Non Lethal Bear Encounters (pics)

theat

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 28, 2010
Messages
589
Location
NW Montana
I was looking through some older pictures of mine last night after an evening of glassing some of my favorite early season bear spots. I thought you guys might enjoy seeing some pics of my more interesting bear encounters that I was able to capture. I have been charged a handful of times, but for some reasons in those instances my mind went more towards self preservation than "get the camera".

This is a bear that I ran into on day 11 of my first solo unlimited sheep hunt. I was climbing a steep ridge headed for a ram I had spotted the night before. The bear was moving quickly downhill towards me at 75 yards when I first saw it. I immediately pulled my pistol and got ready to defend myself as my first impression was that the bear was running right at me. Fortunately the griz had not seen me at all and was just making its way down the mountain. At about 40 yards it turned to avoid the little cliff bands where I was and ended up sitting down about 50 yards away. The bear was just sitting there looking down the hill, so I decided to set my handgun down and grab my camera. To get this picture, I had to say "hey" a few times until it looked over in my direction. It saw me at that point, but didn't seem to care much about me. She looked my way for a few seconds then started looking back down the hill. She left about 30 seconds later. Not sure if it was the same bear, but at 3 the next morning a grizzly woke me up in my bivy sack by tearing into my pack leaning against a tree 10 yards from me. I grabbed my rifle, rolled over, pointed the gun at the bear and yelled at the top of my lungs. Luckily, I must have sounded scary since it ran off. Although, it did spend the rest of the night circling me huffing and stomping the ground. I could only see it when it walked though streams of moonlight through the trees. That was a long night!

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This is a sow that I spotted while shed hunting. I snuck into about 150 yards to get some pictures. Eventually she spotted my dog running around me and ran off behind a boulder and never came back out. I was curious to know where she had disappeared and headed over to the rocks to find out if she was still there. On the other side of the rock was a small cave and sure enough it was her den and she was in there. I don't think she liked the company!

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I stumbled onto this bear a couple days before the one above in the next drainage over. I had no idea he was there until I was 30 yards from him. He huffed a bunch and climbed up a huge ponderosa. He put on quite the show. I didn't have any bear spray or a weapon other than my dog on this one. I wouldn't have stuck around, but once he was up the tree I felt pretty safe.

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theat

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 28, 2010
Messages
589
Location
NW Montana
The next next two are from SE Alaska.

This is a large griz that I encountered while wade fishing a small creek. The creek banks were covered in alder so for the most part I had to walk in the creek or on the scat and dead salmon covered bear trails through the brush. Either way, you just can't see or hear very well and it was a bit creepy seeing so much brown bear sign everywhere. I had fished this spot alone several times, but on this day a coworker joined me. After fishing my favorite hole we headed back down stream. I came around a corner and saw this guy headed our way in the middle of the creek. He spotted us pretty quick and seemed to puff up and get a pissed off look on his face. I don't think he was happy to have any competition for the salmon! As he stared at us and slowly walked our way, I handed my bear spray to my friend and took these pictures. Thankfully he found and caught a salmon when he got about 60 yards from us and that seemed to decrease his angst. Eventually he left the creek and headed down the bear trail that we used to get back to the road. We gave it another hour before we followed him down the trail.

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This is a nice boar that I saw several different days. A couple of the times I saw him, he was harassing this sow and her cubs. Thankfully, she was a good mom and kept him away from the little ones. I really liked how dark his face is.

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COEngineer

Active member
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Messages
445
TOO DAMN CLOSE! Especially the one in the cave - forget that. Some bear walks away, I walk the other direction and everyone is happy.

Thanks for sharing the pics and hope you don't get anymore that close. Holy crap!
 

matt0550

New member
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
29
I was looking through some older pictures of mine last night after an evening of glassing some of my favorite early season bear spots. I thought you guys might enjoy seeing some pics of my more interesting bear encounters that I was able to capture. I have been charged a handful of times, but for some reasons in those instances my mind went more towards self preservation than "get the camera".

