A Peaceful Passing

Yesterday I did a 5 mile hike on the Turnagain Trail on the hillside above the Inlet. The trail is the old road in places and is entirely in the forest within the segment I was on.

It is moderately steep in spots so offers variation in effort both out and back.

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On the way back I spotted a bear also out for a hike, and coming my way. I stopped and watched as the lone bruin walked slowly toward me, about 100 yards away. I stepped out in plain view so he could see me and proceeded to change lenses on my camera (to my 50-200mm, I had a small lens on because I was taking flower pictures).

He saw me and we sized each other up.

IMGP1872 a Chance Meeting

He was a boar (male) about my size, between 200 and 250 pounds, probably about 4 years old. The hill side was steep and brushy on both sides of the trail. and we both looked around surveying our options for proceeding. In the interest of harmony I decided to make the first move and accommodate our passage, so I climbed up the hill about 30 feet. I took a position by a small birch tree and waited and listened, as we were now out of eyesight from one another. I watched the trail down below and the hillside in his direction as well, and listened for his approach. After a time that was longer than if he had kept his pace up, I saw his snout in between brush that was between us. That is how you spot an animal in the brush, not by seeing the animal, but seeing a part of them (it’s also how you look for a body). He was looking around and sniffing warily and moving slowly. I began to talk to him in a calm and low voice, so he knew exactly where I was.

He moved along the trail right below me slowly and steadily, not looking directly at me, which would have been an aggressive behavior to a bear. My camera was set to aperture priority auto mode, so when I depressed the shutter to focus on him, the meter tried to compensate for the light absorbing black fur by using a slow shutter speed (1/10th second) and my photos of him close turned out blurred. He kept moving steadily and slowly, sauntering up the trail like they do, as I took more photos.

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Sauntering along, check out that back foot (they are the smaller ones on a bear,

the front is the business end)IMGP1879 a

When he got about 60-70 yards beyond me I walked back down onto the trail.

With a last glance he was on his way and me on mine, and I said goodbye for now!

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This was a very calm and peaceful meeting, though I was ready in case it turned otherwise.

I will do another blog about bear awareness and safety some other time, I just wanted to relate this from my hike.

Air Bear Hugs to All !!!

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25 Responses to A Peaceful Passing

  1. Kimmy says:

    Wow wow wow… did I say wow? I wished I could have been there too. What an awesome encounter.

  2. Cat says:

    you are the best – no doubt about it

  3. Arctic says:

    hehe Steve i finished reading in breath-holding wiht excitement and fear, some Grizzly were reported in my place in this month, i do want have  not so close encounter…

  4. HEDGE says:

    This was excellent!  I once had an encounter with a bear too. 

  5. Vieille Ourse says:

    Brrrr … you relate this encounter in such a relaxing way … I look forward to your further explanations on how to behave when bears are around (not that this would be useful in Belgium, but just out of curiosity).
    Hugs from a very peaceful old Bear … 

  6. Barb says:

    Wow .. obviously you know what you are doing if that was me
    I wonder if my pants might be wet:0
    The pictures are great as always Steve the story perfect!
    BE Well

  7. Sherry says:

    Oh wow Steve, that was too close for me. But thank you for staying calm and getting these great pictures.

  8. Aimee says:

    wow…what a scary meeting…i don\’t think i would have done as well as you did…in fact i would have needed a spare pair of underwear… 
    ♥~♥ :oD the shortest distance between two people is a smile… :oD ♥~♥

  9. JoAnn says:

    Wow!  A little too close for comfort.  My photos would be blurry from shaking so much w/terror!

  10. Patsy says:

    Ok, Mr. nerve of Steel, how do you do this?  Stay so calm, see I would have been attacked for sure. Even though you were in danger I loved the pictures, because I do love wild life so.  You be safe and thanks for taking all the chances you do so you can share. Pat

  11. PEP says:

    Way too close for comfort to me especially since I don\’t know bear survival skills.

  12. Jill says:

     yeah not assuming that animals will attack everytime they see a human. *grin*  so much beauty in God\’s creation..thanks for sharing!

  13. elizabeth says:

    great stuff steve.
    take care out there.
    hugs, bb. x

  14. REDEEMER WORD says:

    You remind me of my father, he would slip around in the forest not to disturb the game.  There weren\’t any Bears but other game
    sometime wild cats.  HUGS TO YOU TOO….ELZA

  15. Sheila says:

    OK Steve, so all three of us are here (me and the kids and we have some questions)
    Blackwell- What defence mechanisms do you keep on you in case a bear goes rampant?
    Lilly- Weren\’t you scared?
    Sheila-no question, just an observation…I think I agree with the comment about the camera shake…I am not sure I could keep that steady!Thank you so much for sharing these, we are so very impressed with your cool headedness!hugs from three in awe!

  16. brook says:

    Oh so cool!  Steve, I don\’t know how you do it but you always make it seem so easy to be out in the woods, up the side of a cliff, whatever it is you are doing.  🙂 
    Does singing to a bear work?  I would be so nervous my "talking" to the bear would be sing/song sounding…lol.  Be good.

  17. Horst says:

    Great Shots Steve,
        I would have panned the shot and used the multi frame shooting feature, but then I wasn\’t there. Great encounter, I wish I was there also. Keep the great shots coming, we all appreciate them.

  18. Cindy says:

    I\’m wondering if the blurred pictures were caused by a nervous photographer?  LOL…  Seriously, how hard was your heart beating being that close to that big guy?
    We\’re always on the lookout for bears and were thrilled to see 2 in one day…and it wasn\’t the same bear!

  19. Terry says:

    Wow, what shots.  Much to close for me.  I\’m glad you are so careful and send us such great pictures.  Take care and keep those lenses snapping.

  20. eddy says:

    hello steve wonderful photos is a gift for any one,stay safety from de bear please,i love and enjoy yours pictures thanks

  21. Kenneth says:

    Hello Steve. just rambled over from Onebeams place.
    I remember calling on you once or twice about a year ago, I shall certainly not leave it so long until my next visit.
    What a fantastic encounter, think I may hang out here for a little longer and take a look around.

  22. Mei's says:

    Wow! Great pics, you\’re lucky! I\’m lucky to stopped by to see the pics too!

  23. Kuskulana says:

    To answer some questions;
    Lily – no I wasn\’t scared, excited yes, calm comes with experience and knowledge, it is familiarity, like when you swim in the ocean, which scares me
    Blackwell – the best defense was to give the animal enough room for safe passage and let him know where I was and that I wasn\’t aggresive, I also had pepper spray at the ready just in case, more on that in the forthcoming Bear Awareness blog
    Brook – singing is good too, just have to pick the right song and tone, no Pat Benatar "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"!!!
    Pat – it is familiarity that allows me to be calm, I have been around bears a long time, I would not be so calm around a big shark or a screaming mountain Lion like Elza mentioned.

  24. T says:

    You sure know how to do with animals.
    I think animals feel your good soul and so they react in peace.
    It\’s not always like that but this is another story.
    Lucky you. I would like to experience that too.

  25. JaeElle says:

    So glad you are educated,  where wild animals are concerned.  Also glad the bear wasn\’t hungry that day.  I truly enjoyed these pictures,  Steve.  Thanks for sharing with us.

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