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Old Sep 27, 2010, 9:58 PM   #1
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Default I Went to See the Bears.......

I went to Tulsa this weekend, ostensibly to see the Bears....the University of Central Arkansas Bears, that is....when they played Tulsa University.

But, the highlight of the trip came when we took the "scenic route" home and crossed the Ouachita Mountains in SE Oklahoma and SW Arkansas on the "Tallimena Scenic Road." We came around a bend and came to a quick stop when we saw this young fellow.

Rather than just running into the woods on the right side of the road, he decided to escape the direction from which he had just come; he turned, ran down the center of the road, then made a sharp left into the woods, where, I suspect, Mom might have been waiting.

I hate to make excuses for the quality of the images, but there were a couple of handicaps. I had my K-7 set for landscapes with a Sigma 18-50 f/2.8. There was no question of having time for a lens change; I had to just fire away through the windshield and hope I got something worth a heavy crop.

For both my wife and me, this was our first time to see a bear in the wild. Black bears were declared extinct in Arkansas in the 1960's, but were reintroduced in the 70's and 80's all over the state, which once held world-wide fame for its bear hunting. Bear have recovered to where there are now hunting seasons for them, and they have become nuisances in some areas. Still, this was our first time to actually see one. I have to admit that I did react better than my wife. She grabbed her pistol grip video camcorder and proceeded to take 30 seconds of footage of her own shoulder because grabbed the camera backwards....lol.

A confession to make....the football shot was not with one of my Pentax cameras. I wasn't sure what the stadium policy on DSLR's was, so I took my little Fuji HS-10. I thought this particular shot was pretty good at 30X zoom with no tripod, shooting from the stands. The vast majority were not this strong.

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Old Sep 27, 2010, 11:06 PM   #2
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really enjoyed the pun! I actually had my hopes up till I saw football(not that football isnt great but i really dig wildlife) then you surprised me for the win!

Glad the bear made it across safely

no need for excuses on such, Ive yet to have the opportunity to even catch one with a camera. They came out well for circumstances
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 10:50 AM   #3
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Paul, the football shot is great, not matter what camera you used, the bear shots are fun and you have to go with what you have in a situation like that. Car windshields are not exactly optical quality glass, and at least mine are usually dirty to some extent, to they are not bad considering.

Bears are a real pain around here in Wisconsin, not to the extent that deer are but they get into everything and are now coming into town to look for easy pickings.

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Old Sep 28, 2010, 11:03 AM   #4
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Paul, great story line and great capture of both bears. I'm sure that reaction time was everything in getting those shots of the real bear.

Nice work!

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Old Sep 28, 2010, 12:29 PM   #5
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Great capture, Paul!
I'm really surprised you did such a good job on the spur of the moment, shot like that.
Been there, tried that, didn't have the same results.

Life's a breeze on a Goldwing...
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 4:16 PM   #6
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So glad you were "quick on the draw" with the black bear photos - they make a great story!
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 6:10 PM   #7
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You have to take 'em as you get 'em. I guess we will have to bear with you on this one.
If life brings you lemons, you can make lemonade.
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 7:44 PM   #8
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Great photos of both types of bears. Very well done.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 9:40 AM   #9
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Nice to see a variety of bears in a thread, well done! I've tried to shoot an occasional deer through the windshield and never had as good results as these. I'd take these any day.

Bears don't hang out in my particular subdivision (thank heavens!) but are common in my area and real problems in the small community about 8 miles from mine. They break into houses and raid freezers in garages. As some may recall, it wasn't all that long ago (only about 100,000 miles ago) that my poor Honda Fit had a too close encounter with one and came out on the bad end of it - almost got totalled.

So while it can be very exciting to see them in the wild, I'd just as soon they stay in the wild.
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