This is a bear that I ran into on day 11 of my first solo unlimited sheep hunt. I was climbing a steep ridge headed for a ram I had spotted the night before. The bear was moving quickly downhill towards me at 75 yards when I first saw it. I immediately pulled my pistol and got ready to defend myself as my first impression was that the bear was running right at me. Fortunately the griz had not seen me at all and was just making its way down the mountain. At about 40 yards it turned to avoid the little cliff bands where I was and ended up sitting down about 50 yards away. The bear was just sitting there looking down the hill, so I decided to set my handgun down and grab my camera. To get this picture, I had to say "hey" a few times until it looked over in my direction. It saw me at that point, but didn't seem to care much about me. She looked my way for a few seconds then started looking back down the hill. She left about 30 seconds later. Not sure if it was the same bear, but at 3 the next morning a grizzly woke me up in my bivy sack by tearing into my pack leaning against a tree 10 yards from me. I grabbed my rifle, rolled over, pointed the gun at the bear and yelled at the top of my lungs. Luckily, I must have sounded scary since it ran off. Although, it did spend the rest of the night circling me huffing and stomping the ground. I could only see it when it walked though streams of moonlight through the trees. That was a long night!

View attachment 104549

View attachment 104550


This is a sow that I spotted while shed hunting. I snuck into about 150 yards to get some pictures. Eventually she spotted my dog running around me and ran off behind a boulder and never came back out. I was curious to know where she had disappeared and headed over to the rocks to find out if she was still there. On the other side of the rock was a small cave and sure enough it was her den and she was in there. I don't think she liked the company!

View attachment 104551

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I stumbled onto this bear a couple days before the one above in the next drainage over. I had no idea he was there until I was 30 yards from him. He huffed a bunch and climbed up a huge ponderosa. He put on quite the show. I didn't have any bear spray or a weapon other than my dog on this one. I wouldn't have stuck around, but once he was up the tree I felt pretty safe.

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Second to last pic - what a good lookin bear!
 

matt0550

New member
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
29
The next next two are from SE Alaska.

This is a large griz that I encountered while wade fishing a small creek. The creek banks were covered in alder so for the most part I had to walk in the creek or on the scat and dead salmon covered bear trails through the brush. Either way, you just can't see or hear very well and it was a bit creepy seeing so much brown bear sign everywhere. I had fished this spot alone several times, but on this day a coworker joined me. After fishing my favorite hole we headed back down stream. I came around a corner and saw this guy headed our way in the middle of the creek. He spotted us pretty quick and seemed to puff up and get a pissed off look on his face. I don't think he was happy to have any competition for the salmon! As he stared at us and slowly walked our way, I handed my bear spray to my friend and took these pictures. Thankfully he found and caught a salmon when he got about 60 yards from us and that seemed to decrease his angst. Eventually he left the creek and headed down the bear trail that we used to get back to the road. We gave it another hour before we followed him down the trail.

View attachment 104558

View attachment 104559

View attachment 104560



This is a nice boar that I saw several different days. A couple of the times I saw him, he was harassing this sow and her cubs. Thankfully, she was a good mom and kept him away from the little ones. I really liked how dark his face is.

View attachment 104561

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Wow! this last one is priceless! what a great shot...
 

jbogg

New member
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
23
Great pics! No such thing as a small bear out your way. Those are huge!
 

kansasdad

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Messages
3,819
Location
Wichita
That Alaska boar is about the blackest bear I've seen in pictures.
This is quite the collection of encounters. Thanks for the share
 

Crumb

Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Messages
801
Location
Minnesota
Great pics, although I think you’re nuts to get that close to the one in the den on purpose!
 

neffa3

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
1,887
Location
Wenatchee
Dude...brass friggin' balls.

No way I'm getting that close to one in a den. I've been charged too many time.
 

theat

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 28, 2010
Messages
589
Location
NW Montana
Great pics, although I think you’re nuts to get that close to the one in the den on purpose!
Yeah, definitely nuts! I have spent a lot of time around bears and I think I have developed a good sense of what an aggressive bear looks and acts like. If you watch their body language and facial expressions, you can get a good feel for how aggressive they might be. Of course, they are wild animals and can obviously snap at a moments notice, so I wouldn't recommend anyone get close to any bear. This sow was acting very submissive and even kept covering her eyes with her paw. I still only stuck around long enough to get a few pics and a short video.
 
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