Anyone encounter Bears while on the trail? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 47 Old 01-09-2013, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by LesandLily View Post
I have a photograph of a grizzly bluff charging a group of tourists after they got too close to him on an elk kill in Yellowstone. Unfortunately I had too long of a lens on and all I got was the bear jumping...you don't get to see the tourists scattering like flies while peeing themselves. Really funny thinking back on it now but not so funny at the time. Or the time... After 20+ years photographing widllife professionally, I got stories but I am not going to hijack this thread...

Cheers!
Les

You should post that picture.

This is what happens when you have democrats in office
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post #32 of 47 Old 01-09-2013, 11:01 AM
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You should post that picture.
A quick back story...this bear had been hanging in this area of Yellowstone feeding on an elk carcass that had been killed by wolves. After the wolves were kicked off, he took over. He was kind of grumpy and didn't like all of the attention he was getting so he moved the carcass across the river (creek) and continued feeding over the course of about 3 days.

On the day we were here a BIG group of tourists began to form and with each successive wave, the new ones would move closer to the bear than the last group. Kind of a leap frog effect. The last group got to within about 60 feet of the bear on the carcass with the small river between them. At one point parents were sending their little kids (3-6 years old) running back to the cars in the parking lot with instructions to "go get daddy, he needs to see this".

There were several photographers there and we were all telling the people that they were getting too close. Several people gave us dirty looks and one person even said "mind your own business, he isn't going to do anything". After about 1/2 hour the bear got up and walked down to the river and put his head down like he was going to take a drink. At this point he was about 25 feet from the group of 20+ people on the bank. Being close to wildlife is all about learning to read their body language and his was saying back up and leave me alone. As a group, the photographers (us) were even farther back then the tourists all backed up as a group, giving this guy plenty of room as he was asking for.

I was one of the first to set my tripod back up and as I turned he jumped off of the bank and into the river in one big jump. He did this with a loud roar and popping his teeth. He was so close he sprayed the closest people with water. Once in the water he swung his head and swatted the water. He was pissed! At the jump the group began to scream, scatter and run and luckily someone in the group had the good sense to tell everyone to stand still (remember, only food runs). Luckily he then turned around went back to his carcass, figuring he'd made his point.

Unfortunately I had a 600mm lens on and only was able to get the bear. I wished I had a shorter lens that could have gotten the group in it too as they were just out of the frame to the front of the bear. At one point as we were all walking back to the car the lady who sent her little kid back for "daddy" made the comment..."how could they let an animal like that out here. He could have hurt somebody". Really lady?

Anyway not the greatest picture in the world but a great experience and a good story.

Cheers!
Les
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Les Voorhis
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post #33 of 47 Old 01-09-2013, 12:25 PM
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**Head, Desk** Yuppies and wildlife just don't mix, ever. Thanks for sharing
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This is what happens when you have democrats in office
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post #34 of 47 Old 01-09-2013, 02:35 PM
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Yeah, great pic and story. Reminds me of the one time I visited Yellowstone. I was biking, and came over a hill to see a bunch of cars scattered over both sides of the road, and nothing moving. Figured there'd been an accident, and hurried down to see if I could help. Got closer, and I could see a ring of tourists, elbow-to-elbow and two deep, surrounding a buffalo with cameras out. Now I may not be the smartest guy in the world, but I do think I'd worry more about a charging buffalo than a black bear.
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post #35 of 47 Old 01-09-2013, 02:56 PM
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Yeah, great pic and story. Reminds me of the one time I visited Yellowstone. I was biking, and came over a hill to see a bunch of cars scattered over both sides of the road, and nothing moving. Figured there'd been an accident, and hurried down to see if I could help. Got closer, and I could see a ring of tourists, elbow-to-elbow and two deep, surrounding a buffalo with cameras out. Now I may not be the smartest guy in the world, but I do think I'd worry more about a charging buffalo than a black bear.
Yeah, black bears are pretty harmless, with caution of course. Grizzlies worry me but they are pretty predictable and give lots of body language...usually. However, bison are just grumpy and mean and scare me WAY more than either of the bears. I have actually been charged by bison while horseback. Now that will make your butt pucker!

Cheers!
Les
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post #36 of 47 Old 01-09-2013, 05:20 PM
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It is common sense to me, either you have it or you don't. It baffles me how stupid people can be, and they have absolutely no respect for nature. Um excuse me detached from the world city people but when you go out into nature, you become part of the food chain, you are not on top!

The lack of knowledge and connection with nature that people lack is sad.

Nice picture Les!

Last edited by goneriding; 01-09-2013 at 05:29 PM.
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post #37 of 47 Old 01-09-2013, 05:33 PM
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It is common sense to me, either you have it or you don't. It baffles me how stupid people can be, and they have absolutely no respect for nature. Um excuse me detached from the world city people but when you go out into nature, you become part of the food chain, you are not on top!

It is incredibly sad the lack of knowledge and connection with nature people have.

Nice picture Les!
Well, ya have to admit it can be kind of funny. I loved the bear story above, too funny!!! I live in major mega rattler country. If in my domain - I shoot them. I do not enjoy it, and I say a prayer for them. However...I have met several people that indeed came from the city that decided to catch the poor dears and "relocate" them (probably in my back yard) - many of them got bit. Now, that isn't funny....but I just can't help but laugh.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #38 of 47 Old 01-09-2013, 09:41 PM
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Great bear story!

Guess this is what you get when most the animals city folk see are behind bars. They get the sense that animals are not dangerous at all.
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post #39 of 47 Old 01-09-2013, 10:19 PM
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However...I have met several people that indeed came from the city that decided to catch the poor dears...
Oh, that reminds me of another good "city people" story. A good few years back (maybe late '80s?) I was backpacking in Yosemite, starting from the valley floor. With a mid-afternoon start, you reached the first camping spot above Nevada Falls about evening. Unfortunately, it's close enough to the Valley for groups to make it an overnight party trip (hauling beer &c), and that day a car club from LA had decided to do just that.

Well, along about 10 PM, they'd gotten well into the beer, and decided they were going to put out bait and catch a bear. So they put out some food, quieted down a bit (thankfully!) and waited. Sure enough, before too long, along came a bear attracted by the food, and they jumped out to catch it. It turned out that Mr or Ms Bear was more than a match for the whole club
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post #40 of 47 Old 01-12-2013, 01:15 PM
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Here is a picture from brooks to show how close you get to these Kodiak bears! If you look by the left of the picture you can see my dads arm! No zoom!

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