Photos From a F&S Reader: Alaskan Grizzly Fight

One of the great things about having readers who contribute so much to our site is getting to see the photos they take on their outdoor adventures. One reader submitted a photo to our Trophy Room and it caught our eye. Turns out, it was just the tip of the iceberg... In 2009, Denton Wilson travelled from his home in Dallas to Alaska on a fly fishing trip. He ended up getting up close and personal with some of the local apex predators. From having a front row seat to a grizzly fight, to leisurely fishing with them in the same stream, Wilson has tapped into the lives of these Alaskan bruins and put his amateur photography skills, and his nerve, to the test. This is his story in his own words: "The bear fight was an unexpected encounter for me. I was trying to get pictures with my CanonT2i of the beautiful sockeye salmon swimming upstream, while on a fly fishing trip back in 2009."
"When I start taking pictures I get so engrossed that I often put myself in a bad spot. The bears were everywhere, and our guides were nervous about us being so close to them. While trying to get pictures of the sockeye's a male grizzly came up on my left, and a female on my right a mere 10-15 yards off."
"As most nature photography goes, 'patience' when waiting for that special moment is just a part of life. However, patience this time had me stooped down low, not moving, which set me up for a show of nature's strength and beauty, along with the determination of a mother bear protecting her cubs."
"The point of the battle was simple: the male intended on killing her two cubs so the female could mate. The resolve of the female to protect her cubs at all costs was seen in her readiness to put her own life on the line. The only sound was the loud noise created by the roars and the solid impact of the male repeatedly slamming his paws against her body. It was incredible."
"The encounter happened quickly, with a sudden feeling of being out of place and in a position of true exposure. Yet, the splendor of the event overwhelmed the acknowledgement of personal danger -- until I stopped to think back on the situation and the vulnerability of my position."
"If the male had charged me there would've been nothing I could've done to stop him. What in the world was I thinking? But I would do it all over again."
"I watched with pride, as the female held her ground, and the male eventually allowed her to lower her body and back away in the direction of her cubs. When she got to them she forcefully pushed them away." Keep clicking for more photos of this grizzly fight. Click here for Denton Wilson's photo series of Alaskan grizzlies in the midst of a pre-winter feeding frenzy.
To see more of Denton's pictures from this trip and more check out dentonspics.kodakgallery.com.

Denton Wilson of Dallas went to Alaska on a flyfishing trip a few years ago. He ended up getting up close and personal with some of the local apex predators. From having a front row seat to a grizzly fight, to leisurely fishing with them in the same stream, Wilson has tapped into the lives of these Alaskan bruins and put his amateur photography skills, and his nerve, to the test. This is his story in his own words.