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View Full Version : Hazel Creek Bear Incident?


Rog 1
10-25-2010, 10:46 AM
Has anyone heard anymore on the bear incident on Hazel Creek as reported by Byron in the fishing report last week? This is where a camper was supposedly pulled from his tent and fired a short from his pistol to scare off the bear. The camper was supposedly given a citation for discharging a firearm in the Park? Was wondering if this had any truth or merely campfire fodder in the spirit of the season....

Jim Casada
10-25-2010, 11:10 AM
Rog 1--I've really wondered about this as well. I acutally asked someone who works for the USFWS about this and he suggested that if it did happen it would be a classic example of a lack of law enforcement common sense. I for one would like to know more, and my personal view is that if it happened the guy showed constraint by merely shooting in the air.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

benintenn
10-25-2010, 12:30 PM
I wonder what would happen if someone carrying a pistol in the backcountry gets the urge to have pork chops and fresh bacon and just so happens to run into a group of feral pigs?

Do they charge them with killing wildlife even though they are a nuisance to the park and the NPS regularlly hunts/traps/destroys them?

lexfly
10-25-2010, 01:49 PM
I saw that post when I returned from Hazel. We were camped at Sawdust pile from Thurs 10/14 to Sun 10/17 and we never saw a bear in camp. (One of the shore of Fontana).

Rog 1
10-25-2010, 02:48 PM
Even if someone admits to a crime there must be some proof of the crime....how could the ranger prove that a shot had been fired if he did not witness the discharge....would not think that even hearing a shot being fired would be enough to cite someone....cannot force the person to testify against himself....

pmike
10-25-2010, 03:09 PM
In the town where I was born, a woman was cited by the police for hunting without a license after shooting a gator that tried to enter her house through a pet door.

jeffnles1
10-25-2010, 06:05 PM
Has anyone heard anymore on the bear incident on Hazel Creek as reported by Byron in the fishing report last week? This is where a camper was supposedly pulled from his tent and fired a short from his pistol to scare off the bear. The camper was supposedly given a citation for discharging a firearm in the Park? Was wondering if this had any truth or merely campfire fodder in the spirit of the season....

Even if it did happen and the camper was cited for discharging a firearm, find a jury who would convict him for shooting a firearm while a bear was dragging him from the tent, for that matter, find a judge who would even allow the case to come before his/her bench.

I think it would take a ranger who was having the mother of all bad days to give a fellow a ticket in a situation like that.

Jeff

2weightfavorite
10-25-2010, 08:38 PM
I highly doubt we are hearing the facts... Did his sleeping bag have gashes in it? did his legs even have a scratch? There would be some form of hard proof if the camper was truly dragged out by the bear. If the bear was snooping, and sniffing and the guy fired a shot, while his action may be understood, that still doesn't make it legal. I want to see this sleeping bag...

DarrinG
10-25-2010, 11:02 PM
I had a wildlife officer several years ago tell me that if I shot a bear out of season while bowhunting ( I was having a young bear around my stand site regularly and he was getting a tad too curious and brave with me in the tree), that I'd better have claw marks on me to prove I shot it in self defense. I said bull! Nobody in their right mind would purposefully wait till a bear had a hold on them to react to defend themselves. I told him I will do everything in my power to persuade the bear to leave me be without using my bow, but if he starts up my tree again and dont turn around before he gets too close, he's getting an arrow, bear season or not. I would not wait to see if he's gonna kill me before I react. That would be utterly stupid.
We have a right to defend ourselves from man or beast. I understand what you're saying, and I believe we agree, but if his bag is ripped up or not is really no matter in his actions. A Ranger that would issue a citation for such needs to go back to rookie school for some "common sense" training.

fishndoc
10-25-2010, 11:14 PM
I highly doubt we are hearing the facts... Did his sleeping bag have gashes in it? did his legs even have a scratch? There would be some form of hard proof if the camper was truly dragged out by the bear. If the bear was snooping, and sniffing and the guy fired a shot, while his action may be understood, that still doesn't make it legal. I want to see this sleeping bag...

