A Tribute

I was saddened to hear, just a couple of days ago, of the passing of the Hallo Bay Wilderness Bear Camp owner and Naturalist, Clint Hlebechuk. I have been to the Hallo Bay camp may times and always had a wonderful time and captured thousands of images of the wonderful brown bears of Katmai NP (and also a few other interesting critters, like river otters, grey wolves, moose, bald eagles, and more).

My condolences to his wife/Naturalist-Guide, Simyra. Simyra is a first-rate bear guide and is known to bear fanatics all over the world. (Note: if you happened to watch PBS’ special “Wild Alaska” (live) this past summer, Simyra was featured as the bear guide helping the video team that produced that special). Thanks for all the wonderful memories you and Clint always provided!

Here are just a very few of the many images I captured during my trips to Hallo Bay (note: all of these images were from my early visits to the camp).

A flyover the camp, to make sure there were no bears or moose on the beach’s “landing strip”:

Hallo Bay Bear Camp

Family nap time:

Brown Bear Family resting on the beach

A curious red fox:

Red Fox

A break from grazing, to check for any potential dangers:

Standing Brown Bear

Brown bear with fresh salmon:

Brown Bear with Salmon

My first bear fight! A sow and her 2 2-year-old cubs driving another sow away from their fishing spot:

Brown Bears in a fight

“The Three Amigos”:

Spring brown bear cubs trying to catch up to mom

A white wolf on the beach of Hallo Bay:

Grey Wolf

Bald Eagle taking flight:

Adult Bald Eagle

Sow nursing young cub, on the beach:

Brown Bear sow nursing young cub on the beach

Naturalist/Guide Simyra making sure the bears do not approach too closely to the photographers (that’s me with Simyra, taken by a photographer/friend at the camp)

A Fisheye look at Hallo Bay Bears

A big fish meal necessitates an afternoon nap!:

Brown Bear napping along Clint's Creek

I was fortunate to be at the camp on several occasions when either a BBC or Disney film crew were busy capturing footage for nature specials. I got to meet a couple of Emmy Award winning videographers and had such an interesting and entertaining time! Thanks Clint/Simyra, for all the great times at the camp!




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Posted in 2018, Blog, Mammals, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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  • Alma

    I see that there was an elephant in the background of the photo with you and Simyra, so you were actually in Africa and not Katmai…? hehehe I have a photo with a bear where it looks more like an elephant too, where it happened to be the reflection of the bear in the water that somehow got morphed. Yours is probably a bear with a salmon hanging from it’s mouth that looks like a trunk….. :-)

    Anytime that we loose a naturalist like Clint, I hope that he has inspired many a young person to follow in his footsteps and continue his work in the future. We need more like him in our ever evolving world to protect the natural beauty and parks, places where we can see the God given beauty of this great world!

  • Thanks, Alma. Yes, sometimes ya just get “photobombed”, no matter how hard you try! That image was captured with a “fish eye” lens, causing distortion and making things look farther away than they really are. Yes, probably a fish + shadows + fish eye distortion.

    A-men! Yes, it’s always a shame when we lose a great conservationist. I would expect Simyra, another great nature conservationist, will carry on his work.