16 Oct Bear Country Montana
BIG SKY COUNTRY IS ALSO BIG BEAR COUNTRY. Most estimates suggest that Montana has between 13,000 and 17,000 black bears (Ursus americanus) and roughly 800 grizzly bears (Ursus arctos ssp.). Most of the grizzlies in the contiguous U.S. live in and around Glacier and Yellowstone national parks, which means nearly two-thirds of those remaining in the lower 48 live in Montana (800 of the estimated 1,200 still in the wild). Despite Montana being one of only five states that have both black and grizzly bear populations, sightings are still quite rare.
For many, a bear sighting is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that turns into a memory they will long share with friends and family. Even a few moments of watching these incredible creatures can be magical. Perhaps it’s magical because bears have a way about them that may remind us of ourselves. They socialize, play, court, and care for their offspring for multiple years.
I’ve always felt that photographs of bears connect the viewer to the animal in a powerful way. After living in Montana for 15 years, and with hundreds of trips to Yellowstone and Glacier under my belt, I have had the privilege of spending 267 days with wild bears.
These are memories that I’ll cherish forever.