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Photographer's Note

Bear Country,

Bear Country USA Wildlife Park
Rapid City, South Dakota

There is nothing I enjoy more than a brisk and invigorating morning walk through the Bear Country USA wildlife park.

... well no .. actually Bear Country is a drive through wildlife park of North American wildlife .. and actually they demand that you stay in your vehicle and keep your windows up (they have park workers clean your windows as you pay your entry fee).

The park has 2 Grizzly Bears, more than 200 black bears, wolves, mountain lions, and several other species living in large separated enclosures on 250 acres of land. There is also a walk through area for smaller species and babies.

A few months before his untimely death the late Steve Irwin (the Crocodile Hunter) filmed for most of a day at Bear Country. The shows are airing this August on his daughter's series "Bindi the Jungle Girl"

for information
http://www.bearcountryusa.com/

Well this place kind of balanced my experience of about a month ago when I met a black bear on a trail while hiking alone .. I didn't get my camera up then before the bear ran off .. (not that photography was the first thing my mind at that point).

I discovered the hardest part of shooting black bears (through a window) is that they are often so darn black .. I really had a hard time deciding which image of this set to post .. this was my favorite compositionally for giving and impression of this place .. the first workshop is better technically .. the second workshop may be my favorite.

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Additional Photos by John McLaird (jmcl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2514 W: 131 N: 4070] (14535)
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