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Re: Bears on the Trail

>I met a thru-hiker last year while on the trail in PA that told me a
>frightening story:  while in the smokies he slept with a number of other
>people in one of the fenced-in shelters.  In the middle of the night, a
>bear started charging at the gate repeatedly.  It lumbered away and the
>inhabitants thought they were free.  Shortly, however, the inhabitants of
>the shelter heard their bear climbing on the shelter roof- one of those
>thin tin things.  Around sunrise it finally left.
>I don't know how common this is, but I sure wouldn't want it happening to me.
>Matt  Holmes

My "bear" story is on the AT Homepage under the discussion of AT section. In 
short, we had a bear terrorize us at Spence Field this way. I was on a 
week-long hike in the Smokies and arrived to a locked Spence Field Shelter(a 
trail crew had their stuff locked in there) and I had a bear chase me to the 
shelter. About 6 hikers were already there, on top of the shelter since they 
couldn't get in. I threw my pack up and was hauled to the top by these 
hikers, just in time. The bear stayed around until the trail crew(locals) 
returned. They shot the bear in the behind with a slingshot, driving it away 
temporarily. It came back several times while we were cooking dinner and the 
good ole boys kept plunking it until it finally stayed away. 

I found out later that this was a "problem" bear that was moved to the 
backcountry from Elkmont Campground. 

Pete Fornof