How many of us, if we woke up finding a bear dragging us out of our tent and were fortunate enough to have a gun in hand, would only shoot into the air? I'm emptying my gun into the perpetrator, and I can't imagine anyone else doing differently.

Most likely, as 2wt says, the bear was just sniffing around the camp, and the guy fired a warning shot.

jeffnles1
10-25-2010, 11:52 PM
How many of us, if we woke up finding a bear dragging us out of our tent and were fortunate enough to have a gun in hand, would only shoot into the air? I'm emptying my gun into the perpetrator, and I can't imagine anyone else doing differently.

Most likely, as 2wt says, the bear was just sniffing around the camp, and the guy fired a warning shot.

Assuming the event happened, it's quite possible the guy just missed. :smile:

I'd like to hear the whole story before deciding what he should have / shouldn't have done.

So far, what I've heard is the bear was acting in some threatening way, the camper fired a warning shot, the bear left. No harm, no foul. The bear is no worse for the wear other than a ringing in his ears, the camper is not hurt. They both probably learned a valuable lesson. I doubt if the bear is going to be too eager to come close to another campsite and the camper may be a little more careful how he sets up his camp. That's where the story should have ended.

Jeff

FishNHunt
10-26-2010, 02:15 AM
Bears have a dumbfounding power over the powers that be in this state. I highly doubt the man was dragged from his tent. If he had the slightest of scratches the bear would have been hunted down as a man eater and killed for his actions. My guess. The bear was snooping around or going threw his gear and he fired a shot. He came out and found the first ranger or person to tell of his escaping a sure death and fireing a warning shot and in return got a ticket. IF the bear was doing something around him putting a shot in the air probably saved the BEARS life not the mans. Now the bear knows that his ears will hurt the next time he gets around humans. I read just a few short weeks ago in the Maryville times where one man (I believe on Rich mtn) was sick and tired of the bears destroying his blue berry bushs so he shot it with buckshot. I know it's highly unlikely that it killed the bear but, to me that's rediculas. He moved here from somewhere else where he could be close to nature, planted one of a bears favorite foods and complains because the bear is doing what it's surposed to do. The man as far as I know was not given a citation.

2weightfavorite
10-26-2010, 05:44 AM
I hope my post was not taken incorrectly, Im not against the warning shot idea. And if the bear touched me, every round in my gun would be in the bear, shoot, I may reload!! I just think in this case, the camper wasn't actually pulled from the tent..

Crockett
10-26-2010, 08:27 AM
Lots of incidents like this happen in the park and the details are not released to the public. I have a friend who covers the park for a knoxville station and he told me about an incident a few years back (before they allowed guns in the park) where one of the backcountry campsites was closed for a long time due to an aggressive bear. The park was considering opening it back up and allowed a friend of a ranger to spend the night there as a "test" to see if the bear was gone. Apparently unknown to the park this guy brought a pistol with him and sure enough a bear came in the night and scared the crap out of this fellow not sure what it did maybe tried to get in the tent or something but the guy ended up shooting himself accidentally in the foot according to my friend. It must have just grazed him apparently and the park never released any of the details. Unless someone is hurt bad and has to go to the hospital I tend to think most of the time the park keeps things like this quiet.

Knothead
10-26-2010, 07:43 PM
Shooting a bear and just wounding it is just asking for trouble down the road. I would hate to think that I shot a bear/deer/turkey, etc. and left it to die or the critter have an infection due to being shot. When the little girl was killed in Chilhowee Mountain a few years ago, a fellow found the bear and shot at it with a .32 pistol. Too small! Guns were illegal at that time but I was told that he know the right people and nothing was done. If you shoot a bear, make sure you have enough power. A bear can rearrange your landscape real fast if you don't get him down with the first shot.

2weightfavorite
10-26-2010, 07:52 PM
Tauras and Smith and Wesson both make extremely light, .44 cals really desinged for concealed carry. Im sure other brands do as well. I think in most cases the sound of the shot alone would deter a bear, but my luck, I have the .01 percent bear that runs towards me instead of away from me. I carry heavy loads, with solid hard cast lead bullets. With a bear it is all about penetration, and hollow points do not achieve the penetration that I would like.

