Opinion: Dead grizzly in the river! Wait a minute...

| June 17, 2020 7:12 AM

I got a call a few weeks ago now from a guy who was pretty excited about a picture he took.

“I got a photo of grizzly bear floating down the river,” he said.

“Dead or alive,” I asked.

“Dead,” he said.

“I already called FWP,” he said.

He was a really nice guy and his name escapes me. He was traveling from Alaska back to Montana and had been on the road for something like 25 hours.

He looked a little frazzled, but not bad, all things considered. He was a former journalist with the Great Falls Tribune, but had left to work in the commercial fishing industry, which gives you some idea of how good the journalism industry is doing.

He thought we’d probably met covering the big fires in Glacier in ‘03. He seemed familiar, but then again, a lot of people seem familiar.

This was the height of the ‘rona virus and when I met him at the Hungry Horse News (the paper was closed at the time) he got out of his truck with a mask on.

We bumped elbows, went inside and I popped the memory card from his ancient-looking point-and-shoot camera into the card reader on the computer.

He had photos on the card that looked liked they dated back to ‘03.

After a bit of searching we found the folder with the grizzly photos.

I opened one up and blew it up in Photoshop. Sure enough, there it was — a big old log, that looked a lot like a dead grizzy.

I gave him back his card and we chatted it up a bit more. Then he was on his way. He had more miles yet to go — Helena if memory serves me right. Or maybe it was Missoula.

There is nothing wrong with photographing log grizzlies. Why just the other day I saw this big brown shape along the woods.

“Wow,” I thought. “That’s one big bear.”

It, of course, was a rock. A big brown one.

Have a good week.

Chris Peterson is the editor of the Hungry Horse News.