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