Bears and snakes
Just wondering when the bears and those long, skinny things that slink around on their bellies return to the park from wherever they spend winter.
I certainly respect the bears, but don't really fear them. Saw a small one at Cade's Cove on my first GSMNP trip about two years ago and he was gone before I could even get a picture.
Snakes are another matter. Don't like them. Do fear them. All kinds.
In May 2007 I was preparing to fish at Metcalf and was walking down a path when a rather large snake appeared ahead of me. Didn't stay around long enough to get introduced. I left there at about the same speed as that bear avoided me.
Plenty of other places to fish, I figured. Mr. Snake could have that one to himself.
See y'all soon, Hedge.
I'd say the bears are already out, in fact i think i remember someone on here talking about how they saw one, but maybe i'm wrong.
The snakes i'm on the fence about, i'm not really sure. You can bet that if they are out now though, they will be perched up on top of a rock in the sunlight or somewhere that reflects heat right now until it warms up a little more.
Just a little something that i've found true: If you go out looking for snakes, then you'll find them. Sure, you'll run across one every now and then if you're not looking for them, i mean it's impossible not to crawling around in the woods like us fly fishermen do, but don't look for them.
A more true statement couldn't have been said.
Originally Posted by mtnman2888
* Disclaimer* I am not a biologist. Just someone who spends an awful lot of time in the outdoors.
I see bears and bear tracks all winter long. I have heard that the male bears in TN don't really hibernate. They just go into a deep sleep then wake-up and wonder around every now and then. From what I see, I have to believe that this is true. I understand that the females stay denned with their young ones all winter. Just this past Sunday I did see some tracks of a female with 2 cubs, so they are coming out of their dens now. One of the reasons TWRA has the longer bear season in December is because the females are in their dens and the males are still out and it reduces the harvest of the female bears.
As for the snakes, I have not seen the first one this year. However, it's about time for them to come out. You'll start seeing them hit on the road when they come out. The sun heats the asphalt through the day and when it starts cooling down in the evenings, the snakes will lay on it to stay warm.
Check out the thread on here about bears. It will give you some what of a idea of what your looking for. I will bump it back to the top of the board.
I, too, have found bear tracks in the winter. In fact, i've found them in the snow before and i have a picture of it. If i remember i will put it up when i get home. I've never run across one in the winter, however, but i'm sure they are out there.
Buzz, you're right on. I spoke with a Park Ranger last week and he cleared that up for me. I had always assumed that bears hibernate, but due to our mild winters here in the Smokies, they only take long naps from time to time.
Originally Posted by buzzmcmanus
Campsites 15 and 17 had been closed all fall and winter due to bear activity. They recently opened 17 (last weekend), but 15 still remains closed. So its possible to come across bears all year long.
My sons and I are camping in the park this week. We have seen a snake sunning on the rock and bear tracks on a beach by the river. I watch for bears because of my boys and every time I have seen one they have not. Never had a bad situation - always a reasonable distance. I agree with not looking for snakes - I don't know and I don't want to know.
Let me start off by saying that I'm scared to death of snakes, my wife's not. My wife and I were fishing on the Bald River several years ago. We were standing streamside and my wife looks at me and calmly says "hey look, a copperhead". I naturally froze in mid step. While delicately balancing on 1 toe I whispered "where". I figured if I made any noise above a whisper, the snake would hear fear in my voice and come straight for me. My wife, still calm, replied "right by my left boot, halfway under the rock". By this time, my heart was beating harder and faster than it has ever beaten in my life. My wife and I disagree as to what happened next, but I remember it like yesterday. I jumped in between my wife and the snake, whisked her off her feet and carried her to safety. My wife will claim that I went running down the path squeeling like a little girl. However, while fishing the rest of the day, I was "looking for snakes", and saw them everywhere. I was amazed at how many snakes are actually out there.
Yeah it's amazing how many snakes you will see if you are keeping an eye out for them. In years prior, i always kept a look out for them and saw tons, but last year i didn't pay any attention and the only snake i saw all year long was up on lynn camp in april. Of course, no one really knows how many snakes we come in close proximity to while fishing and i don't think i want to know!
look very closely for the snake......that's how well they hide.