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  #11  
Old 05-17-2010, 02:47 AM
knucklehead knucklehead is offline
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Default fining the numbskulls

with several signs posted about not feeding and/or approaching wildlife, what effect can they have if the offender gets to walk away for free? some people don't need the signs for obvious reasons. the ones who do need warnings seem to also be the ones who ignore them.
being an avid snake hunter/finder, i've had several encounters with park officials, some of them were almost ugly, because they thought i "might be approaching too closely." I'm well aware of the potential dangers of my pursuit(most of the time). I like to believe I know when to back off.
My blood has boiled several times when i was cruisin the cove and watched a bear let a brainless photographer leave unscathed. I've also witnessed rangers casually just back people away from near-by bears. the park has a gold mine waiting in the cameras of the thoughtless.
Does anyone know if the park can issue monetary fines for "approaching too closely"? If not, is there any way one can start a campaign for such?
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  #12  
Old 05-17-2010, 03:24 PM
Knothead Knothead is offline
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Default Bears and people

I recall an incident a few years ago where a man was fined because he attacked a bear to prevent it from killing a fawn.
From my times in the park, having enough rangers to monitor the activities and stupid actions of people would be impossible, especialy on the backcountry trails. Maybe the park should have guided tours with buses and a ranger on the bus to watch the people and protect the wildlife. Just a thought.
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  #13  
Old 05-18-2010, 11:12 AM
Kytroutbum Kytroutbum is offline
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I think the bear may have been the sow who every year has have a number of cubs.

It's just a matter of time till we have another death!! I told a gal last month walking her dog up Little River Trail that dogs were not allowed up there. She made a comment about that rule wasn't really enforced anyway. (Local plates on her car). My son worked for
Tremont Institute several summers years ago. He says bear issues are a weekly or biweekly occurence just covered up well by the local tourist organizations.

The Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming issues $175 fines for leaving unsecured food and other attractants out any place. GSMNP needs to adopt a similar policy. I've told a NPS personnel about a group in Cades Cove with a bear very closely cornered, he commented I know very unconcerned.

We still have a culture of cute little cuddly bears that won't be changed until major fines are levied and more enforcement personnel are in place!
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  #14  
Old 05-18-2010, 12:35 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Seen parents letting their 5 year old children within 2 feet of bear on the laurel falls trail. That trail tends to attract the tourist morons en mass.

Looks like another bear will make it's way to the US129 side of the park where it will meet it's fate at the hands of those wonderfully intelligent and compassionate folk know as bear hunters.
Trip--If I interpret the message rightly, your comment regarding bear hunters suggests those of us who pursue or have pursued the sport lack intelligence and compassion. I am not a keen bear hunter but I am a serious hunter and have hunted bears. I would like to think I have a modicum of intelligence, and when it comes to compassion, I would simply point out that hunters are the true friends of wildlife. It is hunter monies, in forms such as excise taxes, licenses, mandatory stamps, and the like, which have made a critical difference for elk, turkeys, whitetails, and yes, bears.

I'm not looking to pick an argument but merely pointing out that seeming anti-hunting sentiments raise my hackles. I know I'm not the only hunter on this forum by a long shot, with Grouseman's tag telling a tale, and Byron is a hunter as well (and has written more than once of being a participant in bear hunts).

That being said, the whole "bite the foot" situation is a prime example of human idiocy, right up there with whomever was practicing casting in the cemetery at Troutfest (man, did that make my blood boil, and I feel for Byron because I know just how protective and caring mountain folks are when it comes to cemeteries). I think my wife and I may well have seen the bear in question while en route to Townsend. At any rate, there was the beginning of a bear jam at the Laurel Falls trailhead, and idiots with cameras were face-to-face with a young bear (likely one whose mother had just "kicked it out" on its own).

