Alaska Brown Bear Adventure…All Before Noon

You never know what activity there will be or when at the lodge. Before we could even head out for the boat, a bear came into the yard and began grazing in front of the cabins. We all gathered around and began photographing him when he suddenly became alert, looking beyond us. That usually means one thing…another bear in the vicinity. Sure enough a female came around the side of the lodge. They both headed to the beach and were about to mate when they both became alert, broke apart and the sow stood up to get a better look…


Nikon D300s with AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 VR II and TC-20E III

Around the corner came a big bruiser of a bear and both the bears took of at a run towards the island. The big boar followed along sniffing as he went. Once they disappeared from view, we continued on our way to the boat. We hadn’t made it more than a hundred feet when the three bears emerged from the island, the sow coming at a full run, looking over her shoulder as she ran…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR and TC-14E II

The first boar was hot on her heels and running towards us. They passed within yards of us, too close to photograph with the lenses we had out so, we simply stood and watched the drama. I heard a woof and the sound of feet in the wet mud and turned to see the big boar about twenty feet behind us. I had time to grab one shot before he too, was way too close to photograph…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR and TC-14E II

He hardly gave us a glance as his attention was on the other two bears. They all continued around the corner and disappeared from view so, we finished out walk to the boat and headed out to see what other subjects we could find. In an environment rich with wildlife, there is always something to find. We decided to see if we could find the sow with spring cubs and sure enough, not far from where we had seen her the day before, she was grazing with her cubs. She seemed nervous, looking to her right and sniffing the air and standing up to get a better look while the little ones kept close to her watching her every move. There must have been another bear in the area because she moved off into the bushes. We did get a few shots before she disappeared…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR and TC-14E II

All this excitement built up our appetites so we stopped for lunch. As we ate two eagles flew in and perched on a cliff nearby. I grabbed my camera and left the boat to photograph them…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR and TC-14E II

After lunch we continued cruising the bay alert for bears on the beach. We often think we see a bear and it turns out to be a log or a rock. But one particular lump on the beach turned out to be a sleeping bear who barely raised it’s head as we approached…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

We moved in even closer, he raised his head again and gave us one more look before dropping his head once again and falling fast asleep. I love to get those tight shots with the claws visible to show just how long and sharp they are…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR and TC-14E II

Not wanting to bother him any more and with dinner time approaching, we left him to his nap and headed back to the lodge. Stay tuned.