D4.... GRIZZLY Proof!

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Registered: Feb 27, 2009
Total Posts: 893
Country: United States

So, I just got my D4 yesterday. Attached it to the 600VR today here in yellowstone and went out shooting. I was hiking back into the woods after a coyote when I heard some teeth popping, and a growl. A grizzly stepped out of the brush about 35 feet from me. I started backing up with the tripod and camera over my shoulder as the bear continued to walk towards me. I got to a pile of logs that I was afraid I would trip over if I tried to lift the tripod over it. I thought to myself, screw it, the gear is insured and it's not worth dying for. I left the gear and backed up to about 75 yds. when the bear stopped to sniff the tripod. I had my D700 and 70-300VR over my shoulder so I started to shoot. What I saw before me made me want to cry. The bear stood up, pushed the tripod over with one paw, then proceded to gnaw on it and jump up and down on it. I left the area, went back to my car, waited an hour, then hiked back into the woods to retrieve what was left.

I got there and the gear was covered in mud, and slobber. The hoods were off of the 600, the padding on the tripod was ripped to shreds. I couldn't see if there was any damage to the gear, because it was so muddy. When I got back to the apartment, I looked at the front element and there was a perfect nose print on it. I cleaned everything up, and apart from a tooth mark on the battery cover of the D4, a few scratches to the lens hoods, and the knobs chewed off of the wimberly, everything seemed ok. The tripod, was not so lucky. I am not sure if it was a result of chewing, or stomping, but the carbon fiber was splintered and broken. I took some test shots with the camera and lens and everything is still in perfect focus and calibration. I cannot belive after a hard fall, and a mauling by a 500lb grizly, that everything still works.

The good thing was that I was ok, got out of there safe, and even though I had bear spray, I think Imade the right decision to leave the gear instead of risking trying to haul it out with me and fall down crossing logs.

And now, for the pics!

Hey, whats this?

Oops, I pushed it over!

That's gonna hurt

Why is it making clicking noises? (camera was still on and shutter was depressed by a clod of dirt)

I'll fix that!


and two of the pictures I got just before ditching the camera

Registered: Feb 24, 2008
Total Posts: 7738
Country: United States

Wow, that's crazy. The bear is obviously a Canon fanboy.

Registered: Sep 25, 2009
Total Posts: 2487
Country: United States

Dude!!! That is insane!! Glad to hear it's all working, and of course that you still have all your limbs!!

Registered: Jul 05, 2007
Total Posts: 972
Country: Australia

Wow what an amazing story and sequence photographed..glad all is ok!

Registered: Feb 10, 2007
Total Posts: 2169
Country: United States

No way! What a story... glad you're okay.

Registered: Mar 16, 2005
Total Posts: 3430
Country: United States

Wow that proves it bears like Canon...Glad you made it out ok with just a little gear damage.

Registered: Mar 23, 2004
Total Posts: 2243
Country: United States

Bummer, you're going to have to advertise the camera and lens as an 8+ on the buy & sell and disclose the teeth marks!

Seriously though that was ballsy staying close enough to grab those shots with the 300!

Registered: Jan 19, 2011
Total Posts: 2625
Country: Canada

fantastic images and captions, i think this bear heard all about the D4 and wanted to try one out for himself

Registered: Oct 27, 2009
Total Posts: 273
Country: United States

Nikon needs to pay you for this story!

Registered: May 29, 2010
Total Posts: 488
Country: United States

The D4 survived because it locked up and played dead.

Registered: Feb 27, 2009
Total Posts: 893
Country: United States

Some great comments here. I am going to send the pics to nikon and hopefully they will send me a free jacket or something. Grizzlies are definately fans of canon more than nikon haha. Hopefully this is the first and last time this happens, I don't know if my gear or I could handle any more

Poff Photo
Registered: Apr 26, 2012
Total Posts: 218
Country: United States

At least you have photos to show the insurance company! How often does that happen? Glad you're OK and kept on shooting! This is a perfect example of why I shoot weddings; even the WORST MOB doesn't stack up to this!

Registered: Jun 08, 2006
Total Posts: 6441
Country: United States

Did you see the claws on that bear?

Registered: Feb 17, 2011
Total Posts: 158
Country: United States

Does NPS cover damage from bear attacks?

Great story! I hope you get that free jacket from Nikon.

Registered: Aug 30, 2004
Total Posts: 538
Country: Canada

First and foremost, you are OK and that's what matters the most.

Just a tip though, don't trust/use bear spray on a grizzly. ;-)

Registered: Mar 31, 2011
Total Posts: 359
Country: United Kingdom

Glad you're ok.

1) Those claws look oh so friendly
2) The D4's sacrifice wasn't entirely in vain, the pictures are great

leighton w
Registered: Nov 12, 2010
Total Posts: 12621
Country: United States

Great story and pics! Glad everything turned out ok.

Registered: Dec 15, 2005
Total Posts: 587
Country: United States

The bear was just ticked that you got your D4 before his arrived...

Registered: May 02, 2012
Total Posts: 40
Country: United States

Without the pics I would've called bs. Great story and pics! I,m glad you made it out ok.

Registered: Apr 11, 2011
Total Posts: 1123
Country: N/A

After seeing that bear I think I would have crapped in the woods, forget the bear.....great stuff.

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