Well we were in the Smokies a bit less than one week and saw a BIG black bear in Cades Cove, after hiking out of Abrams Falls... I probably have a picture of that somewhere, if you bug me...drlogik wrote:Funny, in my 30 plus years of backpacking and fishing the Smokies I've not once seen a bear.
Funny thing... just had this discussion with another outdoor buddy about a week ago... 25 years ago, I don't recall seeing any wild turkeys in the Catskills... now I chase them out of my wife's garden in the back of the house... 15 years ago, bald eagles were rare... now I see them on a regular basis and am always in awe everytime I see one... 10 years ago, I didn't encounter that many black bears here in the Catskills... now every year I stumble upon 2 or 3 while fishing... mostly they run the other way when we "scare each other"... and mostly I make sure I don't happen upon a cub by myself, which I did once on the upper Neversink, 2 years ago... I paused my fishing to fiddle with my leader, change a fly... than I sensed another living thing near me... so I looked up and across a small trib, some 15-20 feet away, quickly observed a small black object... at first I thought, oh, a cute little black cat... than I realized, I was by myself in the middle of no where, not a cute little black cat Ed.... so I looked again, a small black bear cub, maybe 20-30 pounds - not a good judge of black bear weight... at that point I thought about reaching for my digital camera - with flash - down the front of my waders to snap a picture or two... than, common sense set in... as it was all wooded about the bear and me, I had no idea where mama bear was... so I slowly pulled my hand up from my waders and started to back up... as I moved, I startled the little cub and it scurried up the cobble bank in the opposite direction... I relocated about 200 yards upstream and kept fishing, never to see another black bear that day...
I often wished that I had snapped a picture or two of that cub, but than maybe this story would have a far different outcome... Every year I do take several pictures of black bears that I have encountered while fishing, and most of them thus far just depict their hide corners moving away from me... all true - stack of bibles, pictures on demand..