Crockett
10-26-2010, 10:07 PM
Maybe I should go armed in the backcountry but I usually just have a knife in my tent with me. I do have some bear spray but not sure it would be of much use if I am stuck inside a tent with the bear coming through the side. Might have to look into one of those light 44s 2weight. Has anyone heard about a guy named John who was drug out of his tent at poke patch back in the 90s? I found a blog he wrote about it once but can't find it now.

jeffnles1
10-27-2010, 12:03 AM
Tauras and Smith and Wesson both make extremely light, .44 cals really desinged for concealed carry. Im sure other brands do as well. I think in most cases the sound of the shot alone would deter a bear, but my luck, I have the .01 percent bear that runs towards me instead of away from me. I carry heavy loads, with solid hard cast lead bullets. With a bear it is all about penetration, and hollow points do not achieve the penetration that I would like.

I've shot a couple of the lightweight .44mags and the recoil sure does get your attention.:eek:

Tauras makes one called "The Judge" that shoots 410 shot shells or .45 colt revolver cartridges. I would imagine a face full of BB shot from a 410 would probably change a bear's mind about causing further harm to you even if it didn't kill it outright.

Like others have said, I'd hate to think of any animal suffering and dying a long death, but if it were trying to harm me and that was my last option, at the end of the day, there is only 1 of me and there are plenty of bears.

Let's just hope we are never faced with the decision. I know it's one I don't ever want to have to make.

Jeff

Knothead
10-27-2010, 12:45 PM
Are the Taurus and S & W guns the .44 Special or .44 magnum? Big difference in the two, from my experience. They are identical in dimensions expect the magnum is longer so it can't be used in the Special; same with the .38 Special and .357 magnum.
Taking all things into consideration, it is remarkable that with all the bears in the park (abound 1,500) and the couple of million people who visit the park each year that there aren't any more confrontations. I'm more worried about the people than the bears.

2weightfavorite
10-27-2010, 01:11 PM
I believe that S&W makes both the .44 mag and special, The tauras is just the mag, however they have some tiny .357's as qwell. I just went to their website and they have an incredible array of sizes and weights to choose from. I carry everywhere, not just in the woods. Will something ever happpen that I need it, I seriously doubt it, but I can say that I am at least expressing my constitutional rights..

Knothead
10-29-2010, 01:42 PM
I had a wildlife officer several years ago tell me that if I shot a bear out of season while bowhunting ( I was having a young bear around my stand site regularly and he was getting a tad too curious and brave with me in the tree), that I'd better have claw marks on me to prove I shot it in self defense.
The reason for this is to prevent anyone from shooting a bear or any wild animal and claiming self-defense. Personally, I am more concerned about people than animals.

jeffnles1
10-29-2010, 02:59 PM
Are the Taurus and S & W guns the .44 Special or .44 magnum? Big difference in the two, from my experience. They are identical in dimensions expect the magnum is longer so it can't be used in the Special; same with the .38 Special and .357 magnum.
Taking all things into consideration, it is remarkable that with all the bears in the park (abound 1,500) and the couple of million people who visit the park each year that there aren't any more confrontations. I'm more worried about the people than the bears.

You can shoot 44spl out of any 44mag but not the other way around. Also, you can shoot 38spl out of any 357mag but again, not the other way around.

All things being equal, I would recommend the mag versions because they are more versitle. You can shoot the lower priced and lower recoil special ammo for range practice and use the more powerful and pricy mag ammo for deense loads or hunting.

Just beware, out past a few feet, the points of impact are different. In a typical short barrel revolver, the mag tends to hit a little lower than the spcl out to about 20 yards or so. I think it has to do with the projectile leaving the barrel faster and the barrel not starting to rise on recoil as fast. Not sure ofthe physics behind that but it's been my experience with at least 15 different firearms and many thousands of rounds when shooting spcl vs. mag ammo.

At hunting ranges, the faster projectile will drop less and it is usually a better choice. For defense, it's a personal call. The more powerful mag rounds can overpenetrate.

Again, my prayer and hope is this is all an academic discussion and that NONE of us will ever be called upon to use a fireamr for self defense be it with an animal or a person.

Jeff