View Full Version : Aggressive Momma Bear..Terrified 8 Year Old Daughter

10-13-2008, 08:59 PM
I was fishing 2.6 miles from the Laurel Falls Parking Lot, not far from Metcalf, with my 8 Year Old Daughter on October 7 at about 8:30AM. We were in the middle of the river when my Daughter spotted a LARGE Bear crossing the river below us about 80 yards. We stood still and I took a couple of pictures of her. She then turned an saw us and began heading up the river bank towards us. We stood as still as possible until she was about 25 yards away. I then tossed my daughter and I jumped onto a rock about 4 or 5 feet away. We hurried across several other rocks and out of the river. I turned around to find the bear standing on the rock where we were fishing. My daughter lost it at this point (and I about did). I decided to make as much noise and be as big as I could like the "brochures" say to do. As I stood and yelled the bear jumped onto the rock where we had jumped to. I then told my daughter to run through the woods to the road. I yelled and again an waved my arms.... she kept coming. We ran through the woods and got to the road and I tossed my Daughter up the embankment and told her to "run to the truck and do not stop".... a car came by and I yelled for my daughter to jump in the car..... Yelled once again at the bear, who was now in the woods about 20 feet from me. I threw my rod at her and hit her in the head, she ignored it and kept coming. I then yelled again and waved my arms, trying to buy my daughter some time to run. Two other cars came by at that time and the bear stopped about 15 feet from me in the woods. I saw my opportunity and bolted towards my truck. The bear walked to the edge of the road and then turned, and went back into the woods. As I got to the truck and let my screaming, frantic daughter in, I noticed the cub on the other side of the river. It looked like a yearling of about 75 lbs. Momma had to be 175 to 200 lbs. She was FAT, and stood about 3 1/2 or 4 feet on all fours.

I purchased Bear Spray that afternoon from The Day Hiker in Gatlinburg. I realize she was trying to protect her cub...... but so was I.:eek:

10-13-2008, 09:37 PM
Scary story. Did you remember your rod?

10-13-2008, 10:15 PM
I did go back and get it after the bears headed up stream.

10-14-2008, 12:01 AM
Read->Bear scare Little River- Cucumber Gap Trail -Page 4

I would comment on two things you might have done differently. First, if you had made noise sooner, she might have detoured with the cub. Suprising a bear with cub is dangerous. I posted my experience above. Secondly, Preditor animals see any animal fleeing as prey. There have been several attacks on small children who were running from bears in East Tenn and Smokies laterly. One, several years ago south of the park, was fatal. If you two were together the mother bear might have bluff charged if she had.
NOT HAVING BEEN THERE, I'M NOT CRITICIZING just making some comments that might help someone else.

With your bear spray, read the rules and practice with the safety. Generally, you would spray a bear AFTER everything else has been tried. Give it a short 1-2 second burst. Then evaluate the situation, wind direction, etc before shooting it again. Wear it on your belt, as you know things happen fast. I've seen people put it in their packs, back of their vest etc. I've even seen one person in Yellowstone who was going to "spray bear REPELLENT around their camp site. When used that way it is actually an attractant.

Glad everything turned out okay and I hope your daughter doesn't develop a fear of the park.

10-14-2008, 06:12 AM
Glad everything is ok and hopefully your daughter isn't scarred for life now. I have heard quite a few stories like that this year compared to years past, seems maybe the bears are a little more active this year for some reason. The bear spray is a good investment and if nothing else, gives you some peace of mind.

10-14-2008, 11:46 AM
I was just noting that this is one of two posts containing three encounters with bears near Metcalf. Did I count that right?

Makes me wonder if it's the same bear. The other two stories read similarly, but with not quite as dramatic results. Assuming it is the same, it does sound like an "aggressive" bear. I put aggressive in quotes, because it sounds like typical behavior to me (not that I'm an expert...just a hunch), especially where the presence of cub(s) is noted. I wonder if it's an unfortunate scenario where a normal bear has set up shop just a little too close to a popular picnic and fishing venue.

