I’ve found Black Bears to be very timid souls. They are simple creatures.They wake up with two questions on their mind………”Can I eat It,or can it eat me”?
When they first come out from their Winter den,they are a skittish lot. Btw,Bears do not hibernate,they go into a deep sleep called “Torpor”. The main difference is that they can wake up & their body temperature is higher.A animal in hibernation cannot wake up & their body temperature stays low.
They eat grass at first to help flush their system & than move to the beaches for the small crabs.They over turn the rocks during low tide to get the small crabs hiding under the rocks.They will eat hundreds (like Lays potatoe chips) during the course of the day.
It takes me many visits for them to trust me enough to get close.By approaching from the water they are more trustful.Through out the thousands of years that Bears have been evolving, they have never been attacked by anything from the water.So they have no fear of anything from the water. However,If I step out of the boat onto shore & try to approach them on land,they may run off. If they know me well,they will hang around.I have a small boat,so my visual footprint is small . I’ve also learned not to move when they are looking at me.It makes them feel uncomfortable.
I have observed Bears for many years now & have learned how to approach them.Their body language is very important.The first sign I look for is the ears.When they see me,their ears will flick back & down momentarily.If they stay down It means they are fearful of me & may run off,but If they flick back up It means they see me & have accepted me into their flight zone. Visiting the same bears again & again makes me more familiar to them.
If a Bear doesn’t trust me,It will basically run off into the forest.Each Bear has a unique personality & as such some are more approachable than others. There are some Bears who are just very fearful & I will never be able to get close to them.Others treat me as If I was a ghost & pay no attention to me at all! These are the ones I take close up shots of.They all have beautiful brown chestnut coloured eyes! I like to photograph them just before sunset.With them looking towards the west,their face gets this “halo” around it! Their face seems to light up!
I always am excited to be close to such a beautiful creatures!