grizzly encounter

Traveling North of 60 …

We used a guide service to help us find the best wildlife shots in Yellowstone, and yesterday’s excursion came with a great grizzly encounter. Our guide spotted a grizzly sow and her two yearling cubs on a hillside to the front and high above us. They were just small dots when viewed through our camera viewfinders. Not much for any kind of photo. We drove ahead figuring that picture taking was done, but the guide thought they would come within viewing distance at a spot behind us, so he turned the vehicle around in the middle of the road and zig-zagged through the quickly forming “bear jam”. There was no place to pull off the road, so he dropped us off on the pavement and drove forward a couple hundred yards to a turn-around. There we were along the road, no one else in sight, but with more than the official safe bear viewing distance. Meanwhile, the bear family decided to bound down the hill right at us at full speed There was just a bit of adrenaline, since we were the only ones in the area available for the bears to snack on, but they took a left turn away from us, yielding the bears-on-road photo below.

Grizzly and yearling heading toward us!
Yes, we were at a safe distance. A 600 mm lens and lots of zoom-cropping gave us this “close up”

Our grizzly family left their hillside grazing for a bit of a road romp, but they quickly retreated back to the hills. Again, we were 150 yards or more away.

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