Just curious, again assuming it's the same bear, does anyone know what the threshold for a bear being considered "problemed" or "delinquent" by the park service is? It's not like this one's been reported eating out of the dumpster or making coffee at the picnic tables. This one just seems kind of like an interesting case study.

Sorry for the long post, I'm just curious and thought I'd throw that out for comment.

10-14-2008, 12:31 PM
Did anyone report the bear???????? I did with the one in August and the NPS was very interested. Wanted exact location time etc.

10-14-2008, 03:46 PM
I ran into the yearling at Metcalfe, talked to the ranger that was trying to trap it. Glad you and your daughter are safe!

10-14-2008, 08:21 PM
We reported to the Rangers at Sugarland. They said a Momma and Cub have been very active from there all the way to Laurel Falls. Thought it might be the same bear. They were concerned that with each report she gets a little bit more "Brave" or "Agressive". My report was the third one in 2 days......

10-18-2008, 02:00 AM
Glad Your Episode Turned Out Ok.hope You Bought Spray For Your Daughter,also.just Wondering-do You Carry A Knife?something Besides A Pocketknife Or Small Sheath Knife?along With Mylar Blanket,magnesium Fire Starter,bic Liter,flask Of Liquid,6' Of Leather Thongs,i Also Carry A Full Sized K-bar.i'm Too Big And Old To Run And I'm Not Going Down Without A Fight.

10-18-2008, 11:10 AM

Gad to hear you kept your cool and it worked out for ya. Bears are scary. I've been lucky and they've always ran from me.

10-18-2008, 11:13 PM
So maybe alot of you may think I'm crazy, but I see this story as one more reason to carry a side arm. at 20 feet (when he threw the rod) 2 or 3 shots from a .44 or a .45 long colt would have resolved the issue, and kept more issues from arising out of the same bear. Obviously there is a problem with bears around Metcalf right now, there is no doubting that. I also realize that the park probably is trying to trap those bears as we speak.. However, isn't it proven bears will travel crazy long distances and show back up sooner or later where they were removed from? Anyway, unable to carry a fire arm in the park, I'll carry bear sprey, and just hope it never has to be used...

I do find it odd however, that a man with a permit to carry, cannot carry in one of the few places he may actually someday need to use a gun... Even in Cherokee national Forest, where hunting is ALLOWED, we cannot carry a handgun... I still find that mind boggling...

10-18-2008, 11:26 PM
I completely agree. I haven't bought the spray yet, but I do have my knife and will buy some spray on my next trip. I think the bear population may be too large at this point. They may need to have a hunt.

10-19-2008, 03:19 AM
Where is this Metcalf Bottoms? I can't find it on my park map! I will be fishing the park on Wed. and I want to see if that is anywhere near my plans.

10-19-2008, 07:40 AM
I propose we once again hold off on the gun control debate here (even though I agree with the earlier posts). It's been beaten to death and is considered off-topic on this message board. Now back to fishing!

10-19-2008, 08:03 AM
I agree flydoc. The last thing the mighty moderator wants to do on her Sunday is close off a thread, lol. As for Met calf Bottoms it is on the little river. It is the large picnic area just off the road and on the river. It's no surprise that Yogi has been seen.....but her activity might require somone working for the park service to give him one of those nyquil darts.......

Paula Begley
10-19-2008, 08:12 AM
The last thing the mighty moderator wants to do on her Sunday is close off a thread, lolShe's going in to work today, but she appreciates the sentiment. ;)

By the way, it wasn't the topic of guns that was objectionable, it was the way in which the conversation degenerated that created an issue. Civil discussion is always welcome here.


10-19-2008, 05:42 PM
:eek: this one snuck out behind us by about 15 feet, not sure why his tongue was hanging out but hoped it was cause he was too tired to pursue me....
if the pic looks a little shakey, it could be that the trigger finger (camera)was a little shakey also....

they say you don't have to outrun the bear, you only have to be able to outrun one of the people around you.......I may be 50 but I think I might could have taken that 75 yr old guy behind us....(just kidding)

guess it was just another day in the Cove.....


10-19-2008, 06:26 PM
Nice shot!