Re: bear attacks
Grizzly usually have just a territorial- dominance issuse. If you act submissive, then it views you as not being a threat. Blacks normally don't threaten humans, so if one does act aggressive YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.
As a friend of mine who guides on the outskirts of Yellowstone says: When they attack you, Grizzlies want to make sure you are having a BAD DAY also. Play dead and don't let them roll you over exposing your vital organs. Keep your backpack, etc on to help protect you. *Black bears just want to eat you, they will not leave until they decide your not worth the effort. *Young males will also be aggressive after leaving Momma and trying to set up territory. If I remember correctly, there has been several Black Bear Human attacks in Canada resulted from these young males.
In response to lauxier, I've read a post on the "old" Southernflyfishingforum Bulletin board of a Smokies fishermen being harassed by a bear high above Elkmont. Just would not leave him alone. Rangers came in and trapped him.
I've fished the park about the same amount of time and only had two"negative type (??) encounters. One I walked upon a Sow and two cubs walking out from West prong of Pigeon along New Found Gap road. I saw the cubs as I came around the corner, Momma stood up and snorted, I retreated. -No problem-,I saw a tourist who said they had been harassed along the road earlier.
I was fishing with my son one August,( He has lead backpacking trips for several summers for Tremont Institute and is an expert on the Backcountry in the Smokies.) He was fishing about about 100 upstream of me and watched a young male beeline down the hillside directly toward me. I saw him waving and pointing before I saw the bear sitting on the other bank. He just paced back and forth. My son came downstream, and we yelled threw some rocks near him before he left. I, always, carry my gear in a day pack and run it and lunch up a tree to keep mice, etc out so I didn't have any food on me. We are thinking that some hikers had been feeding him. Even then, I didn't feel threatened.
Later that summer or the next, the Tremont road had been closed as a bear had aggressively followed a jogger and wouldn't leave.
I'm afraid we underestimate the abilities of the "cute cuddlie" Black Bear to do us harm. A BLACK BEAR HAS THE PHYSICAL ABILITY TO KILL YOU JUST AS EASILY AS A GRIZZLY. As I've posted before- Grizzly are predominately wild, and act wild. There are very few Black Bears that are wild anymore. A Bear's behavior today could be the result of some experience with a human earlier. You are dealing with two different types of animals, they both deserve repect. Even though I am sure I would never need it, I carry Bear Spray I have left over from my trips to WYO with me. Better safe than sorry. *