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Thread: Black Bear Encounters

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Posts
    906

    Default Re: Black Bear Encounters

    I can remember when visiting my grandparents in Sevierville and the water would turn yellow we would grab all the thermos jugs and head out toward Wears Valley....across one of the one lane horse bridges was a "shotgun" spring where we would collect our drinking water until the faucet stuff cleared up....I think one of the first motels in the Forge was Wade's.....had one of the first swimming pools and we got to use it on occasion.....I also had a great uncle who built a cabin on the river in Gatlinburg on a double lot....he brought up a carpenter and his two sons from Delray Beach....paid them a total of $2 a day to build his cabin.....the cabin...named "The Poor House" is still there and I am sure it is worth more than most of us could afford at today's prices....

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Black Bear Encounters

    We always were "Bear Bells" in Yellowstone They work...... Guess I will start wearing them in the SMNP. But....we also carry a 14oz canister of bear spray just in case the Grizzlies get curious.

    Tom

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Black Bear Encounters

    Tom W.
    I fish the Beartooth-Absaorka(sp?) backcountry every other summer for 3-4 weeks. There is nothing like coming around a corner finding bear dropping with the juice on the berries still wet. *Bear bells work well there; (away from the stream) because the bears act "like bears". With the noise around our streams, I don't know if bells would work. Almost all my bear encounters have been when I've been on the stream or near it.Smokies bears are another story which makes them actually more dangerous. I have had one see me and bee line down a hill toward me. My Son and I had a very hard time convincing it not to come accross the river.They don't know fear of man or how a bear should act around humans. My concern about the "little bears" in the Smokies is EQUAL that of walking up onto a Brown furry sleeping in the Tag Alders. Respect them because they are unpredictable.

    The propellant in your spray has a life of two years after which its distance will decrease. The pepper doesn't lose effectiveness. Might as well carry it if you have it, if you have to use if it will probably be on someone's dog. (The spray is legal in the park!)

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Black Bear Encounters

    I intended to purchase some Bear Repellant a few weeks ago in preparation for a Smokies Trip, but after a quick Google search I found some information about the spray that was more than distrurbing - a gentleman in Alaska had the pontoons eaten off his plane after he sprayed them with repellant and another sprayed the beach and stood back and watched the bears roll in it like cats in catnip.

    I would like to get another opinion, but I don't want bring them in for a closer look ...
    Brett

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Black Bear Encounters

    Trtbm,
    I understand that unless you hit the bear in the eyes it has no effect. They would have to be within about 20 feet to be used and that is a long shot from a spray can.
    Eddie

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Black Bear Encounters

    Personally, I see no need for bells or spray in GSMNP. The bears here are not like the Grizzlies or Blacks out west. Yes, the tend to be curious, but I would hardly call them aggressive. This past September, a day after we left Yellowstone there were 2 hikers attacked by a Grizzly for no apparent reason. They topped over a hill and were attacked. They had spray that deterred the bear after slashing one hikers calf. The hikers turned back to the trailhead to get help and could hear the bear following them (he could smell the pepper). Like us, pepper is good unless it's sprayed into your eyes. IMO, if you are lucky enough to share some space with a black bear in GSMNP, enjoy the adrenaline, leave it alone, and move on. With all that said, if carrying the bell/spray gives you some sort of peace, then go for it.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Black Bear Encounters

    Gek,
    I tend to follow your philosophy when it comes to bears. The spray may work if attacked by homo sapiens.
    Eddie

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