View Full Version : bear sighting on gabes mtn trail today

milligan trout degree
08-18-2007, 11:57 PM
A friend and I hiked to hen hollow falls today. on our way out, I insisted on stopping at a couple pools I spotted on the way in. Since my friend wasn't fishing, and I was worried about the water being warm, I only fished three pools, but the fish were willing. In my first pool I had nothing, but had spooked brookie walking across the bridge on the hike in. My second pool, I missed a strike, and my third I caught an average brook. He was successfully released wasted no time getting out of my hand when I put im back in the water. After that, I called it a successful day only missing one fish.

anway, about the bear. while I was fishing off below the trail a little, so I couldn't see my friend of the trail. While I was fishing, I heard a really loud snap, and then a thud, followed by my friend saying "Oh s*#t, Ben come up here, dude". so i ran back up the hill, and he started telling me about a bear cub that had been on a branch that broke off and fell to the ground then sprinted into the woods. I suggested mom might be around somewhere and that we should probably head on out. my friend didnt argue. we were only about 2/10 of a mile from the road at that point. we didnt see any other bears after that, but I hate I missed it. I haven't seen a bear while hiking yet, but I suppose that's a good thing too. I wouldn't mind seeing one from a distance though. The 8" snake I stepped over today is a different story though.

08-19-2007, 02:20 PM
My wife and I walked up on a bear while hiking in the smokeys about 15 years ago. We rounded a corner on the trail and there was a bear just sitting about 5 feet off of the trail eating some berries growing alongside the trail (I think they were blueberries, but I wasn't going to walk over and ask the bear what he/she was eating).

We were much closer to a bear than I ever want to be (about 20 feet or so) and we just stopped, and slowly walked backward until we were far enough away that I didn't feel we were in the bear's space. It looked up at us and rather slowly walked away down the hill.

I was scared to death. Even though I had a pretty good feeling the bear was not at all interested in us and was more concerned about the berry patch. Just being that close to such a large animal that could do serious injury should it choose was scary enough for me.

They look a lot bigger up close than from your car.


08-19-2007, 02:44 PM
Was hiking up near Tremont a couple years back and surprised a bear in a ravine below the trail. It came flying up the hill and crossed over just up the trail from where I was frozen in place. I have seen quite a few bears in the Smokies over the years but had never seen one move that fast.

Never underestimate the speed one of these buggers - mostly they lumber along but when that turbo kicks in.....:eek:

08-21-2007, 07:17 PM
Two months ago while fishing the little river at elkmont a bear came crashing down the hillside, paused in the center of the stream when he noticed me and took off in his intended direction. Needless to say i was just a hair anxiouse the rest of the day. I've had a lot more bear encounters this year than usual, yet another thing to blame on the drought I guess.

08-29-2007, 06:29 PM
Here we are all tough outdoorsmen and we all pretty much agree we would rather not see a bear on a trip. People in their cars who never step into the woods can not wait to see a bear. A two ton vehicle between you and a bear makes you feel safe.

My wife and I ran across a bear high up on the "sawteeth' just past Charlies Bunion one year. Its pretty narrow up there, and I was going first down the trail. It spooked and ran one way, we spooked and went the other way (very quickly).

I prefer not to see bears in the backcountry anytime...perhaps a nearly bare tuber...but no bears.

08-29-2007, 09:25 PM
was doing a little fishing on straight creek--a bear crossed the creek about 40 yds ahead of me--stopped--checked me out ---then went on--stopped---checked me out again--then crossed the stream--the 1st check was easy--the 2nd check was scarry...I don't like bears and snakes...I should'nt say I don't like bears--because I respect them as part of the Smokey's thing,and they are beautiful to look at ....but...I can tell you for sure....I HATE SNAKES...