1,000 Words

A simple shot of a black bear nursing her cubs, right? Photographer Roger Irwin explains there’s more to the story. “I had put a dead cow out for the coyotes, bobcats, and fishers in March, but none touched it,” said Irwin, “probably due to medicine the cow had been treated with. In May, this sow starting coming to eat the maggots, and she brought her cubs a couple of times. One time I walked to my blind and the cubs were up this big pine. When she finished eating she called the cubs down and sat down to nurse them. She must have known I was in the blind but was used to me. Or the smell of the rotting cow covered my scent...some days it was so bad that I couldn’t stay, even wearing a mask.”


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