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!


Large black bear in the grass, great smoky mountains national park
Large black bear hiding in the tall grass. Great Smokie Mountains.


Mother bear and cubs sleeping in a tree.

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