While in Grand Teton National Park we encountered a Grizzly bear that was foraging in a crevice only about 50 yards from the road. Park rules, and common sense, require visitors to remain 100 yards from bears and wolves and therefore eventually that road was closed to traffic. Those of us who were already in that area were allowed by park officials to stay as long as we remained at a safe and respectful distance. Using my 500mm lens with 1.4x teleconverter I was able to get some nearly frame-filling shots as I watched this bear unearth roots to quench its hyperphagic appetite.
During autumn, grizzly bears in cold climates go through a state of hyperphagia. During this state they eat far more than usual to put on fat in preparation for hibernation. Bears can gain as much as 400 pounds during this state and this grizzly appeared to be well on its way. In a few weeks, during a major snowstorm, this bear will sneak into its den where it will hibernate for five to seven months. During that time it will neither eat nor produce waste, instead it will live off the fat resources built up during hyperphagia. Nature’s resourcefulness never ceases to amaze me. September 30, 2017