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  1. #41
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    I know it's a very rare occurrence but I think a rabid animal should be on every hikers situational awareness radar.
    Not fear just aware!

    You know when you see a nocturnal animal during daylight .
    And is not afraid of you or comes towards well do what you have to of course. Main thing probably is get your pack between you and it.

    And survive!!

    I was sitting in camp one day and this big fox came trotting up the hill straight at me ,got about 10' away looked up and noticed me and darted the other way.
    I already had my pack for some protection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoaknWet View Post
    I ran into to my wife once, that was enough wild life for me. Got grounded for a week!
    Ha,ha that's funny!

    According to Google there are some 25 species of wild life that mate for life, besides us humans which everybody knows we don't do that well statically speaking.
    Some are the :

    Seahorse
    Swans
    Gray fox
    Gibbons
    Lovebirds
    Old field mice
    Atlantic puffins
    Coyotes
    Dik-diks
    Bald eagles
    Albatross
    Penguin

    But it goes on to say cheating is rampant amongst most.
    And some animals will get jealous and attack like the Alpha Wolf will attack other wolfs that have slept with their mate.

    Nope we are all not that different at all.

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    Any hikers out there seen elk in the smokies?

    All elk were gone by 1900.

    Reintroduction to elk began in 2001 , 25 elk were brought from the land between the lakes National Recreational area along the Tennessee-Kentucky border. 2002 the park imported another 27 elk.

    Apparently most are located in the cataloochee area. SE section of GSMNP.

    2019, 200 elk wear tags/radio collars thrive in the GSMNP.

    They are Manitoban elk, bulls can weigh up to 700 lbs and cows 500 lbs .

    Much bigger than a black bear.

  4. #44

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    I have seen Elk on i40 close to newport.
    on 441 outside cherokee
    and in cataloochee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I have seen Elk on i40 close to newport.
    on 441 outside cherokee
    and in cataloochee
    Yup, lots of elk in Cataloochee.

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    8FCD9495-5EAB-4395-B2C0-1338A6C7C591.jpg
    Elk at Cataloochee.
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    Alright someone throw another log on the fire this is good stuff!!

    That's one very large animal demands alot of space trotting through the woods. Like a moose tall and very wide with all that horn ,busting through all them branches and small trees!

    So excuse my ignorance but are these elk along hiking trails?
    I've never heard of a AT hiker talk about elk. And I haven't hiked that far south yet. And really I don't remember elk discussing here.

    So are the elk like deer,moose and able if they want to come right into camp in the middle of the night and say take a bite out of your tent? Or come in like illabelle's moose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Alright someone throw another log on the fire this is good stuff!!

    That's one very large animal demands alot of space trotting through the woods. Like a moose tall and very wide with all that horn ,busting through all them branches and small trees!

    So excuse my ignorance but are these elk along hiking trails?
    I've never heard of a AT hiker talk about elk. And I haven't hiked that far south yet. And really I don't remember elk discussing here.

    So are the elk like deer,moose and able if they want to come right into camp in the middle of the night and say take a bite out of your tent? Or come in like illabelle's moose.
    I'm sure there are others better informed than me, but for starters here's what I understand:

    Unlike the moose and deer that are widely distributed over a large geographic area, the elk (at least in the Smokies) are a re-introduced species. As such, their territory is more limited. The herd appears to be doing well, but I'm unaware that they have expanded throughout the Park, or into other regions. Perhaps if a few more herds are established elsewhere, and then give it another 50 years or so???

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Any hikers out there seen elk in the smokies?
    I see elk pretty often along Heintooga Ridge Road heading into the SE corner of the park. I have yet to see any bulls but I guess that means I just need to spend more time up there. I was hanging out on Little Bald Knob (just off the Hemphill Bald trail) one day and three cows came into the bald grazing. I respected the parks guidelines and took pictures from a distance, but I am guessing the elk aren't too concerned with rules. One of them came grazing within 15 feet of me at one point. They are truly impressive creatures and would love to see a big bull out in the woods.


    Elk on W4C/CM-013 - Little Bald Knob by Patrick Harris, on Flickr

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    I hate it, but most of my wildlife encounters are over before I can even get my camera out. One of my scariest encounters was many years ago when I was coming down the Thomas Divide trail in the Smokies right at dusk. I came down into a gap and saw a bunch of cute little wild piglets off on one side of the trail. Wondered where mama was at and there were two mamas on the opposite side of the trail. They did not seem very happy with me and I slowly backed up the trail and let them get their little family moving.
    Here's a few sightings from along the AT.
    I came across this guy laying across the AT in north Georgia.

    Timber Rattler on the AT Between Two Summits
    by Patrick Harris, on Flickr

    Another Jake No Shoulders hiking off-trail (actually old AT footbed) north of Unaka Mtn

    P1030531 by Patrick Harris, on Flickr

    Don't know if this technically counts since it was on the way home from a day hike on the AT, but this is the only picture of a bobcat that I have ever managed to take.


