Re: Black Bear Encounters
A couple of years ago, a bear harassed a jogger about Tremont. Unprovoked it followed the jogger very closely and would not leave when the jogger turned and stared him down. I had an instance above Elkmont several years after the death where a bear beelined down a hillside toward me, and stood on the bank and walked back and forth before my son , fishing above me came down and we both threw rocks and it left. There is a bear population explosion going on and they also have mostly lost fear of humans. My wife and I both carry a canister of "Counter Assault" Grizzly spray on us. I believe I'll probably have to use it on someone's fido before a bear though.
There are a lot of Human Bear encounters in the Park, that DON"T get publicized by the NPS. A Smokies Bear may or may not act like a "WILD bear. Respect them.
A old guide in Wyoming told me the difference in Griz and Black bears is: A griz is angry at the world and if he attacks you, he just wants you to have a BAD DAY also. Play dead, curl up and he'll leave. If a Black attacks you he is hungry, fight like Heck.