from the new book on Yellowstone NP
Harassed by Wildlife-
As a wildlife photographer, you might say that I’m an opportunist wildlife photographer. As I mentioned earlier, I have owned a photographic blind for almost eighteen years, but never used it. My philosophy runs along this line. If an animal is stupid enough to stand there long enough, I’ll take its picture. I’m not big on wildlife models either. Their actions and habits are more like submissive pets then wild noble animals. Besides I have a lot of respect for real wildlife photographers that head out into the field, position their blinds, hidden cameras and take the time to profile these beasts for days, weeks or months. First, I don’t photograph grizzlies because I’m not stupid. I do not own a 500mm lens so I could stay at a safe distance away. If a grizzly is in an area that I might be hiking though, I usually just hike noisily, “Beir Hear! etc, etc..” Though, I know I am not scaring them away more like warning them of an unappetizing bony meal. No reason to put my life in jeopardy for a photograph that I will sell and never see alive. Besides, the only photographs that make money on most animals are close-up portraiture work. Only when I’m in my car and a grizzly is in a meadow and I have a lens that could close in on an animal or at least get a good habitat image with the animal in a prominent position then I might then get out and shoot next to my car knowing I have a safe haven a few feet away. As I said I’m an opportunist, not nuts! But even then, most of my incidents with wildlife were when I was not even photographing them having been, well, bizarre to say the least. The stories that follow are from my experiences in the park. Stories in which I have done all to avoid an incident, yet still encounters with wildlife could have resulted in dire consequences- I have been harassed by animals!
to be continued...