View Full Version : Curious question about GSMNP Bears...

07-19-2010, 04:18 PM
So... Has anybody every seen a bear in the park that was "fishing" or even eating a fish?

07-19-2010, 05:23 PM
I think the black bears in the smokies are opportunistic feeders. I have never seen one but I am quite sure they will eat dead fish if they happen upon one. I don't think the bears in the smokies actively try and catch fish. However as with anything there are probably cases perhaps with a fish trapped in a small pool without a means to escape so a bear that finds this may take advantage of the situation but I think that would be a rare situation and not common behavior. Not a bear expert though just read a little here and there maybe someone else knows for sure.

07-19-2010, 05:28 PM
The fisheries department had a bunch of rainbows in holding cages a couple years ago. Came back the next morning a bear had taken care of the cages and the fish.

They do not try to "catch fish" that I know of.

Jim Casada
07-19-2010, 05:29 PM
BamaBum--A bear is pretty much like a hog in one sense--they'll eat most anything (well, a hog won't eat a cucumber, but that's it in my experience). That being said, I'm sure bears scarf up any dead fish they find, but I doubt if they "fish" for them the way grizzlies do with salmon. It wouldn't be energy efficient.
As to your question, the answer is a qualified yes. Many years ago I saw a bear chase off a bunch of campers at the Bryson Place and then eat, with considerable relish, their dinner of fried fish and all the fixin's.
Jim Casada

07-19-2010, 06:45 PM
Jim, that's right a hog won't eat a cucumber but they will eat coal.:biggrin: Never ate any coal but I have ate a few cucumbers and a few hogs:cool:

07-19-2010, 08:30 PM
Bears won't eat a raw irish potato either....

07-19-2010, 08:33 PM
I saw a bear at the sugarlands visitor center that tried to cross the river on top of a log.....the log snapped and the bear fell in the river :biggrin: it was hillarious

07-19-2010, 09:58 PM
Jim, that's funny about the fried fish. I bet that was a sight to see.

Thanx for the replies fella's....

07-20-2010, 11:15 AM
Hey Jim
Will a hog eat a pickle?

Jim Casada
07-20-2010, 02:33 PM
Streamhound--I don't have a clue. My knowledge of the culinary preferences of the porcine population comes from a lot of practical experiences (i. e., slopping hogs, pulling weeds for them this time of year, etc.) but there was no way on God's green earth Grandma Minnie was going to let hogs have any opportunity to indulge in the many and varied pickles she made--various cucumber pickles (bread and butter, dill, and the like) along with watermelon rind pickles, okra pickles, artichoke pickles, pickalilly, chowchow, and more.
In short, after all that, I don't know.
Jim Casada

07-20-2010, 03:39 PM
huh, didn't know a hog wouldn't eat cucumber. That's some good bar room trivia right there.

I always wondered if the bear fished here, I got to see the grizzlies do it when I lived in Alaska and that was an awesome sight to witness.

07-20-2010, 04:41 PM
The sow I came up on last year while fishing was busy turning stones in midstream up on Walker camp prong. The 2 cubs were rolling around splashing like human children would. I would guess she was looking salamanders, crawfish, snails, etc. until I disturbed her.

07-20-2010, 09:52 PM
"fishing" I believe is a taught habit from mother to cubs. I doubt that the energy expended isn't worth the small amount of protein gained. Where there are thousands of fish in a single pool like in Salmon runs the energy expended is worth it. I have saw a bear on Chilhowee pass by a fish carcass (albeit was carp) to feed on wild cherries. A bear can lay in a single oak tree and burn almost zero calories "lapping" acorns. I know that a bear just can't pass up a yellow jacket nest.

Deer, hogs, and bear love diesel fuel too. I guess it's the sulpfur in it. We once had a tractor parked in a field and the deer licked the paint to a shine but, only where the diesel had over flowed on it over the years.

07-20-2010, 10:01 PM
i saw one on hazel creek...he his back leaned against a tree,,,,wearing bibs (Brer Bear embroidered on front) and a red shirt and straw hat...using a cane pole and bobber,,,,campbell soup can fulla worms and a stringer fulla trout and he was reading an old Ed Zern book....gotta love our bears