Black Bear Stare Down

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This photo is part of the Backcountry Gallery Screen Saver

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This Photo's ID: 320

Awards / Publications:

  • Cover of Sept / Oct 2013 issue of Bear Hunting Magazine
  • Honorable Mention Open Fauna 2011 National Center For Nature Photography Annual Photo Contest (against 556 total entries). My Black Bear Cub and Mule Deer Buck In A Stream placed 1st and 3rd respectively.
Field Notes Print Info


It was “Bear Week” in Yellowstone fall of 2007! Seems like everywhere I went, I ended up takin’ snaps of bears. This guy was by far my favorite though.

He was walking below the ridge line and we had about given up when he headed back uphill. One peek around the brush and POP! Got him! He only looked our way for a precious few seconds, but it was enough.

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4 Responses to Black Bear Stare Down

  1. robert king says:

    Supreme. Spectacular. Beautiful.

    I killed a black bear once and I will always regret it. I am a wildlife biologist and I should say that I consider this animal to be a very passive creature……and simply not of the same nature as the other bears. I am not suggesting that the others have aggressive temperaments…….but certainly more apt to confront when being confronted……than the black.

    This one’s face is so beautiful. But maybe I use that word because my regret for taking one’s life. And boy don’t they love life.

    The fidelity of the image is supreme. And as you say……it was a precious few seconds. You did a good job of catching this one because a few seconds is all you get when you see one of these animals……if that! Once they see you see them…….they are gone like a ghost.

    When I first laid eyes on this image I was sure you captured it in a very large “compound” or a “controlled” nature preserve. I was wrong though. National Parks are great aren’t they…..for conditioning the wildlife to seeing humans. I have not been to Yellowstone. And after seeing this gorgeous image of this living, vibrant black bear……..I want to go there for a wildlife photography trip.

    Thanks Steve

    Robert King

    Enough said.

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Robert!

      If you haven’t been to Yellowstone, you gotta go! While it is pretty far from a controlled environment for photography, the animals are still pretty easy to get along with. We saw this guy several times over the period of a week, and he wasn’t a runner. We’d spend hours just waiting for a shot (it was fall, so you know, head down, nothing but food on the brain).

      It took us a LONG time before I was finally in the right place at the right time for this photo. I think it was about the only time he looked up that whole week, LOL

      In fact, I liked him so much I made him the Backcountry Gallery logo :)

  2. MarkJ says:

    This appears to be the photo you used to create your Backcountry logo.

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