Saturday, August 9, 2014

Bears, Bears and More Bears

Our goal for going to Hyder was to see the bears feeding on the salmon as they swam up Fish Creek to spawn.  The forest service has constructed an elevated walkway where people gather for a great view of the bears below.  We were able to get unbelievably close to these large and powerful predators.  The first evening we saw both a black bear and grizzly bear near the creek, but neither were able to snare a fish.
How would you do? Find the salmon in the water.
This small black bear walked along the shore...
....and then into the water, but went away hungry.
Next this tagged grizzly showed up but she also went away without a catch. 
Check out the claws!!
There were a few eagles, but we did not see any fishing.
The next morning this smaller grizzly showed up and went on the hunt.
This is what they were looking for, a salmon moving through the shallow water.
Our first time seeing this happen, very impressive.  The salmon eggs flying through the air as it is captured by the grizzly.... 
....who carries it to shore to enjoy a meal.
Keeping an eye out for any unwelcome visitors while finishing dinner.
Looking to go back for seconds.
Up close and personal right below the boardwalk.
What powerful creatures.
This one caused quite a stir as it ambled down the road.  The rangers jumped into action with their bear spray at the ready.  Probably more to keep the people away from the bear, not the other way around.
Then it went into the water and went on the chase........
.......and got one.
Later, that same bear moved under the platform and into a nearby lagoon.
Then the black bear, who was not able to get a fish the day before, reappeared to eat some berries from a bush right by the platform.  Look how she is holding the bush with her claws. 
She then went to the creek and launched herself into a school of several salmon...
.......and came away with a BIG one.  Because there were grizzlies in the area she did not stick around to eat it.  She ran up the slope to the road and leaped over the guardrails and disappeared into the woods.  It was one of the most fantastic things we have ever seen.  Here is a link to a video of the whole thing that Nanc shot.
Yes it is true, they do and we witnessed it.
This big guy then went into action, catching four salmon in less than an hour.  As an old bear, check out the scar on the nose and the half missing ear, he rarely missed.  This guy has seen some action!!!
Most of his catches were so close to the bushes on the shore that we only saw him carrying away his catch.
He made short work of the salmon....
.....even skinning it by holding it down with a paw, biting the loose skin and pulling it right off.
He then went further downstream for a couple more.  Still later, after he left another black bear showed up, but stayed out of camera range.  If you want a fantastic wildlife experience get to Hyder when the fish are running. It is incredible to see!!! 


John and Pam ( said...

I do believe this might be my all time favorite post by anyone. What a thrill this must have been to watch these amazing animals at work. Thanks for sharing so many awesome photos. Truly enjoyed each one. And...good to know the bear does...!!!

heyduke50 said...

looks like you had a beary good day...

Ray/Wendy said...

Very cool, I can bearly watch.) We have really enjoyed following your adventure. Thanks also for the nice comments on my dad.

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

Great images and the claws, oh my!