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  #21  
Old 08-14-2008, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ZachMatthews View Post
The kid had just been chowing down on a bucket of fried chicken and supposedly had it on his shirt. Like Trout Assassin, I am completely skeptical that you could just come upon a bear like that kid described. Where on Road Prong trail could you suddenly just pop up in arm's reach of a bear? Zach
While I have personally witnessed people in the Park, especially in Cades Cove, acting stupid around bears, I am willing to give these guys the benefit of the doubt. For this bear to attack a kid, be run off by the father, come back after the kid, and then to act agressively toward the rangers that killed him; this is truly exceptional behavior. While bad behavior on the part of the humans may have played a part, this was not normal behavior for a bear. There was something wrong with that little guy. He was a yearling, weighing 30 lbs less than my lab. My guess is that he left his mother too early, or something happened to his mother, but either way, he was in a desperate situation.
As far as suprising a bear goes, that can be done. Especially young ones. I have accidentally and intentionally (I was younger, dumber, faster, and more invincible) snuck up on bears. So unless I see something that conclusively contradicts their story, I am willing to take these people at their word, and be thankful that the little boy is okay.
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  #22  
Old 08-14-2008, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Kytroutbum View Post
A better solution is to pack a canister of bear spray and learn HOW TO USE IT. It has a range of 40 feet and suspenses in the air creating a fog. I've had the wind carry it back on me after showing my wife how to use the can, so I can attest to its potency!(:>)

Other areas may have more bear, but if they are hunted they have some fear of man. In the Smokies we could be dealing with a problem someone else started. I remember camping at Elkmont just behind the old Cabins, my neighbor kept food on his picnic table at night. We had to chase off a bear twice till his wife packed up camp.

ijsouth- I think I heard of two attacks last spring or year before. One I know was a snorkeler at a spring. I had a large gator come out of nowhere and grab a bass I was fighting near Naples. I've really gained respect for them. I read that some guys actually wade into the canals around the Tamiami to get at Snook under the bridges.
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I vote for both. If I can use the spray fine, but if he jumps me out of nowhere, I can get to my knife within a reeasonable amount of time. I may need quite a few stiches by the time I get to it, but...But, yeah, the pepper spray is the best alternative. I just know how bad my hearing is. I don't hear much when I'm in or near the water. I try to keep an eye out, but bears are quiet. Dang rascals...
  #23  
Old 08-14-2008, 03:03 PM
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Read this story of the women who was killed in the park a few years back. It was quite gruesome. Her husband had to watch the two bears eat her for over three hours while help was sought....

Gruesome bear attack! http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=18815






Here is another list of all the fatal bear attacks in America and Canada. Its very surprising how many are black bears
America's fatal bear attacks...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...rica_by_decade
  #24  
Old 08-14-2008, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by WNCFLY View Post
Read this story of the women who was killed in the park a few years back. It was quite gruesome. Her husband had to watch the two bears eat her for over three hours while help was sought....

Gruesome bear attack! http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=18815






Here is another list of all the fatal bear attacks in America and Canada. Its very surprising how many are black bears
America's fatal bear attacks...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...rica_by_decade

The constitution says we have the right to "Keep and bare arms...but not in the park." Yeah, I don't see how it could be read any other way, but apparently they have. My other favorite is getting into trouble for having a night stick, baton etc in your car...I'm like: IT'S AN ARM! (Weapon). I'm allowed to have it...Duh! At least I'm not asking for a friggin' M60 or something..oh wait...machine guns are reserved for use by criminals because they don't care what the Supreme Court says.
  #25  
Old 08-15-2008, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRaiderFan View Post
If you are on a tight stream/river, a bear can come out of no where. I would be hard pressed to spot a bear before it got to me on most of the waters in the Smokies.
I've experienced this as well.

Two years ago I was fishing a small, wild, mountain stream. I was in a section of the stream with rushing, fast water. All around, lots of rhododendron and mtn laurel thickets. The sound of the rushing water was loud and the thickets made for very limited visibility. And then I can get "tunnel vision" on the creek and watching the water for likely trout lies and not pay as much attention to my surroundings as I should.
And this is in bear country.

