Thurs 5th July 2012

Well, I’ve got the job I’ve been trying to get for over four years and I’m off to Kodiak Island in Alaska to film the bears. We’re still planning the trip at the moment but I can’t wait to go. I can hardly believe it after all this time trying to make it happen.

I’m able to take my wife Julie with me which is great news and I’m very thankful to the TV people for that. She’s really looking forward to it as well.

It’s a very long way to Alaska and we shall be travelling for about seventeen hours. I hope to be there in time to see the bears catching the salmon as they come up the river to spawn. July and August are when this happens so we haven’t got much time to get everything finalised.

The one hour film we’re going to make for BBC Four should be coming out around Christmas week. It’s going to be called ‘Johnny and the Bears’. We’ve actually started the filming already as its starts out on Exmoor where I used to catch my own salmon. As I’m sure you know, I used to be a bit of a poacher and caught the salmon with my bare hands. It will be great seeing the bears do the same thing, although they won’t be tickling them as I used to.

My dad used to say, “A salmon comes from the sea and it’s nobody’s, so one for the pot won’t hurt.” I don’t do it now mind.

I expect we’ll be eating lots of salmon when we get to Kodiak Island. Julie is looking forward to that as she loves it.

We hope to be able to find a bear’s den and we’ll do this by tracking the bears. It will be very interesting for me following big bear footprints when I’m used to tracking much smaller red deer prints on Exmoor. We’ll have to be careful as the Kodiak bear is the biggest brown bear in the world and only a little bit smaller than the polar bear. This is one activity Julie won’t be joining me in.

We’ll be filming other wildlife as well. I think we’re going to look for kingfishers. The Alaskan kingfisher is a lot bigger than ours I believe. We also want to film sea otters and bald eagles. We might even see whales if we are lucky.

At home at the moment I’m trying very hard to get a still shot of a barn owl. I know where they are but am having to be very patient. Hopefully I’ll have one to show you on my next blog post.