Skip to comments.Bear kills 6-year-old girl in Tennessee
Posted on 04/14/2006 4:28:47 AM PDT by Liberty Valance
BENTON, Tenn. - A bear attacked a family at a camp site in the Cherokee National Forest on Thursday, killing a 6-year-old girl and injuring her 2-year-old brother and mother, authorities said.
The attack took place near a pool of water on Chilhowee Mountain, said Dan Hicks, spokesman for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Witnesses described the bear picking up the boy in its mouth while the mother and other visitors tried to fend it off with sticks and rocks, Hicks said. The mother was injured before the bear was chased away.
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Honestly, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often. When I've been in the park, I've seen idiots chasing a cub for a better picture. News flash, if there's a cub, Mama Bear will be somewhere nearby & she ain't gonna be happy. She can run faster than you, and she can climb trees, too. Visitors come into bear territory acting as if they're in a friggin' Disney movie. These ARE NOT tame, trained bears!
That happened just a few miles from me. We've been listening to it on the scanner. I've spent many hours in that forest. Most black bears here are timid. Somebody shot this one but it ran off so they are tracking it. Bear attacks here are extremely rare but we have a lot of bears. They don't hibernate here and are fairly active most of the year. We have one that hangs out on our farm and I've seen it a few times from horseback. It's peaceful and hasn't been aggressive.
I can't imagine trying to save one child and end up having the other one killed.
They haven't mentioned cubs on the scanner yet but odds are she did have some. Most aren't aggressive unless they have cubs, like you said. I think they said on the scanner that the victims were from Ohio but I'm not sure.
I ride mountain bikes in the People's Republic of New Jersey and we have plenty of bears here. I have been within 20 feet of a bear -- shocked the hell out of both of us. The bears usually run away about 200 feet and turn to look to see what you are going to do. The answer is -- back away slowly and make noise.
It is kind of scary to be that close to something that could easily kill you with just one swat. They are both magnificent and clumsy creatures. I feel terrible for these people.
I agree. This would be a nightmare for me to relive everyday for quite some time. Based on the article, the boy is in critical condition. I pray he hangs on.
Poor little kid. May she rest in peace.
Guns are legal in the NF to bad more people don't carry. But a lot of people have brought into the idea that guns are bad and bears are nice.
I am sure the mother wished now she would have been armed and knew how to shoot.
Any gun is better then your fists.
"Any gun is better then your fists."
Our forefathers would never understand what restrictions the Government has placed on our "FREE" citizens even to being able to protect themselves from criminals and wild predators such as the north American black - brown bear and mountain lions which recently killed those bike riders in California.
I've been thinking about this too (because our family members all have CC). The difficulty would be trying to get a clean shot (or several) to the bear without risk of hitting the child. I would imagine that this situation happened too fast and somewhat frenzied. It may have been a tough call for even a well armed, skilled marksman.
Guns are legal in National Forests? Good to know.
Amzaing that people sit themselves down in the middle of wild animals' feeding grounds and expect nothing to happen.
Sticks & rocks. All because it's illegal to carry a firearm in a national park. Not that it would have saved this poor little girl, but it would of,at least, afforded her a chance.
Black bears will usually shy away from humans unless you block their path to their cubs or their food source. I've been hiking when a black bear came out of the forest and started walking right toward me on the path. It was obvious it didn't see me, their eyesight isn't the best. I stepped off the path and onto a sawed off tree trunk and raised my arms to make myself look bigger.
The bear kept coming and got about 25 yards away, then lifted its nose and starting sniffing. As soon as it got a whiff of me, it turned and darted back into the woods as fast as it could go.
It was neat to see a bear that close and they seem harmless while they're just ambling along, but they are not. Always be careful and know the drill when in bear country. Whatever you do, don't take off and run unless you are very, very close to shelter. They will give chase. Maybe that's what the kids did.
"CC and don't leave home without it"
Per 36CFR2.4, you must have the firearm unloaded, cased and inaccessible while on NPS property.
A lot of good it would have done in this case.
Do you have the information to back up that it is LEGAL to carry in Nation Forests?
