During the summer of 1992, I worked as a fishing guide with Bristol Bay Lodge in Alaska. Most of my time was spent at an outpost camp that consisted of a single 10x20-foot tent. Because my tent was set on a gravel bar peninsula of the Togiak River, I often had to deal with hungry brown bears. Thankfully, they weren’t interested in the meat and potatoes I stored in my tent (no trees to hang a food pack). Instead, they fished for live salmon or chewed on the dead ones that washed ashore.
A few times I had to scare bears away from camp by firing my Remington 870 (loaded with bird shot; slugs in my pocket for backup), and every time I confronted one of these bears, I was amazed at their size. A mature brown bear boar weighs 1,000-1,200 pounds, and true giants can reach 1,600 pounds.
But numbers like that are hard to wrap your mind around. To help you paint the right picture, check out this video taken of a big brownie that strolls by the Brooks Lodge Ranger Station in Katmai National Park. For size/scale, check out the picnic tables in the background—this is a big bear!
Note: I wonder if the person ahead on the trail could sense that they were being followed?
Until next time ...