearing his stories about bears. He also shared his love of the Churchill area and the people he knows there."
"Drew was truly outstanding. He is incredible at working with people and passionate about everything related to the trip, and beyond. His enthusiasm is infectious. If a problem arises, Drew solves it. By the conclusion of our journey, it felt as though Drew was family, and I believe everyone in our group would agree with that sentiment. Probably the greatest compliment I could pay Drew would be to note that he made it far more likely that I would again travel with NatHab, and I would do everything I could to get Drew as Expedition leader again. We were very fortunate to draw him for this particular trip."