Mother Bear and Cub Sleeping in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Mother Bear and Cub Sleeping in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

I stumbled across a family of bears sleeping the heat of the day away while photographing the Cade’s Cove area of the Great Smoky Mountian National Park. There were at least 3 young cubs in this tree, only 2 of them are clearly visible in the image because the tree is in the way. It can be so ridiculously difficult to find a bear or group of bears that you can get some nice sharp images of with out getting too close. The Park Service has strict rules and regulations about viewing and interacting with the wildlife in the Park. It is very important for the safety of the animals AND the visitors of the park.                ...
Photographing Black Bears in Smokies

Photographing Black Bears in Smokies

The Great Smoky Mountains is a very special place. I took the opportunity¬†to spend a week camping in the Great Smoky Mountain National¬†Park. My main goal during this trip was to see some bears and hopefully get close enough to photograph them (without getting too close, of course). The early summer is a very active time for the black bear population in the Smokies. The female bears (called sows) are busy grazing and protecting their cubs, while the male bears (called boars) are running around the park looking for cubs to kill. If the male bear can kill a litter of cubs the female will go back into heat this early in the season. The berries are also starting to ripen and be ready to eat. There is a ton of bear activity in the park in June!  ...