    Bobcat sighting on the way home by Patrick Harris, on Flickr

    South of Hughes Gap on the AT

    Salamander on the trail to Salamander on the trail to W4T/SU-015 - Little Rock Knob by Patrick Harris, on Flickr

    Of course, the ponies of Grayson Highlands

    Wild Pony by Patrick Harris, on Flickr

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    I had 2 moose sightings in ME and believe it or not one a few months ago in CT on the MA border in East Hartland I had my 3rd. A few miles before heading into the 100 mile wilderness I was looking out across a large pond (would be called a lake around here) and it looked like some big branch floating. Before I moved on I did a second take and the branch looked to be moving, then I'm thinking that actually looks like the head of a moose. Sure as **** it was, that moose swam right across the huge freezing pond and I took a video of it, near the end of the video the moose looks at me. The trail followed the pond where he was going so I walked up the trail some more and got a video of him crossing the trail and heading out in the woods. I was almost closer then I wanted to be as I heard it splashing out of the water/crashing through vegetation and then saw the beast.
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    Very cool smkymtns, of course any and all bobcat pics welcome.
    Outside a zoo that is i know how some of y'all are. Looks like that bobcat is ready to stick his or her paw out for a ride into town.

    I've heard bobcat and Coyotes but haven't gotten to see one yet.

    There are lots of trails around the world and lots of different animals. We have gaiters and pythons south and moose and porcupine north, east coast.

    I seen this video, this young lady was hiking the CDT and her tent didn't have the inner mesh open tarp like and one morning she was wrapping up the air mattress and found a scorpion under her!! She just chuckled, laughed it off and kept going. I'd been freaking out!

    And I've seen shug on superior hiking trails and video wolf scat. He just told a story the other day about a timber wolf crossing a creek he got to witness.

    So anyone else from anywhere in the world like to share a wild life story?
    Last edited by JNI64; 12-20-2020 at 15:55.

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    Elk were native to Virginia in colonial times. Imagine hiking the AT and hearing elk bugling. How cool would that be?
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    So excuse my ignorance but are these elk along hiking trails?
    I've never heard of a AT hiker talk about elk. And I haven't hiked that far south yet. And really I don't remember elk discussing here.

    So are the elk like deer,moose and able if they want to come right into camp in the middle of the night and say take a bite out of your tent? Or come in like illabelle's moose.




    the elk were re-introduced to the cataloochee valley in 2000...

    there was going to be another set of elk to be brought in, but the first set was so successful that they decide not
    to do it......

    they have slowly made their way to other parts of the Park-----most notably ocunaluftee.....

    eventually, they will spread further....



    they ones in the valley are kinda tame...

    they will come up and check things out...


    at CS 39, on the hike in----i passed through where a bunch were laying down and walking around...

    i set up my tent and one came about 300 feet from me and just laid down and was checking me out....

    i took an afternoon nap, and i could hear something walking up to me and around the tent...

    opened my eyes and the elk was standing right at the corner of my tent.....


    after i got out, it shuffled away for a second, then when i was sitting on log reading, it came up
    and eat the leaves off a bush that was maybe 30 feet from me....

    just eating leaves and checking me out....

  15. #55

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    I was camped outside of Jasper, Alberta and woke up to a small herd of Elk milling around my tent.

    Hiking along a narrow trail in Yellowstone, looked up just in time to see the butt end of a buffalo blocking the trail! I decided it was best to crash through the brush to go around him, rather then kicking him in the butt hoping he'd move along.

    My favorite is this little guy on Mt Tom in Crawford notch.
    (Pine Marten)
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    Yes best to leave that buffalo butt be slo, wise choice!

    That Pine Marten is my favorite! What a great photo!

    Look at her with that lil bit of snow on her nose, big black whiskers, little black eyes and big Bushey tail.

    One of natures best gifts....

    Now if I can only find me a female hiking partner that cute and wild .......

  17. #57

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    I hike in Yellowstone regularly. There are a few areas I won’t hike in, in August, because the bison are in rut. They are nuts at that time, and it’s just not worth it, so I pick a different area of the park. I’d love to be hiking in the Smokys and hear the elk bugle. In the fall, there are places around here that I go to just so I do hear them, especially in the middle of the night, when it’s quiet. I’ve had black bears show up at shelters in the Smokys, and once at camp in Yellowstone. Fortunately, when I told the bear I had a permit for the site for the night, he ambled off. I had my bear spray in hand while I spoke to him. I’ve had pine martens scamper through camp, watched badgers dig, walked upon and passed a baby antelope while the mother watched intently from afar. I’ve had to wait to get my food down from the food pole because a bison was grazing under the food pole. At another camp, I just left because a bison was giving me dirty looks. Don’t ask me to describe bison-dirty-looks, you know it when you see it. I’ve looked at tracks on the trail for miles, considering whether I was looking at wolf tracks or cougar tracks (decided wolf). I’ve been startled awake in the night by coyotes yipping, elk bugling, and amazed at how far wolf howls carry, again, at night. In marshy areas, I look for moose, though they are more likely in the nearby Bighorn Mountains, where I’ve had them innocently wander through camp. I’ve watched coyotes parallel me as I hike. I constantly yell, so I don’t surprise any wildlife, and am often amazed at how much wildlife sticks up it’s head, apparently to see what or who is making all the racket. I carry bear spray and hope. I go slow. I see things. It’s pretty awesome.

  18. #58

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    Had a similar bear experience in the Smokys back in 2014. I was walking along through a rhododendron tunnel when I heard a scuffling on my right on the other side of the bushes. Didnít think much of it until I came out of the tunnel into the opening.

    A bear was walking parallel to me on the opposite side of the bushes. When the bushes ended we saw each other and both jumped to high heaven. I never saw an animal run so fast.


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