The BBC Aren’t Using Their Grizzly Bear Site In Katmai This Year – Grizzly Bear Workshop Anyone?
If you’ve ever dreamed that one day you could feel what it’s like to be a BBC camera crew member on a Grizzly Bear assignment then you are in for a real treat because that’s what this trip is all about. The BBC, Disney Studio’s, National Geographic and The Discovery Channel all chose Hallo Bay in Katmai Alaska to capture their footage of Grizzly Bears and now you can too.
Kent Fredrikssen has 20 plus years of experience camping among the Grizzly Bears of Katmai National Park, often solo for months at a time.
Now for the first time ever Kent is offering wildlife photographers like you and me a unique opportunity to camp and photograph the grizzly bears and wolves of Katmai in the same locations that the major film crews chose. WAIT A SEC, did he just say wolves. YES, there is a resident wolf pack that gets in on the salmon action so there’s a real possibility of capturing wolf images on this grizzly bear workshop, as seen in Kent’s images.
This Grizzly Bear Workshops are scheduled for August and September for 2018 which will afford excellent photographic opportunities for grizzly bears chasing salmon as shown in the image above.
Hallo Bay in the opinion of many is the jewel of the Katmai Coast. Hallo glacier is a spectacle unto itself with its ice packed snowy peaks looking down upon rolling grassy meadows and incredible towering sea cliffs that surround the bay. All of this makes for fantastic back drops for the bears and wolves. Geographic Harbor and Kinak also offer spectacular scenary and backdrops for environmental shots as well as the close up fishing grizzly bear experience.
On my first Grizzly Bear tour in Katmai National Park I shot over 15,000 images in just five days. You can view a few of those images at http://coolwildlife.com/coastal-brown-bear-pictures I visited several bays along the Katmai coast and you will definitely want to bring along a wide angle lens to capture the majestic landscape whichever location you choose, it is nothing short of breath taking.
HOW CLOSE WILL YOU BE TO THE BEARS?
I’ll share my own personal story to answer this question. In 2012, I joined in on a Grizzly Bear Workshop and on day two of the trip we had an 800 lbs male grizzly bear graze within 8 feet of our group. I had a 70-200 lens on am FX body and I was filling the frame with his head only, it was crazy. Our guide had advised us in advance that if a bear came in too close he would handle the situation. I remember this moment like it was yesterday, our guide stepped forward in front of the group with an out-stretched hand and very calmly said, “That’s close enough”. The bear stopped his grazing, looked up at him and proceeded to walk down the length of the group and continued on grazing as if we weren’t even there. My heart was racing and our guide explained he has had 100’s of close encounters like that one but has never been touched.
GRIZZLY BEAR WORKSHOP: 2019 Trip Dates and Locations
Trip #1 : August 12th – 20th, 2019 in Hallo Bay (1 spot open, 3 photographers max)
Trip #2: August 27th to Sept 5th, 2019 in Hallo Bay (4 spots open, 5 photographers max)
Trip #3 : September 10th – 18th in Kinak (3 spots open, 3 photographers max)
Trip #4: Sept 25th – Oct 2nd in Kinak (5 spots open, 5 photographers max)
GRIZZLY BEAR WORKSHOP: Cost and Deposits
Cost: $5300 USD from Kodiak, Alaska
Deposit:$1500 USD (Deposit due at time of registration) $3,800 due 45 days prior to the day we fly out (Cash or Bank Transfer)
4-6 guests per guide with Kent guiding (6 guests maximum)
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM THIS GRIZZLY BEAR WORKSHOP:
You’ll be expected to get yourself to Kodiak, Alaska a day before the trip begins. Kent will be happy to recommend places for you to stay if you require accommodations. From Kodiak you’ll be catching a smaller prop plane on your way to Katmai National Park but don’t be in too big a hurry to get to your destination, you’ll be flying over some amazing landscape including Kodiak Island, mountain ranges touched by fall foliage and ice fields, and if you’re really lucky you’ll spot hump back whales and moose so don’t fall asleep on the ride over.
After a relatively short flight you’ll be dropped off in proximity to the area you’ll be camping in and make your way to camp where you get settled in and briefed on what to expect from the adventure that lies ahead. You will be sleeping in a tent and there will be a larger dining tent provided for group gatherings and meals. The perimeter will be lined with efence for your safety.
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ABOUT YOUR GUIDE: Kent Fredrikssen
Kent (standing) guides small group of photographers into an estuary fishing spot and waits for the bears to arrive. And, they always do.
Kent’s been camping with the bears and wolves of Alaska since 1994, having logged an amazing 111 weeks of in the field camping experience. He’s been a licensed outfitter and bear viewing guide since 1999. Thus it is safe to say that if you had to choose a guide to camp with in Katmai National Park who could show you all the choice locations that these bears frequent Kent is your man. In addition to being an expert Grizzly Bear guide Kent is also an accomplished photographer as you can see from many the photo’s included on this site. His wildlife photography has been published on the cover of Alaska magazine, Outdoor Life magazine and National Geographic kids books from 2008 to present. He’s also won first on two occasions in the the Homer, Alaska shore birds festival.
Scroll to the bottom to view a short video snippet from Episode 1 of “The Great Bear Stake Out” filmed in Katmai, I think you will find it entertaining, I know I did.
Katmai grizzly bears offer great images in the moment and stories that will last a lifetime, so savor every minute.