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| p.2 #4 · Cubs Killed - Bear #130 and Family (Grizzly) - along Trans Canada Highway |
Eyelaser: You should have been with me this morning. I almost died of fright.
I was shooting landscapes at Bow Lake and returned to my car and started putting my lens and tripod away, and behind me I heard some trotting. I turned around and a grizzly was at full speed running (thought he was charging) toward me. He was running so fast by the time I processed the event he had gained about 50' and was closing the last 50', full speed at a big trot flying through the air between strides.
I was debating jumping in my back door on top of my 500 f4, ts17, 5diii.... with the damage that would result... and also considering that I had run out of time and likely would be pulled from the car and should just face him.. but then I decided he was going to go by me since (now down to 20') he was going so fast and slightly tangently, so I pulled my camera up, but by then he flashed by within 10' and kept on going, without a picture to prove it. All took about 2 seconds.
It took about 10 minutes for my heart to slow down and the adrenaline to decline. Then I followed with my big lens and car (car first) to check to see whether he had surprised the other photographer I saw, and the other guy send the same thing. About 300' beyond me he went over a bridge with full speed and a look toward the other guy, and carried on, leaving the other photographer in the same state. Finally I just found a group of hikers with their bear spray out - about 1/2 km away, so he must have kept on going exciting everyone in the path.
After the incident, I checked around and found that:
1) a fishermen had disturbed the bear in the bushes - he was equally excited.
2) the bear had been hazed (shot with bean bags) the previous evening because he was hanging out too close to the lodge
So despite my intense excitement, he was just running by me at full speed (amazing speed) to get away from a (imagined) pending bean bag in the but.
I have operated with as long as I am within 1/3 of the distance between car - assuming I am 1/3 the speed - but now I know I could not even get my bear spray out in this time.
Thanks for the comments. Much appreciated.
[ You are likely to see this story posted again so its not buried below a long posting, so indulge me.]