Sniff, sniff. Not a great look when they are this close but we were OK. I had Jeff Slaughter in front of me.
My dream shot and after several hours of waiting, both for me and the bear, I got the shot I went for. This is a sow bear and was said to be the best fisherman on the falls, according to the rangers. If one came near enough, she got it.
This old boy was the dominant bear at Brooks Falls, Alaska. Two times a salmon jumped and didn't come close enough for him to catch it in his mouth so his natural reflexes caused him to react and take a swipe at the fish. Both times he sent the fish flying thru the air but he didn't catch it as a result of the hit. I'm sure some other bear down stream reaped the rewards of his efforts and found a wounded salmon struggling along the river.
This is a sequential shot of the large male brown bear slapping a salmon successfully but he didn't catch the fish. You can see the 5 shots of the fish as he went flying thru the air and the path he took before falling back into the water at the falls. I'm sure some other bear found the fish slightly wounded and floating somewhere down stream.
When they look at you this way, you worry just a little. Jeff Slaughter was there for us. Armed and dangerous, he was.