Re: Bear Attack Near Cherokee?
I have a very large collection of jinglers also. My problem with using them in the park is, the noise along the streams would mask the bells. I gave up on fishing the YNP, too crowded. I fish the Crandall Creek, Hoodoo Creek and Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone, into the Beartooth. The folks there make no bones about that being Grizzly habitat. They POST SMALL BILLBOARD TYPE SIGNS. *"Grizzly Frequent this Area", etc. I've seen a couple brown butts high tailing away. My one fear is walking up on a sleeping one in the tag alders or willows while fishing. My cousin's Father in Law was severely mauled in Glacier years ago, walking up on a sow and cub along a stream.
I'm going to disagree with lumping Grizzly and Black bears together. The Forest Service has done an excellent job of providing Bear boxes at campgrounds,education and closely enforcing fines for violations, along with the remoteness of the area, etc. to make the greater Yellowstone bears about as close to a "wild" bear as you can get. Heck, With the REPUTATION of the big, brown furry, folks PAY attention and fear them.
Having had a bear "beeline" down the hill and pace the otherside of the river from me (No food on me at the time), or chasing a jogger down the road at Tremont, or hassling a fisherman hiking in (posted on Southernflyfishing forum a week later same area as my incident) tells me, they have learned to associate humans with food. As I drove between PF and Metcalf's Monday, I commented to my wife about the increasing abundance of chalets on the edge of the park. I am afraid were dealing with the equivalence of the old "Garbage Dump Bears". The average "Tourist" still views the black bears as the cute, cuddley, harmless clowns of the roadside zoo's. I might hypothesize that the killer bear in the Cherokee COULD EASILY have been feed there before by tourists. We have people moving into bear habitats, look around GSMNP. *We have a black bear population which is exploding. I moved to the Morehead Ky area in 1970, to do my graduate work. I roamed the Cave Run Lake area before the Lake filled. I've been all over the D. Boone fishing and hiking for 30+ years. I never heard of bear in Eastern Ky (Bio-Science Ed Grad Student). Any bear found in Ky was thought to have wandered over from Virginia.The past 5 years they are appearing everywhere- Big South Fork, Red River Gorge, Daniel Boone. The Lexington TV showed pictures of Bears taking dog food on the edges of Morehead.
Love them, enjoy them from a distance, follow the bear rules and don't always expect them to follow the rules just because you do.
AGAIN, REMEMBER A PRAYER FOR THE FAMILY. I can not imagine what they are going through. I had my grandkids the past two days- a 2 year old granddaughter and 6 year old grandson. Watching this on TV with them in the house really hit home to me.