Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bears in the wild... Finally!


Coming to Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, we had hoped and expected to see some bears, and in the Tetons and Yellowstone we really wanted to see grizzlies.  For our two days in the Tetons and the first day and a half in Yellowstone, we didn't see any sign of a bear, much less a griz.  But, finally, we got a good view of two different grizzlies.  The first, we were driving along the park road when we hit a traffic jam.  There were cars parked all over the road and people jumping out with their kids and cameras.  We saw the bear about 100 yards in the Upper Geyser area off the road and got this great shot.


Later that afternoon, we saw another bear near Old Faithful.  This griz ran right through the Old Faithful Geyser area straight across the boardwalk and up into the woods.  

This same bear was later reportedly spotted near a trail we had just hiked in the pic below, notice I'm carrying my bear spray.  The Park Ranger stopped us at the end of the trail and asked us if we saw it.  In this case, unfortunately, not.  But we got a great pic of the little guys and the ranger.



If you ever get the chance to observe these great creatures, consider yourself lucky.  As we observed in this trip, most of these animals want nothing to do with humans and will run away knowing you are in the area.  But, when in bear country, you must take the proper precautions.
  • Carry bear spray - it's not a repellant an should only be used if the bear is actually charging
  • Talk loudly and often when walking the trail (Blake and Dylan are our best defense with bears as they talk a lot and very loud)
  • Keep in a group, don't get separated and stay on the trail as much as possible
  • Protect your food from the animals to help protect the animals
  • Be constantly vigilant about scanning the surroundings for bear markings, scat and food they like such as berries
  • Check with Park Rangers about areas you will be in to see if there are bears reported in the area
These animals should be respected, not feared.  Enjoy seeing them when you are able to.

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