Montana Outdoors

June 11, 2015

Hiding in plain sight: Black Bear

Black Bears have not really acquired protective camouflage as so many other animals have, resorting mostly to their resemblance from a distance to a fire-charred log or a black colored rock or even a deep shadow in the forest. This fellow however seems to have successfully hidden himself from some folks in almost the exact center of the photo in my previous post.

American Black Bear

American Black Bear, Ursus americanus



  1. He looks a bit scrawny at this time of year. Lucky you got the picture.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — June 11, 2015 @ 7:57 pm

    • Perhaps his coat still shows a little of the rubbing from his den. At one point I was much closer (but couldn’t get a picture) and he looked pretty good.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 11, 2015 @ 8:17 pm

      • His head is shiny, but the rest of his fur looks a bit dull, but it could be the lighting. If you were closer and saw with your own eyes, that’s more accurate than the camera.


        Comment by wordsfromanneli — June 11, 2015 @ 8:45 pm

  2. This guy looks kind of worn…and I almost missed him in that last photo, as well…seemed to blend into where shadows should have been. Your Ponderosa pines appear to have some charred bark on them…and it looks like everything has recovered well-enough around them….maybe from an older fire?


    Comment by seekraz — June 11, 2015 @ 8:00 pm

    • Char on the larger pines is very common all over this area, usually from lightning fires. In this particular location there was a fire three years ago that caused this charring. It was actually a beneficial fire that cleared out a lot of dead underbrush and did little harm.


      Comment by montucky — June 11, 2015 @ 8:19 pm

      • Well, that was a good one, then…necessary.


        Comment by seekraz — June 11, 2015 @ 9:07 pm

        • Yes. I think that trying to completely eliminate fire from the western landscape has been a huge and horrible mistake. Nature did quite well for millions of years before the Forest Service was born.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — June 11, 2015 @ 9:54 pm

  3. hide and seek!!!


    Comment by elyaslinley — June 11, 2015 @ 8:09 pm

    • Between the photo by the river and this one I did play hide and seek for about a half mile. I was looking for cubs, but this must have been an old boar.


      Comment by montucky — June 11, 2015 @ 8:20 pm

  4. Great capture. He does look small and like he’s had a rough time of it. Do you think he’s a youngster, maybe a runt?


    Comment by Where God Takes Me — June 11, 2015 @ 8:26 pm

    • I think the photo makes him look that way because of light conditions. At one point I was much closer to him and he looked just fine. He was not a mature adult either though.


      Comment by montucky — June 11, 2015 @ 8:34 pm

  5. Hi Montucky, Great photograph of the bruin! We occasionally have Black Bears in the distant area here. I have only seen one Black Bear but I have neighbors who have seen them in the forest on various occasions. The one I saw was on the highway crossing from one wooded area to another. Have a great day tomorrow!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — June 11, 2015 @ 8:35 pm

    • I always enjoy seeing a bear, and usually see half a dozen every summer, sometimes more. I plan to get out more this summer, so I will have more opportunity to see them. They are always pleasant and amusing.


      Comment by montucky — June 11, 2015 @ 9:52 pm

  6. The last bear I saw was walking across my back yard and they also occasionally walk right down the streets here.
    It looks like this one knew you were trailing him.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — June 12, 2015 @ 3:39 am

    • Oh yes, he knew I was there: I made sure that he did, and he didn’t mind, although he kept an appropriate distance between us. He was as curious as I was.


      Comment by montucky — June 12, 2015 @ 6:59 am

  7. Now that you pointed him out in the previous photo, I could see him immediately. Our expectations certain can shape our view of the world. Not expecting to see a bear — not even thinking about bears — I missed him completely.


    Comment by shoreacres — June 12, 2015 @ 6:46 am

    • I didn’t see him at first either as I composed the photo. I first saw him through the view finder! That was a one in a million photo op.


      Comment by montucky — June 12, 2015 @ 7:01 am

  8. Beautiful! I’m sure it’s a fantastic feeling to see one in the wild.


    Comment by Lucy — June 12, 2015 @ 7:17 am

  9. He looks like he just woke up from a rough winter’s nap. 😀


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — June 12, 2015 @ 8:19 am

    • If he spent the winter nearby, he has been up ad about for awhile, but my guess is that he snoozed in the high country across the river, in which case he probably did just wake up.


      Comment by montucky — June 12, 2015 @ 8:43 pm

  10. Awesome capture !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — June 12, 2015 @ 12:07 pm

    • I hope to see many more this summer and perhaps get better photos, but who knows.


      Comment by montucky — June 12, 2015 @ 8:44 pm

  11. Just wondering how close you were – not too close I hope.


    Comment by Vicki — June 13, 2015 @ 2:53 am

    • Thirty to forty yards, a comfortable distance for both of us.


      Comment by montucky — June 13, 2015 @ 9:09 pm

  12. The word fauna in your previous post should have been the tip off, but I did not see it … what a cool sight in the wild.


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — June 13, 2015 @ 7:27 am

    • Well, I first saw him in the view finder in the first photo. What a pleasant surprise that was!


      Comment by montucky — June 13, 2015 @ 9:11 pm

  13. Wow, that’s awesome, Terry. You were pretty close!


    Comment by Candace — June 14, 2015 @ 2:59 pm

    • That was far enough that it didn’t violate his comfort zone. The problems with Black bears usually occur when someone walks into a mother with small cubs or possibly stumbles upon a boar who is feeding on a kill. The rest of the time they will stay away or move off if you happen to be too close. Bears that have gotten used to being around people can be big problems though.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 14, 2015 @ 3:09 pm

  14. so special to see


    Comment by Tammie — June 15, 2015 @ 2:25 pm

    • I see several every year, and each one is special. I hope they will not be hunted to extinction like so many other species.


      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2015 @ 7:19 am

  15. I am speechless; stunning photo. I have never seen a bear in the nature.


    Comment by Sartenada — June 24, 2015 @ 3:56 am

    • Fortunately they can still be seen here. Too many though wander into inhabited places and get into trouble. The wild ones though, like this one, are really enjoyable to see.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2015 @ 7:20 am

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