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Thread: Bears aren't all asleep.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    138

    Default Bears aren't all asleep.

    I read in Byron's fishing report the other day not to expect to see any bears, and I didnt see any on our hike the other day down West Prong trail. However we did see this! Somebody is up and moving around. The print was clear enough to still see the claw marks. For comparison thats my size 11 shoe in the pic.



    He came up the hill out of campsite 18, went up the trail for 50 yards, then went up the mountainside. My wife was a little uncomfortable about being there after that. I cant imagine what she would have done if we had walked up on this massive bruin.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Posts
    740

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    Awesome pic Jay! Did you guys stay the night at 18? If you did I bet you were the only ones there lol. Do any fishing?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,561

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by JayB View Post
    I read in Byron's fishing report the other day not to expect to see any bears, and I didnt see any on our hike the other day down West Prong trail. However we did see this! Somebody is up and moving around. The print was clear enough to still see the claw marks. For comparison thats my size 11 shoe in the pic.



    He came up the hill out of campsite 18, went up the trail for 50 yards, then went up the mountainside. My wife was a little uncomfortable about being there after that. I cant imagine what she would have done if we had walked up on this massive bruin.
    That's funny I saw the exact same sized prints coming out of West Prong Watershed (up some thick Rhodo)crossing Bote Mountain trail only to continue down the other side of the ridge yesterday while doing the Lead Cove - Bote Mountain - Finley Cane loop. I took a pic, and said to myself that that was a sizable bear, and only goes to prove that even in a hard winter the bears stay active in the Smokies. Someone even made a snowman with C cup breasts about a 100 yards above the Finley Cane junction

    I looked for the manway going down to the West Prong from Lead Cove, but couldn't discern anything with all the snow

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,561

    Smile

    Here is a link to some pics including the bear prints

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...7&l=5ce345a5af

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    138

    Default

    Our plans were to try for our first snow camping adventure. We had successfully camped at Pretty Hollow back in november, and the temp was in the mid 20's then, so I knew our sleeping system was warm enough, however the snow adds a new dimension of difficulties beyond the cold factor. The kids just didnt have the right gear for the trip. I brought an insane number of extra socks, but they couldnt keep their feet dry, and were pretty miserable by the time we made it to the campsite. We made dinner, packed back up and headed out just as it started getting dark. Im glad we did though, the weather reports had predicted it to stay cloudy through the night, and the lows to be in the upper 20's, low 30's but as we left we saw it was a crystal clear night, at least at 8pm, and Im sure it was much colder than the weathermen had predicted. We were already near the lower limit of our gear, and I didnt want to test it under these conditions. Maybe next year we can get better boots for all the boys, and some warmer sleeping bags, and try it again. It was a great learning experience for all of us, and an adventure that we wont forget. (My shoulders havent forgot carrying a 40 lb pack on my back and a 45 lb "moose" of a toddler in my arms the whole 2 miles back out)
    The place was desolate down in that valley, with only a few sets of footprints thru the campsite. I didnt have time to wet a line, though I had brought it with me. The water was clear, but a little high. Im sure I would have caught a limit if I had the time.


  6. #6
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    Feb 2008
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Louisville KY
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    JayB, you sir, are a BEAST. So are your kids.

    Bravo to you and your family.


    WOW
    David

    "My Biggest worry is that when I'm dead and gone, my wife will sell my fly-fishing gear for what I said I paid for it."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    72

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    JayB,

    From the looks of your photo, it appears that the snow was pretty "crusty" (was it not?). The contour of the bear print makes me think that it is probably at least two days old, since it shows notably jagged edges that would be cominsurate with this type of time frame , which would most likely make the actual size of the "paw print" about half that size. Anyway, neat photo from a "brave" guy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    57

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    looks like fun. I may be wrong on this but when bears hibernate they dont actually sleep the entire time. I believe they get up and move around several times during hibernation.
    "Unless one can enjoy himself fishing with the fly, even when his efforts are unrewarded, he loses much real pleasure. More than half the intense enjoyment of fly-fishing is derived from the beautiful surroundings, the satisfaction felt from being in the open air, the new lease of life secured thereby, and the many, many pleasant recollections of all one has seen, heard and done." - Charles F. Orvis

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Ashland KY
    Posts
    58

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    I may get slammed by this post but here goes. I am not one to get involved into others business on camping but your kids out in the weather in the equipment I saw in the photo? I would not venture out as an adult with that type of boots or equipment in the winter. Getting off my soapbox. Sorry.
    Quote Originally Posted by JayB View Post
    Our plans were to try for our first snow camping adventure. We had successfully camped at Pretty Hollow back in november, and the temp was in the mid 20's then, so I knew our sleeping system was warm enough, however the snow adds a new dimension of difficulties beyond the cold factor. The kids just didnt have the right gear for the trip. I brought an insane number of extra socks, but they couldnt keep their feet dry, and were pretty miserable by the time we made it to the campsite. We made dinner, packed back up and headed out just as it started getting dark. Im glad we did though, the weather reports had predicted it to stay cloudy through the night, and the lows to be in the upper 20's, low 30's but as we left we saw it was a crystal clear night, at least at 8pm, and Im sure it was much colder than the weathermen had predicted. We were already near the lower limit of our gear, and I didnt want to test it under these conditions. Maybe next year we can get better boots for all the boys, and some warmer sleeping bags, and try it again. It was a great learning experience for all of us, and an adventure that we wont forget. (My shoulders havent forgot carrying a 40 lb pack on my back and a 45 lb "moose" of a toddler in my arms the whole 2 miles back out)
    The place was desolate down in that valley, with only a few sets of footprints thru the campsite. I didnt have time to wet a line, though I had brought it with me. The water was clear, but a little high. Im sure I would have caught a limit if I had the time.


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