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Thread: Smoky Mountain Critters

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Maryville
    Posts
    47

    Default Smoky Mountain Critters

    Seriously, I keep hearing about the critters that live in the mountains and in the same breath everyone says do not worry about it they are more scared of you than you should be of them. I have been a nervous wreck every time I have gone up there to fish. What is up there, what do they look like and what level of concern should I have? I love fishing and my family to much to die for a fish. I am just looking for honest answers so I can be prepared for whatever is up there. No Big Foot I hope!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    764

    Default

    bears, deer and turkey mostly. the occasional coyote. elk in certain areas. the bears get me a little uneasy sometimes, but it's pretty rare to encounter one while out fishing. I see them from my car all the time though. saw one today in fact. if you feel uneasy with the idea of a bear encounter, you can get you some bear spray. you'll probably never use it, but it may give you some peace of mind. also, almost everyone agrees there are mountain lions up there, but the park says there is no evidence, or won't admit it. this came up months ago on this board and there were many members who claimed to have personally seen one.

    oh, man, I almost forgot an important one: wild boars. my understanding is that they are pretty dangerous creatures. I've only spotted a boar once, and it was with a baby. the momma wasn't very big.

    oh, another one: be very watchful of snakes. they are everywhere and they usually seem to be right where you're stepping.
    Trevor

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Covington, Louisiana/Cosby, TN
    Posts
    938

    Default

    Of all the animals mentioned, the hogs are probably the most dangerous...btw, there's a report of a huge hog killed down in Alabama; some kid got him, well over 1000 lbs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    irvine ky
    Posts
    451

    Default critters etc.

    I really envy the guy who said on this forum,not long ago,that he had been coming to the park for yearsand had never seen a snake.I think I draw snakes,and if that is not enough,I have Snake-Vision,which is nothing more that a knack at seeing them no matter how camafloged they are.In the past 33 years of coming to the park,I have seen dozens of poisinous snakes.I had 2 close encounters with timber rattlers.In both cases,they were real close and neither rattled.I thought of this as very unethical behavior on the part of the snakes.Maybe they were not rattlesnakes?They were rattlers,I know this cause I still have their rattlers(this was several years ago).In my book,a rattle snake that won't rattle is a very low snake.(These 2 encounters happened in the same area in the same summer).Tremont,Abrams and Straight fork have been very bad to me,as far as happening onto snakes.
    I come to the park each summer full of snake paranoia,My belt is loaded with gear specially designed for the paranoid.I have---Bear Spray,a snake bite kit(which they say not to use),a hunting knife,a leatherman,I would pack a revolver if I could(It would probably be a Ruger Alaskan .454 cal,That baby pops so loud that Byron would get choked on his coffee all the way back at LRO)and last but not least a large cross,cause you are entering a place where rattlesnakes don't rattle,which makes it logical that all those unnamed folks who seem to come to life at nightime,around the Elkmont campground are vampires.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    irvine ky
    Posts
    451

    Default Ps

    Not sure,but,I think Fishpond makes a really nice,tasteful,very 2007'ish vampire kit make up of wooden stakes,and wooden mallet(solid oak) in a handy belt pack,with a large wooden cross in fast-draw holder...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Greeneville, TN
    Posts
    751

    Default Snakes and Such

    Hello Jim,

    The Smokys are a beautiful place, and there are plenty of critters. I guess if your not comfortable in the wild outdoors it may not be the place for you. I have been hiking and fishing in the park, mostly solo for over 15 years on camping/fising trips. I have seen a few bears, a couple pretty close, but I have never had one threaten me. As far as snakes, I have only seen one copperhead, maybe I have been lucky, but sometimes people exaggerate about snakes to scare people off, this will probably get me nailed, but so be it. I am a forester by trade, and worked in the backwoods of Florida and seen some nice rattlers there, maybe I have been lucky in the Smokys, but I am not paranoid about snakes, most times if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. I have seen a couple wild hogs, up by the headwaters of Gunna Creek, but that is it, and I have been to some pretty remote areas. My best advice is to be careful, but don't be too scared in the mountains. At this point I am more worried about breaking a leg or something in a remote area while flyfishing by myself and not being able to reach help. I think the odds of that are higher than being nailed by a bear or a rattler.

    Just be careful, don't go alone, and enjoy the scenery, and don't let people scare you off it is something you really want to experience.

    Enjoy,

    Neal

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    878

    Default

    Well said.

    Gerry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    The Glades
    Posts
    573

    Default

    big foot lives in cataloochie..........a ranger probably glen cardwell, caught him digging roots one day in a downpour and asked the sasquach what he was doing...the critter answered, "Just 'sangin' in the rain".
    I started with nothing, and I have most of it left.
    www.angelfire.com/film/samsfotosafari

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    2,431

    Default

    Don't worry about the animals. Just be watchful and use common sense and you'll be fine. Personally, I worry more about all the crazy drivers around me on my way to the park than I do about anything once I get there. After that, as pineman said, the danger of injuring yourself (slipping off a rock, etc) is much more likely than getting attacked or otherwise injured by a wild animal. Respect the wilderness and the potential it holds, both positive and negative and you'll have a great time...
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Covington, Louisiana/Cosby, TN
    Posts
    938

    Default

    I agree about the drivers...some of them are just plain nuts - it's like they're driving in rush hour at home - also about slipping...got my baptism in that the last time I was up there. I'm glad the water wasn't too high, and that it was April and not February.

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