"would imagine that this situation happened too fast and somewhat frenzied. It may have been a tough call for even a well armed, skilled marksman."
This is not a long range moment..you get as close as you can and shoot hitting a bear with sticks means they were very close to it ..but more likely they would have been able to chase the bear off with just a warning shot prior to the attack.
You nailed it.
See post #19.
National Forest is part of the Forest Service, not the National Park System. Controlled by the USDA I beleive. Their conditions for carry track along with state CCW laws in most instances. National Parks, forget it.
For Parks, the federal law is a prohibition for weapons, except for a few specific cases. Also, individual parks may allow it for certain areas, designated ranges, hunting, etc.
Possession or use of firearms or other weapons in all National Park System (NPS) areas is prohibited (except as otherwise provided in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36 parts 7 (special regulations) and 13 (Alaska regulations). With rare exception (such as times when controlled hunting is allowed) weapons are to be dismantled completely and cased while visiting in NPS areas in the United States. In order to transport weapons through NPS areas they must be dismantled and adequately cased or packed in such a way as to prevent their use. Loaded weapons are subject to confiscation by park authorities.
Please contact the Chief Ranger or Superintendent of the park(s) you will be visiting for additional information concerning weapons, traps and nets.
Following is a reprint from the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36 - Parks, Forests, and Public Property. It is Section 2.4 Weapons, Traps and Nets.
Code of Federal Regulations Title 36, Volume 1, Parts 1 to 199 [Revised as of July 1, 1998] From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access [CITE: 36CFR2.4] [Page 19-20] TITLE 36--PARKS, FORESTS, AND PUBLIC PROPERTY
How horrible.......we live in Gwinnett county outside of Atlanta and there have been three sightings of black bears within the past month. One in a park that we walk our dog in every day....another in the parking lot of the hospital and the last was hit by a car. They believe the sightings were three different bears based on when they were spotted.
Frankly being a little old lady who would most likely have a heart attack if I ever saw one I have made my walks in the park very short!! But I do feel bad that these bears are leaving their natural habitat and coming to visit us in a very overcrowded county. One actually was seen a year ago in Atlanta and was eventually killed by a car.
So what do you suggest I do.....stay out of the parks? I just wonder how long they stay in one location...we usually walk the trails through the woods.
If I'm going into an NP that is more like a NF, I'll still carry. Bears don't care if it's an NP or NF.
LOL. Ain't that the truth!
This is from a US Forest Service site:
"Rules on Firearms
What are the laws concerning carrying firearms on National Forest Land?
First, the primary laws governing possession of firearms and other weapons on National Forest are State Laws. These laws were developed by the states following establishment of our Cooperative Wildlife Management Agreements. Most notable of the state laws concerns controlling firearms on the National Forest are cased gun laws.
Cased Gun Laws: As the name implies, this law requires that all firearms on National Forest be unloaded and kept in a case. Virginia and West Virginia have similar cased gun laws. In order to allow hunting, these laws make an exception.
It is legal to have loaded firearms on National Forest during the authorized general firearms and muzzle loading gun seasons for bear, deer, grouse, pheasant, quail, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel, turkey, or waterfowl. This exception is very specific and applies only during the period when it is legal to take these listed species and doesnt include carrying the loaded weapons in a vehicle.
Because hunting on Sunday is prohibited, carrying a loaded gun on National Forest is not legal on Sunday even if it is the Sunday in the middle of the general firearms deer season.
The second exception to this law allows people with a concealed weapon permit to carry a loaded, concealed, handgun either on their person or in their vehicle while on National Forest. This does not apply if the person is engaged in a primitive weapons season or chase only season.
Concealed handguns may be in the possession of hunters during the archery and muzzleloading seasons when they also possess a valid concealed handgun permit. Such handguns may not be used to shoot wild animals during these seasons.
Discharging a firearm, crossbow, or bow and arrow in or across a road or within the right-of-way of any road is prohibited by both State and Federal Law.
Any person convicted of a felony may not legally possess firearms on National Forest.
Arming yourself is a good thing to do, but carrying a portable radio is another alternative as it alerts the bears to your presence and allows them time to get out of the area.
