Seeing a bear in the wild is an unforgettable experience. If you’d love an opportunity to observe bears, early morning and early evening are good times for viewing and photography.
Enjoy bears from a safe and respectful distance. Keep at least 50 yards – that’s ten car lengths, or half a football field – between you and the bear. If your presence causes the bear to change its behavior in any way, you are too close. Through a good pair of binoculars is the safest way to watch bears close-up.
Safe Ways to Watch and Photograph Bears
Your vehicle is a great place to sit quietly and observe or photograph bears. Pay attention to parking restrictions, and don’t block the road. Many bears that live in and around national parks, wildlife refuges and other areas with lots of bears and lots of people may seem almost tame; that’s because bears have had to learn to tolerate people in order to get on with their daily lives.
All bears are wild animals and can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous. You can roll down the window but stay in your vehicle. Never approach bears or offer food in hopes they’ll come closer (feeding wildlife is wrong and usually illegal).
Bears are powerful animals; you don’t really want a curious bear to come check you out. Trying to snap a selfie close-up or take a video with a bear is not just irresponsible, it’s asking for trouble. Bears find being stalked and approached threatening and may react accordingly.