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Tracking Maine's Black Bears

Yankee Plus Dec 2015


Tracking Maine’s Black Bears
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Last winter I went deep into the Maine wilderness with wildlife biologist Randy Cross and his crew of technicians in the state’s black bear monitoring program.  Their task: tracking Maine’s black bear population. A total of 23,000 bears is the current conservation objective.

In my 23 years of professional photography, I’d never seen a sleeping mother bear in a den with her cubs. As I was shooting, I prayed that mama bear wouldn’t wake up suddenly to find my lens about a foot from her face — I was certain she’d quickly become a most uncooperative subject.

Later, a nine-week-old cub looked me in the eye, sauntered over, and proceeded to climb up my leg. I picked him up by the scruff of his neck. We were eye to eye — an amazingly intimate connection with a wild animal. At times, I had to discipline myself to keep shooting and not stop and play with the little bears.

Tracking Maine’s black bears began decades ago. Read Mel Allen’s account from 1978.

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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5 Responses to Tracking Maine’s Black Bears

  1. Evelyn Scott January 28, 2008 at 1:20 pm #

    I’d like to go on the next trip! How cute are those babies.

  2. Joan Boutelle February 5, 2008 at 9:07 am #

    Very interesting article and wonderful photos. Those babies sure are cute!!
    We were visited by an adult bear and a “big kid” bear in our backyard in Asheville, NC.
    We round out they sure do like grapes…right off the vine!!

  3. Dan Wright February 9, 2008 at 3:20 pm #

    All I can say is WOW! What an experience. Can I follow Lyn on your next trip. I’ll even bring the hand warmers. Great shooting. Tell us what equipment you used to shoot your best shots.

  4. Eric Miner February 10, 2008 at 11:04 am #

    “ManHolding3Bears” must give new meaning for giving “Bear Hugs”
    I can Bear-ly contain my humor- sorry.

    Seriously, I find this a beutiful way of connecting (and that was no pun) with the wild.

  5. Cynthia LaRochelle February 28, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Wonderful pics. I love that cabin looks warm and cozy. Wow, the claws on those babies are really something. No wonder they are able to tear open a tree trunk looking for grubs and such. I love seeing your expeditions.

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