Most attacks happen when bears are surprised or a female has cubs and you get too close.
Nothing more vicious than a mama bear with babies!
I guess that sort of settles the discussion. LOL!
The bear ranges at least fifty miles a day. He may be in the park one day and gone the same day. Of course, he might NOT be in the park one day and be IN it the same day. They really travel.
As I suspected and knew..can't legally cary in NF and NP..
but hey can't legally cross the US BORDER and well millions do it every year..Guess I'll just obey the laws I agree with and ignore those I do not.
Heh, out of the first 5 or so, how many do you actually think were done because of proctection of cubs?
Grannyheart, we live in Gwinnett too (Duluth). I have we've seen a number of large deer-- including some big bucks-- around our subdivision. If they feel comfortable there, the bear are probably close by.
Most people around here always have a sidearm when outside, for troublesome bear. Keep a clean place and usually never have problems. Dogfood, old salmon hanging, garbage outside really brings then in. Cardinal rule is when you see the same bear around your house the second time, you just shoot it; otherwise it'll be breaking in soon enough. Hasn't been anyone mauled for 20 years around here, but know two local older guys that have big scars from bear attacks many years ago.
Perhaps you should read post 36..as for a poor shot well 8 rounds of .45 at close range does tend to remove most pests.
We used to haul our horses to the Cherokee National Forest to ride the mountain trails and roads. I always carried my pistol in a holster attached to the saddle horn. One day I became separated from the rest of the family and encountered a jeep full of rowdy drunks. They considered harrassing me until they saw the pistol on the saddle. They left. Well, along came a park ranger. He was concerned that I was that far back in the mountains on horseback alone. I explained that the rest of the family was up there somewhere and he noticed the pistol. He didn't say a word about it but his face changed. He wished me a nice day and told me to try to catch up to the rest. He never mentioned the gun. I guess he figured a female alone on horseback in the mountains needed all the help she could get. LOL I often rode alone and ALWAYS carried the gun and a self-defense knife strapped to my leg, inside my pants leg. I didn't have a carry permit at that time but TN is usually pretty cool when it comes to self-defense, especially when it's a woman alone. They use a little common sense. I have had a permit for five years and always carry when I'm alone.
I grew up in these mountains and personally it's not the wildlife such as bears that worry me. All that I've ever encountered, with the exception of wild hogs, were very shy. It's the two-legged predators that I worry most about.
You read it wrong. You can carry concealed handguns in NF land, according the the state laws for concealed carry.
You can carry loaded rifles if hunting and according to the season.
National Forest land is not Park.
All this tough guy talk is missing the point. Not every parent is gonna be armed to the teeth while enjoying camping with their little kids. Some do, some dont, but nothing was preventing these people from doing so. These kind of attacks are so rare as to be unheard of. She didn't expect this would happen. And it did. And that's really a tragedy.
Go to the gym, granny.
"But I do feel bad that these bears are leaving their natural habitat and coming to visit us in a very overcrowded county."
I think you have this concept reversed.
"These kind of attacks are so rare as to be unheard of. She didn't expect this would happen. And it did. And that's really a tragedy."
I know what you are saying but I can't help laughing..when you say it is rare ..well how often have you been in a auto accident?? from an old boy scout..be prepared. Today we have many who show no respect for old Ma Nature..taking your family into the wilderness should not be done lightly.
but you and some others here will not agree..just as those who fear an Armed citizen your point of view is set and very very wrong.
We ride most of the time in State Forest land here in WA and it's legal to carry. I have carried, but don't always. Like you, I've been more concerned about the possibility of coming up on a meth lab than a wild animal problem. I've seen bears twice, black bears, and while it's a rush, it's not considered an immediate threat usually. This attack is a pretty unusual event.
"Go to the gym, granny"
We have joined Gold's Gym and just waiting for it to open the middle of May.....now if I can just get my dog trained to walk the treadmill we would be in good shape.
>>Cardinal rule is when you see the same bear around your house the second time, you just shoot it; otherwise it'll be breaking in soon enough.
And there's the problem, right there. In the locales primarily under discussion in this thread, you put your freedom at risk if you so act.
We've become a nation on Bambists.