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In October I took the opportunity to re-visit Knight Inlet on a day trip by boat from northeast Vancouver Island and was rewarded with a magical day of Grizzly Bear photo opportunities. As is often the case at Glendale Cove, there were already half a dozen or so grizzly bears competing for the best fishing spots when I reached the viewing platform. One large female in particular seemed to be dominating proceedings, clearly having staked a claim for the premier fishing spot beneath the weir. She caught salmon after salmon and seemed to be eating only the choicest morsels, so expansive was the all-you-can-eat salmon buffet on offer.

For a lot of the time the bears were so close to the viewing platform that they more than filled the frame, even at the lower end of my 100-400mm zoom lens, and I often I was restricted to taking closely cropped head shots which made for a nice change of pace. The Glendale Cove bears were highly accommodating as always, adopting a variety of poses, and looking directly at the camera.

After a while a small female known to the guides as "Grumpy" arrived on the scene with her two cubs, seemingly coveting the fishing spot currently occupied by the aforementioned larger female. Renowned for her intolerance towards other bears and fearless nature "Grumpy" was soon on the offensive and a prolonged boat of open mouthed gaping ensued, with the larger female ultimately giving way to her. If ever proof was required that confidence and attitude is everything in the bear world, this was it. As is usual with grizzlies though, this dispute was ultimately settled without violence with posturing and growling being the extent of the aggression shown.

With their mother safely installed in the most sought after fishing spot, Grumpy's cubs helped themselves to the plentiful salmon swimming around in a deep pool beneath the weir. No doubt they themselves will be competing for the top fishing spots in the years to come. In the meantime though piling on those winter fat reserves before they den again with their mother was their only preoccupation.


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