First I want to say after limited camera action over the winter months, today was a winner. We started late this morning with local Wildlife Conservation Officer, Kevin Mountz assisted by deputies Ashley & Andy, processing a bear estimated to weight 400-450#. This afternoon took us to a 1 year old's birthday party. The birthday girl's brand new baby cousin attended. The party was at the local firehall, which lead to an equipment tour for Trinity & Madyson. My total was image count neared 300. Bears, babies, & grandkids...it doesn't get any better!
So lets start with bear shots. Shooting was difficult mostly due to the bright sunshine today, especially when that brightness was behind my shots. As usual, some were good & some not so good As mentioned, this guy was a bruiser. He was at his low weight after winter's rest, it is likely to will gain 100-150# by next winter. Because of his size the officer's had to process him at the head of the trap rather than on the ground. They could not remove him from the trap after he was tranquilized, let alone put him back in to be driven to his new location. The reason he had was to be relocated was because he was tearing down a shed that contained sunflower seed for the birds & had consumed a large bag of the seeds. Processing, consisting of estimated weight (by measurement), a tooth removal to age him, eye ointment, ear tags are placed on each ear for tracking purposes, & a quick all over check, provides data for PGC biologists to study the beautiful creatures.
Comparing the officers gloved hands to the bear paw & head gives a size idea. Not sure where the blood streaks came from on the trap. This guy was not harmed, even the bit of dentistry was quick & easy. By this time this bear should be happily exploring his new home......or maybe plotting to return, only time will tell.