Tracking Maine Black Bears | Photographs
Follow a team of wildlife biologists, including photographer Carl D. Walsh, into the winter shelters (yes, that means the dens) of Maine black bears.
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.