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My first up-close encounter with a really big bear (lots of pics)

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June 15, 2019, 11:31 PM
Micropterus
My first up-close encounter with a really big bear (lots of pics)
Please forgive me for the number of pics. I'm going to post them in four posts in this thread.

I was at Alligator River NWR today and got out of my truck because up the road I could see a disturbance in some canal water and thought it might be an alligator. Nope. Instead, I seem to have disturbed this fellow's bath. He was cooling off and relieving himself of the relentless horse flies. I encountered him initially at about 20 feet with a small canal between him and I. He got out of his water and stared at me. Other than being aware of my presence, he did not act aggressively.

Bears here can get enormous with some going over 700 lbs. I believe this one was 500lbs +.






June 15, 2019, 11:33 PM
Micropterus





June 15, 2019, 11:34 PM
Micropterus





June 15, 2019, 11:35 PM
Micropterus





June 16, 2019, 09:43 AM
molachi
Thanks. Either you had a good telephoto lens or you were really "up close and personal" Smile
June 16, 2019, 10:02 AM
453030
Thanks for these photos, awesome!!
June 16, 2019, 11:28 AM
vthoky
quote:
Originally posted by molachi:
Thanks. Either you had a good telephoto lens or you were really "up close and personal" Smile


quote:
Originally posted by Micropterus:
I encountered him initially at about 20 feet with a small canal between him and I.


Braver than me!!



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Go Hokies!
New favorite quote from the golf course: "It's not the club, son."
June 16, 2019, 11:44 AM
45 Cal
Is it just me or is it you like the wild side.
My self would have to find a new place without all these critter you seem to just run across. Wink
June 16, 2019, 12:16 PM
Micropterus
quote:
Originally posted by molachi:
Thanks. Either you had a good telephoto lens or you were really "up close and personal" Smile


A little of both. I had a 70-300mm telephoto lens. All shots were within 20-30 feet. Those photos are reduced from 6000x4000 pixels.
June 16, 2019, 02:45 PM
PHPaul
Looks like he eats regular!




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
June 16, 2019, 03:43 PM
ScreamingCockatoo
WOW! He's big for a black bear!
I have a few small ones that I come across up here from time to time.
Saw a 2 year old one coming home over burnt mountain Wednesday.





He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.
June 16, 2019, 04:10 PM
Turning_gal
Those are some wild photos. Glad he was not agressive and you could share this. It must be surreal to be so close to a bear seemingly by accident....
June 16, 2019, 06:52 PM
Arty
Great pictures. I like bears!



"Ride to the sound of the big guns."
June 16, 2019, 07:12 PM
Micropterus
quote:
Originally posted by Turning_gal:
Those are some wild photos. Glad he was not agressive and you could share this. It must be surreal to be so close to a bear seemingly by accident....


The density of black bears here is higher than anywhere else in the US, even Alaska. They also get as big aas anywhere else. I think only Pennsylvania has produced a black bear bigger than the biggest NC bear. I know black bears pushing 800lbs have been seen here. I've seen some in distant fields so big their guts nearly touch the ground.

This NWR has huge agricultural fields surrounded by pocasin forests. Gravel roads go throughout the area and they all have controlled flooding canals next to them.

This place is full of bears, dear, turkey, bobcats, and is the last hold-out of the Red Wolf. Snakes and alligators live here, too.

I like to walk the roads. I like snakes and they can feel you driving up the road and you don't see as many when driving as you do when walking. The issue with walking is that you could have a bear encounter. The good part is that these bears are extremely well fed and are used to people looking at them. The are wary of cars because when someone turns onto one of the roads and sees a bear walking 300 yard up the road, they speed down the road to get closer which just causes the bear to turn into the woods and run off. If you are quiet, the bears don't get as spooked. You can get closer and get good pics.

This guy, Neil Journigan, photographs Alligator River a lot. I'd to get as good as him. His pictures are amazing and shows the beauty of the Outer Banks, Alligtor River, nearby Pocasin Lakes, and other parts of NC.
https://www.jerniganoutdoorphoto.com/index

Alligator River NWR.
https://www.fws.gov/refuge/alligator_river/

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Micropterus,
June 17, 2019, 12:19 PM
bendable
quote:
A little of both. I had a 70-300mm telephoto lens. All shots were within 20-30 feet


call me over cautious, but I've been told that areas with higher populations of bears are much less receptive /tolerant to almost everything.

they compete for food, mates, lodging and comfort.

no one here wants to be hearing about you on the evening news.

i.m.o you were about 160 feet too close to that bear, unless you were in a bus or something.
hope you have a great gun bearer w/u





Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.



Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
June 17, 2019, 01:07 PM
Southflorida-law
Thanks for all of these wild life shots!
June 17, 2019, 01:19 PM
jhe888
Cool photos. I have seen wild black bears, but never one that big.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
June 17, 2019, 07:52 PM
Micropterus
quote:
Originally posted by bendable:
quote:
A little of both. I had a 70-300mm telephoto lens. All shots were within 20-30 feet


call me over cautious, but I've been told that areas with higher populations of bears are much less receptive /tolerant to almost everything.

they compete for food, mates, lodging and comfort.

no one here wants to be hearing about you on the evening news.

i.m.o you were about 160 feet too close to that bear, unless you were in a bus or something.
hope you have a great gun bearer w/u


I really had no idea there was a bear there. I'm not kidding when I say the light and shadows were such that it was hard to see what the heck was in the water. I knew something was there, but no idea it was a bear. I really didn't even realize what I was seeing until he lifted his whole head out of the water. He had been completely submerged up to his ears. Only when he lifted his head up out of the water did it dawn on me that it was a bear. I try not to cuss but remember saying holy fuck. By then I was pretty much right by him. I never even realized the canals were that deep, enough to hide pretty much a whole bear, and one that big. It was definitely surreal. All I thought at that point was that I might as well take some picture. My truck was 100+ feet behind me. So I backed up a little and managed to take 144 pictures. I took some steps back then turned around and went back to my truck, got in, drove up and he was still there and my wife got to enjoy him, too.

Definitely an experience to tell the grandkids about.

I will be more careful from now on. My wifes was saying, "you were too damned close to that bear."

Here's some pics that did not make the initial cut, reduced from 6000x4000 pixels to 1024x683. These have not been run through photoshop to reduce shadow and enchance details. This is pretty much the way it looked. You can see that even a big black bear can be hidden pretty easily in shadows.







June 17, 2019, 09:29 PM
Greymann
quote:
Originally posted by bendable:
quote:
A little of both. I had a 70-300mm telephoto lens. All shots were within 20-30 feet


call me over cautious, but I've been told that areas with higher populations of bears are much less receptive /tolerant to almost everything.

they compete for food, mates, lodging and comfort.

no one here wants to be hearing about you on the evening news.

i.m.o you were about 160 feet too close to that bear, unless you were in a bus or something.
hope you have a great gun bearer w/u


............................................

A black bear can run 30 mph or 44 feet per second. Way too close!


Eek
June 19, 2019, 06:32 PM
Andyb
20-30 feet is 1-2 bounds for that guy. Bears are insanely quick. Glad he let you go.



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