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  #15  
Old 05-18-2010, 05:54 PM
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Trip Trip is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Casada View Post
Trip--If I interpret the message rightly, your comment regarding bear hunters suggests those of us who pursue or have pursued the sport lack intelligence and compassion. I am not a keen bear hunter but I am a serious hunter and have hunted bears. I would like to think I have a modicum of intelligence, and when it comes to compassion, I would simply point out that hunters are the true friends of wildlife. It is hunter monies, in forms such as excise taxes, licenses, mandatory stamps, and the like, which have made a critical difference for elk, turkeys, whitetails, and yes, bears.
I am sure you are not one of the ones I refer to, Jim. I have just had very negative experiences with some of the hunters over on 129. The ones I refer to aren't true friends of much, including their own dogs. I will just leave it at that. I am sure if you hunted over there, you have had some bad experiences with my kind as well, the evil biker. lol

I fully understand the need and fully appreciate the hunters who do it right, like I am sure you do. I am sorry I generalized like that.
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  #16  
Old 05-18-2010, 06:24 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Trip--Thanks, and yes, there are slob hunters (and slob fishermen and hikers, etc.). I just reacted negatively because I felt everyone who hunted was being cast in a negative light.
Rest assured I have plenty of first-hand knowledge of bear hunters in the area to which you referred, and I've had two bad experiences over the years with them chasing bears in the off-season when they weren't supposed to do so. Amazingly, the NCWRC allows pre-season chases, but this was outside that time frame. I might add that when the Park moves bears into the Nantahala or Cherokee National Forests, more often than not they head straight back to the Park and its easy pickings.
If the Park would crack down on folks who break all rules of common sense, and do so in the form of stiff fines, it wouldn't take long for the word to get around. I've done my fair share of photography and have, over the years, sold a passel of photos. However, I understand wildlife and really have some issues with the photos of big-racked whitetails (mostly in Cades Cove) which appear in hunting magazines. The only thing more artificial is photos of deer in fenced areas.
Anyway, thanks for the clarification. As for the biker mentality and presence along the Dragon's Tail, it is a plague on the earth second only to the situation years ago when a huge group calling themselves the Rainbow Coalition took up residence in the woodlands of Graham County. What a mess, and it's too bad a bear didn't go on a rampage in their midst.
Jim Casada
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  #17  
Old 05-18-2010, 07:31 PM
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Vern Vern is offline
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Jim you hit the nail on the head. You know it boils down to people not obeying the laws. Tourist getting to close to the animals, hunters hunting or running their dogs in the off season, fishermen not following the slot limits or bait fishing, bikers crossing the center line or riding side by side, or passing in no passing zone. All of these things hurt not just themselves, but more so the animals and people that they come in contact with. It boils down that we are a very self gratifying society. The rules and laws are in place and should be followed. One law breaker can give a whole part of society a bad reputation!
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  #18  
Old 05-18-2010, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Vern View Post
riding side by side
Riding 2 across or side by side is legal as long as it isn't meant for overtaking, but it's perfectly legal to ride 2 abreast in the same lane in Tennessee. I am not a cruiser rider, so it's not something I do, but they can do it.
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  #19  
Old 05-18-2010, 08:18 PM
Byron Begley Byron Begley is offline
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This is a great thread. I am outraged like everyone else about this incident. It sickens me that this small, young animal should die because a human did something stupid. On the other hand, like Jim said, I went on two bear and boar hunts last year and can't wait to do it again this fall. Bear and boar hunting with packs of Plott Hounds, handlers and standers allowed me to be part of a true Appalachian heritage and that has added much to my life as an East Tennessee sportsman. I have learned from and enjoyed meeting and hunting with these new friends. To be honest with you, I don't really want to kill a bear. What I want to do is fulfill a childhood dream to drop a wild boar, a big one. But, if the opportunity arises, and those hound drive a large bear toward me, and I know I have a really good shot, it will happen. This type of hunting is close. Most shots are 50 to 150 feet away. I know that seems different to most people. Like Jim, I am part of this culture though not to the extent he is. I guess that is one reason why we are such good friends.

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  #20  
Old 05-18-2010, 08:29 PM
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I don't know how you guys boar hunt, those things scare me something awful.
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