When you look at this photo chances are the first thing you notice is the massive shoulder muscles that give brown bears their distinctive look, or at least it’s the first thing I notice. But if you take a moment to look a little closer you’ll see a bit of grass wedge in the corner of his mouth that now give the whole atmosphere an almost comical feel; like he’s looking off in that middle distance trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his afternoon. And although I’ve never had an issue with these guys and over the course of my summers in Alaska I’ve had plenty of them around me, it doesn’t pay to become complacent around them. All it takes if for one to be having a bad day to be the end of yours.

Alaskan Brown Bear

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Alaskan Brown Bear

The Brown Bear is often mistaken for a Grizzly Bear, which is a subspecies, due to the resemblance in their physical appearance. Don’t let the name itself fool you though as brown bears can be brown, blonde, and even almost black in color.

The dimensions of the brown bear ranges greatly according to the subspecies, and living location. They can stand at an average size of about 5.6 to 9.2 feet tall for full grown males. Also, there is a big difference in the weight of the adults though. While the males for the smallest subspecies like the Eurasian Brown Bear can be only 200 pounds, the largest subspecies like the Kodiak bear can be in average 1500 pounds with a heaviest recorded weigh of 2,500 pounds. Females are about 30% less of that dimensions.

Bears are extremely human, even down to their footprints. But I am also a fly fisherman, so I have fished beside brown bears in Alaska and was once charged by a black bear. I love bears. — Joseph Monninger

Like other bears, they like to be left alone. They will only come into contact with each other by chance, for mating, or when they take care of their young in case of females. You will often hear brown bears making grunts and roars. This is their way of communicating with others as well as making it known that they have claimed a given part of territory as their own.

Brown bears are primarily nocturnal, although they are not full hibernators they begin a period of inactivity in October to December and resume activity in March to May, depending on the location and weather conditions. They will find a cave or dig a den to spend those winter months. During this period of time their heart rate and body temperature drop a few degrees.

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