Back from the Khutz

I just got back from spending nine days photographing the Grizzly Bears that call the Khuzteymateen home. First I want to thank the Ocean Light II, Jenn, Tom, and Sarah for the hospitality, amazing food, and knowledgeable guiding that I received during my time. And also thanks for photo leader extraordinaire Brad Hill of Natural Art Images, and a thanks to the rest of the group participants in making the trip extremely enjoyable.

 

This is my second time heading into the Khutzeymateen, and what I learned very quickly at the beginning of this year’s trip is that you never know what to expect while you are there (other than seeing Grizzly’s of course). Last year’s trip was full of two-headed bears (mating grizzly’s) and lots of them.

On Top

Whereas this year we saw a little bit of courtship, but no actual mating, so no bear porn videos produced this year. But what you can always expect from the Khutzeymateen is exclusive photographic opportunities, and I didn’t come away disappointed.

 

One of the many highlights of the trip was when one of the bears climbed onto a little rock island that was quite high compared to where the water was sitting, and decided to have a very long nap. She stayed up there for a couple of hours, allowing us the opportunity to experiment with various focal lengths and apertures. And she was also kind enough to move around every now and again to provide us different angles and images.  I actually remember going past this island, which during the lower tide, is actually quite high up there, and thinking how cool it would be if we saw a bear hanging out on that island.  Assuming it would never actually happen, guess I was wrong about that.

Two of a Kind

 

We also had the opportunity to photograph a mother and cub a few times during the trip.  It was interesting to watch her slowly become more comfortable with us throughout the trip, with her starting quite close to the woods and the cub running off a couple times, to on the last few days being totally calm when we were around.

 

Visiting the Khutzeymateen the last two years, and staying for 9 days this year, provides the opportunity to start to recognize some of the different bears, and you start noticing behaviors and changes in behaviours.  The last two trips I was fortunate enough to see siblings that were four years old last year, and still hanging around a bit, and to see how they have changed as five year-olds.  We also saw some of the larger males that were around last year, and it was interesting to see how them still trying to establish dominance again this year.

 

Stay tuned to my Recent Photos and Khutzeymateen Collection to see more of my images from the trip as I get through processing them.

 

If you have any questions about the trip, or want to get more details, contact me at contact@wildelements.ca.  If you are interested in joining me next year, there are still spots available on the 3 day trip, with more information available here.

I just got back from spending nine days photographing the Grizzly Bears that call the Khuzteymateen home. First I want to thank the Ocean Light II, Jenn, Tom, and Sarah for the hospitality, amazing food, and knowledgeable guiding that I received during my time. And also thanks for photo leader extraordinaire Brad Hill of Natural Art Images, and a thanks to the rest of the group participants in making the trip extremely enjoyable.

 

This is my second time heading into the Khutzeymateen, and what I learned very quickly at the beginning of this year’s trip is that you never know what to expect while you are there (other than seeing Grizzly’s of course). Last year’s trip was full of two-headed bears (mating grizzly’s) and lots of them.

On Top

Whereas this year we saw a little bit of courtship, but no actual mating, so no bear porn videos produced this year. But what you can always expect from the Khutzeymateen is exclusive photographic opportunities, and I didn’t come away disappointed.

 

One of the many highlights of the trip was when one of the bears climbed onto a little rock island that was quite high compared to where the water was sitting, and decided to have a very long nap. She stayed up there for a couple of hours, allowing us the opportunity to experiment with various focal lengths and apertures. And she was also kind enough to move around every now and again to provide us different angles and images.  I actually remember going past this island, which during the lower tide, is actually quite high up there, and thinking how cool it would be if we saw a bear hanging out on that island.  Assuming it would never actually happen, guess I was wrong about that.

Two of a Kind

 

We also had the opportunity to photograph a mother and cub a few times during the trip.  It was interesting to watch her slowly become more comfortable with us throughout the trip, with her starting quite close to the woods and the cub running off a couple times, to on the last few days being totally calm when we were around.

 

Visiting the Khutzeymateen the last two years, and staying for 9 days this year, provides the opportunity to start to recognize some of the different bears, and you start noticing behaviors and changes in behaviours.  The last two trips I was fortunate enough to see siblings that were four years old last year, and still hanging around a bit, and to see how they have changed as five year-olds.  We also saw some of the larger males that were around last year, and it was interesting to see how them still trying to establish dominance again this year.

 

Stay tuned to my Recent Photos and Khutzeymateen Collection to see more of my images from the trip as I get through processing them.

 

If you have any questions about the trip, or want to get more details, contact me at contact@wildelements.ca.  If you are interested in joining me next year, there are still spots available on the 3 day trip, with more information available here.