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Thread started 16 Oct 2009 (Friday) 10:17
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Yellowstone Grizzly - Dunraven Pass, Oct 3rd

 
Tom ­ Reichner
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Oct 16, 2009 10:17 |  #1

We were very fortunate to find this Griz up on Dunraven. Later that night, it snowed, and Dunraven Pass was closed for the remainder of our Yellowstone trip.

She was feeding on Pinion Pine nuts, and had her head down 99% of the time. It was a waiting game, peering thru the viewfinder for long periods of time, just waiting for her to look up for a moment so that we could get some eye contact in the photos. Most of the times she glanced up were so brief that I missed the opportunity. Finally I got a little bit of a feel for the timing, and was able to capture her during a few brief instances when her head was up.

There was quite a crowd gathered around her, so quite a few folks were able to observe and photograph her at close range.


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"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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sparker1
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Oct 16, 2009 11:29 |  #2

Tom, you have done it again. Those are exceptional shots. How close were you? (I know, you only had to outrun one of the other gawkers.)


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Oct 16, 2009 12:12 |  #3

sparker1 wrote in post #8834402 (external link)
Tom, you have done it again. Those are exceptional shots. How close were you? (I know, you only had to outrun one of the other gawkers.)

Hello, Stan!

At times I was about 8 to 10 yards away, at others as far as 30 yards. She fed in a fashion that kept her moving around, but she kept coming bak to an area about 12 to 15 yards away. I guess there were more pine nuts on the ground in that spot than elsewhere. That first image is uncropped, except for trimming the sides off, as I thought a square composition was more effective than a horizontal rectangle. For that image I was shooting my 400 with the 1.4 extender on it - on a full frame 5D, so it was an effective focal length of 560mm. There were times she was a wee bit closer than that. It was a rare opportunity to shoot a Griz in Yellowstone nice & close without anyone coming along and telling us we all had to move back.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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hondafans
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Oct 16, 2009 12:19 |  #4

Wish I could have been there




  
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risingwolf
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Oct 16, 2009 12:59 |  #5

Great photos but...... As a seasonal ranger naturalist in Glacier and Yellowstone I have been in on many first aid incidents a few of which were human bear. The bears need room and feeding in the fall is the most important time for them. Berries and nuts are vital. Unfortunately, when bears get close to the road people go nuts. The reason we tell people to stay away is the 30 + MPH speed and the bears unpredictability. Being that close changes their behavior and feeding patterns more than you think. We need to think more about the bear and less about how close we can get.
Sorry but I have been in on destroying bears when they get in trouble because of peoples actions.


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hondafans
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Oct 16, 2009 13:27 |  #6

risingwolf wrote in post #8834956 (external link)
Great photos but...... As a seasonal ranger naturalist in Glacier and Yellowstone I have been in on many first aid incidents a few of which were human bear. The bears need room and feeding in the fall is the most important time for them. Berries and nuts are vital. Unfortunately, when bears get close to the road people go nuts. The reason we tell people to stay away is the 30 + MPH speed and the bears unpredictability. Being that close changes their behavior and feeding patterns more than you think. We need to think more about the bear and less about how close we can get.
Sorry but I have been in on destroying bears when they get in trouble because of peoples actions.

Well said




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Oct 16, 2009 13:31 |  #7

risingwolf wrote in post #8834956 (external link)
Great photos but...... As a seasonal ranger naturalist in Glacier and Yellowstone I have been in on many first aid incidents a few of which were human bear. The bears need room and feeding in the fall is the most important time for them. Berries and nuts are vital. Unfortunately, when bears get close to the road people go nuts. The reason we tell people to stay away is the 30 + MPH speed and the bears unpredictability. Being that close changes their behavior and feeding patterns more than you think. We need to think more about the bear and less about how close we can get.
Sorry but I have been in on destroying bears when they get in trouble because of peoples actions.

Risingwolf,
You may like to know that no one left the road or the paved parking area near which the bear fed. We all stayed where we belonged, and did not leave the roadside in order to get close. The bear chose to feed near the road, and no one did anything to make it move off prematurely. People stayed by the road. The bear stayed off the road. Just the way you like it, right?


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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risingwolf
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Oct 16, 2009 13:56 |  #8

It is not where you were but the close proximity to the bear that concerns me. I know it's hard not to stop and take pictures. I have also done that before I worked for the parks and found out how detrimental it is to the animals. Just like in Yellowstone where XC skiers can quietly ski very close to any animal who is in survival mode. Great for pictures but definitely not good for the animals.

I have also worked at the National Bison range and have dealt with Bison, vehicle and tourist confrontations. 2000 lbs at 30 MPH is quite impressive.

Just trying to tell everyone to think before they get to close. Be it a road, a campground or a trail.


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TheFloridaShooter
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Oct 16, 2009 13:59 |  #9

Tom - Outstanding capture! Once in a lifetime moment........


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michelle*
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Oct 16, 2009 15:42 |  #10

That is a stunning capture! Wow!


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MikeFairbanks
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Oct 16, 2009 16:06 |  #11

If he used a 400 he wasn't that close (but too close for me).


Thank you. bw!

  
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pttenn
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Oct 16, 2009 16:17 |  #12

Too close, too close! I hope this was through your window because if that bear charged at that distance, there is no way you could get away in time. But regardless of that, great shots!! :)
Karen


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Mike55
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Oct 16, 2009 17:39 |  #13

As someone who regularly chastizes other photogs for poor ethics while in the field, I'm going to defend Tom here. And I know Rising Wolf knows A LOT about Glacier and Yellowstone. But I think in this situation, he did no wrong. I'm sure my Yellowstone ranger friends would laugh at me for that. But I can tell you I have had this exact same experience on Dunraven. You get up early, drive the wintery forest and you see a grizzly feeding on pine nuts. Sometimes they are right where the edge of the forest is like this one. Tom did not force the animal to change it's behaviour. They were probably on the road, using their cars as blockers. They were quiet, and observed the bear in it's natural environment without approaching it or disturbing it. The bear reacted as it normall would when searching for pine nuts. This is just the way Dunaven Pass is during the fall. This is how it is with al lthe bears there, black and grizz.

Now, if people started moving off the road and "pushing" on the bear, then we have a big, big problem. While technically this is very close, it's a unique arrangement and something that has been going on for years in Yellowstone. I've never heard of someone being attacked in fall on Dunaven pass while taking photos of bears. Photogs in other areas of the park who stalked grizzly? You bet.

Good shots, Tom. The light on the first is really nice, that's a wall hanger. It's difficult to get great light up there in the shadowy pass.


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risingwolf
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Oct 16, 2009 18:36 |  #14

Great discussion on ethics of photography. I am sure Tom did the right thing but not everyone has his experience and equipment. It is all the other visitors who don't understand what the risks really are. Those we worry about. In almost all cases when encounters happen the animal is the ultimate loser.
All this said I sure love his pictures. But we must remember to be ethical.


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Mike55
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Oct 16, 2009 19:15 |  #15

I completely agree Rising Wolf. IMHO, the well being of the animals in the parks and national forest supersedes our desire for the perfect shot.

When people "push" the animal is the ultimate loser. There are a whole host of other issues too.


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Yellowstone Grizzly - Dunraven Pass, Oct 3rd
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