BEARS ARE WHERE THEY FIND YOU!

Nothing creates more excitement than a bear sighting. This highly unpredictable animal requires a large territory to meet its needs. You can travel miles and miles and not see any in areas you would expect them to be – only to return home “skunked”.

Some years ago, we took a Grizzly seminar (taught by a Steve Mealey and many other bear experts of the Rocky Mountains) at the Yellowstone Institute in the Lamar Valley. Mr. Mealey’s research covered two years. He collected much bear evidence and information, but never encountered a Grizzly in that two year period. The seminar triggered my desire to photograph bears. We found them in Alaska’s Denali Park; Alberta’s Waterton, Banff, and Jasper Parks; and along the roadsides in northern British Columbia and the Yukon. Once on an Indian reservation just southeast of Glacier Park, I enquired of an elderly Indian lady where I might locate bears. Her response was: “BEARS ARE WHERE THEY FIND YOU!”

Yellowstone Park has been good to us in this respect. We have journeyed there often – mostly looking for bears. I love to look at them and watch their actions – and most of all to photograph them. When asked, in the game of what animal you’d rather be, I always answered: “a Grizzly”. I also view with amusement, the wild antics of the park rangers when trying to disperse a “Bear Jam” – to no avail. However, people have been educated about bear danger and stay on the roadsides rather than approach closer. They are determined to see bears, and I can’t blame them.

Recently a Grizzly found me – right on a park road. The ranger was already there and was yelling at me to move our truck away. I ignored him the best I could to try to get some photos (I should have persevered a few moments longer), but finally gave in to his wild gyrations. Bears do strange things to folks!

Grizzly in the road