The Bear(s) Encounter

I have seen two bears in my life, and both were at a great distance, moving away from me, so they really weren't good sightings. That, changed last Thursday.

Valerie and I were up in the White Mountains, and had just finished hiking the Bemis Brook trail, and were driving near Carroll NH. We were near a road, and came upon a bear eating berries about 40 yds away on a hillside. Immediately, I broke out the camera (with 300mm zoom lens) and started shooting. We watched in silence as two cubs came out of the brush into plain view. How cool is THAT??

We were watching two cubs play, while Mom ate, and another cub hid in the bushes! 

The wind shifted, and I saw the Mom's nose go up. She sniffed, side to side, picked her head  up, and slowly rose from behind the bushes- to her feet. 

HOLY S***!!! 

I kept shooting as she turned her head from side to side- without making a sound. There was no grunting, or clicking of teeth - she just periscoped the area,  and went back to all fours. And I shot the whole thing....

She and her cubs stayed for a couple more minutes, and headed back into the woods.

Through it all,  we never made a sound, and we never approached them. We kept our distance, and didn't stray too far from the vehicle, just in case she got agitated. We left as they started to retreat to the woods. 

The whole thing lasted about 15 min or so, and was a huge thrill. 

I don't like to interfere with wildlife, and I never try to get close to them or disturb them - no matter what the animal.  I've seen too many people act like idiots, and it's frustrating to see. Here, I happen to come upon them - and we watched carefully at a distance. I understand how quickly a situation can change in circumstances like that - and respected the animal(s).

So here are my photos of it all. And- these are the first pics I've ever seen of a bear, standing  up, taken here in New England. 

When we left, my wife and I just looked at each other and smile. Our day was made. 

Hope you like the pics -


Greg Kretschmar

Greg Kretschmar

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