Gordon arrives in the forests of Minnesota in spring just as the bears are coming out of their dens. Before he can start filming he faces a major challenge - to earn the bears' trust. He must overcome his own fear - black bears have a dangerous reputation and attack more people than any other bear in the world. But once he meets Lily, an easy-going young mother bear, and her cub Hope, Gordon is smitten.
As summer arrives, Gordon returns to Minnesota and discovers that the tiny bear cub Hope has been abandoned by her mother. He tracks down the starving cub, but her life hangs in the balance and Gordon steps in to try to keep Hope alive. As he follows every twist and turn of the bears' lives, we witness a wild bear family from the inside, closer than we've ever seen before.
Gordon returns to Minnesota in early autumn to discover that the life of abandoned bear cub Hope has taken an unexpected turn for the better: Hope is back together with her mother Lily. But the bears are in danger when hunters move into the forest. Gordon's role changes from cameraman to bodyguard as he walks with the bears to try to keep them safe. Will Lily and Hope survive hunting season to den safely for the winter?