© Mac Mirabile, WWF-US

It has been a little less than a year since WWF’s Mac Mirabile journeyed to Alaska’s Katmai National Park to witness the world’s greatest brown bear habitat. Since then he compiled some amazing footage to share his experience. First, we saw bear cubs wrestling. Now, we get to see the what came before: Sunset on Hallo Bay.

The sun was finally setting on our first day in Alaska’s Hallo Bay.  The activity and excitement all around us belied the 10:30 p.m. time on my watch.

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Half a day earlier and a hundred miles away our journey began with an 11 a.m. Beaver float plane flight from the island of Kodiak.  After landing on the calm waters of Kukak Bay, our ship (and home for the next four days) the Ursus made a short voyage to Hallo Bay.  After an early dinner, our group donned boots and waders and and by 6 p.m. were on a skiff headed to the shores of Hallo Bay for the first time.

Within the hour, we had encountered a mother with three cubs. A quick two hours later, we were investigated by a pair of blonde first-year cubs while their mother grazed 30 yards behind.  Our fearless guide Brad positioned us to photograph some bears in silhouette with the setting sun now falling behind the peaks of the Kukak Volcano and Devils Desk.

The change in perspective was fascinating.  Now facing the sun, we saw what seemed like millions of mosquitos, hovering around the bears as they began settling down for the evening. Finding the right angle and camera settings, I captured some amazing scenes that evening on a trip that was only just beginning.

By Mac Mirabile, WWF