Bears, and Bears, and Bears, OH MY!

The sun has come out (FINALLY!), so let the summer fun begin. Memorial Day weekend brought the smell of campfires filling the air at Tremont, one of my favorite scents. Just this week, we are beginning to see the transition from fisherman to tubers on the Little River. The spring wildflowers have given way to a veritable jungle of green canopy that fills the National Park. But one of the biggest buzz words of this season is Bear.
If you have driven the loop of Cades Cove in years past with the hopes of getting a good look at a black bear, this should be the year that you will not be disappointed. After spending a good deal of time driving the 11 mile loop around Cades Cove in search of the “perfect bear cub photograph”, we have discovered that it’s true, you will be hard pressed to make this trip without spotting at least one bear. Many people that we talked to on our travels have seen 10-15 bears in one day. We know there is at least one sow with three cubs and one sow with two cubs in the Cove. One lady we spoke to on several occasions actually had on video one of the sows nursing her cubs up close and personal. Unfortunately, we were not there to get the photograph!
While you might see the bears at anytime during the day, to avoid the traffic and have the potential to see more bears, it’s best to go early in the morning or late in the day when it is cooler and the bears will be out feeding.  Be sure to follow the directions from the rangers and the volunteers who are there for your safety and the safety of the animals.  The rule in the National Park is that there should always be 50 yards between you and the bears.  If you hang back and don’t intrude their environment, they will be more likely to act naturally in your presence.  Things like clapping and flash from point and shoot cameras in their faces, will surely drive them into the woods.
Of course, if you are staying at Tremont, you are only 7 miles from Cades Cove, so being there early or late to get the best views of the animals is no problem.
Stay tuned for the bear pictures. We have a few, but we’re still on the hunt for “the shot”. So, when we get it, we’ll share it with you! Or, if you beat us to it, we would love for you to share yours with us. Just visit our page on facebook and upload your photos.

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