I rounded a bend in the stream and suddenly, very suddenly, a black bear, of which I would guesstimate it's weight around 200lbs, comes off the bank from my right, into the creek, about 25 yards in front of me. The wind was in my face so I knew the bear had not winded me or knew I was there. I immediately yelled at the bear loud "Get out of here!". The bear stops mid-stride and looks at me. I yell again "GET OUT OF HERE, GO ON...GIT!", and also raise my hands and wave my arms. The bear stands still and lowers it's head and just stares at me. Now I'm feeling really uncomfortable. All bears I've encountered in the past, whether while fishing, bowhunting deer, camping or whatever, have retreated hastily once they saw me, heard me or winded me...but not this one. I again yelled at the bear and took a few steps backward to try to get out of the water and my feet on dry ground so I could slowly retreat. After a few steps, the bear slowly crossed the creek and went up the opposite bank and stopped again and turned to stare at me for about 20 seconds, head still lowered and ears laid back, in what looked to me like a very aggressive posture. I kept easing backwards and finally the bear turned and continued upstream along the creek bank, out of sight. Once I was out of sight of the bear, I turned and headed out of that area for the day. The encounter made me uneasy about fishing that area the rest of that particular day. As I was leaving, driving down the Forest Service road in my truck, not too far away from where I last saw the bear, I ran into a man and woman out for a hike and stopped to warn them of the bear in the area. I was thankful they took my advice and turned around and headed the opposite direction.

Be careful out there. Of the bears I've encountered in the woods, this was the only one that made me uncomfortable, and it was upon me before I knew it. Too close for comfort and it's actions after it saw me really made me uneasy. I was in a situation where I could not see it coming and could not hear it coming until it was almost too late. Only someone in a stream or along it (think fly fisherman!) with the noise, cover, etc, would usually be in that position!
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  #26  
Old 08-15-2008, 08:27 AM
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Yeah, that's always been my experience with bears. Heck, I don't even hear them when I'm on a quiet trail! I've jumped a couple just walking on a trail. I take a whistle with me now and blow it every couple hundered meters on trails. I want them to know I'm coming.
  #27  
Old 08-15-2008, 08:37 AM
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Yeah I usually sing a good country music song on the way out. The way I see it, I probably scare everything out of the woods. I appologize if I have ran any of you out before.
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  #28  
Old 08-15-2008, 10:36 AM
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It still sound like GSMNP has more bears per sq. mile if the other one mentioned above is 10 times bigger and has 5000 bears, the Smokies are boasting 1800 bears as opposed to 5 or 600 30 years ago when they started keeping track of it. I'm in total agreement with Mr. Lamb's article. If Glenda had been carrying a side arm she may still be with us. I know the bears have the right to be there also, but just think for a few minutes about the Park service telling you that you don't have the right to bear arms.
  #29  
Old 08-15-2008, 12:34 PM
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Last edited by buzzmcmanus; 08-18-2008 at 12:48 PM.. Reason: Topic getting too hot for me
  #30  
Old 08-15-2008, 01:07 PM
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What scares me about allowing guns in the Park is people who are not experienced handgun users or hunters. To be honest, I would rather take my chances with a bear. I have seen a fair amount of bears while hiking or fishing in the Smokies and so far they have minded their business while I have minded mine. I figure my chances of getting killed are much higher on the nation's roadways. Far more people are killed in car accidents and other means, but when a bear attacks someone it gets a lot more publicity. I'm willing to take the risk that comes with being in remote outdoors areas. Much of my work is done outdoors, and in the forest. I deal with snakes, and other hazards on a weekly basis. To me, it is a part of my work and personal life and I wouldn't have it any other way. The risk of getting seriously hurt in a remote area while alone is higher than being attacked by a bear, rattler, etc., but it's all in how people look at things.

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