Bearly What I Expected!

I mentioned in a previous post that my bid to get some fall color photos along Minnesota’s North Shore was trumped by bad weather and an incorrect prediction of peak colors. But, as the saying goes, “When God closes one door, He opens another” certainly held true for me! After the North Shore portion of my trip, we spent the weekend at my wife’s sister’s cabin, located in north-central Minnesota.

The cabin sits on 80 acres of wooded land, but the neat thing is that there are hundreds of square miles of barren woods that sits at the back of the 80 acres. And this land is state-owned and has no way in, except through a handful of owners (like my wife’s sister/husband acreage). Needless to say, there is essentially no traffic into these areas! The result? Black bears (Ursus americanus) come into this area in the fall as they forage for the last-minute meal, before hibernation.

The black bears had been coming in to some deer feeding stations, looking for a handout. With that info in hand, along with confirming images on some trail cameras set at the stations, I spent morning and evenings at a couple of these areas, photographing the black bears as they wandered into the cleared areas. Here are a few of my favorite images:

Black Bear

Black Bear

Black Bear

Black Bear


Are you interested in a workshop, next fall, to photograph the black bears? While we visited, I was approached by my sister’s husband, who had thoughts of opening up the area for photographers. So, we are in very preliminary plans of thinking about doing some workshops at the cabin. Many details to be worked out, but we would keep the group to a very small number of participants (2-3 maximum). This is necessary as these bears are not habituated to humans and extreme quiet is required to prevent frightening the bears away … all it takes is one good sneeze or cough, and the bear is off to the races! So keeping the group to a very small level would be necessary to help prevent this from happening. And if enough people are interested, we could offer a second, or maybe even a third workshop … doing them back-to-back. The workshop location would be approximately 60 minutes west of Duluth.

Likely, the workshops would be ~3 days in length, giving us mornings and evenings for photo shoots. In the middle of the day, we would have classes: possible topics would be: Lightroom editing, Photoshop editing, basic photography, etc.

Conveniently, there is a bunkhouse near the cabin that will easily hold 2-3 people. And food would likely be prepared and served for attendees.

Like I mentioned, this is very preliminary and just being discussed right now. But if you might be interested, please let me know so that we can continue to plan. You can either e-mail me ( or you can respond in the “Comments” section of this blog.



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Posted in 2013, Blog, Mammals, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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