Thanksgiving in the Smokies

okiekev

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Got to spend the week with my family in the Smokies this week. After Dollywood and all the wonder that Gatlinburg has to offer for the kids, I got to get out with my dad and do a little fishing. Really liked how this shot of my dad turned out.
Nikon D750
Sigma Art 55
 
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okiekev

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Nice photo! I’d love to see Dollywood (someday)...
Thank you! Dollywood is a good time with the kids, and if you like roller coasters, it is fun. I would try to avoid a crowded day... such as any day around Thanksgiving! Haha!
 

Ard

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Nice,

I'm sure he'll appreciate the photo, it's hard to find a picture of yourself that looks good and that one looks good.
 

smoke33

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Thank you! Dollywood is a good time with the kids, and if you like roller coasters, it is fun. I would try to avoid a crowded day... such as any day around Thanksgiving! Haha!

Did you stop by the Forged in Fire contestant? We absolutely love Gatlinburg!!!



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ia_trouter

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Okie that's a great pic of Dad. I've been to Gatlinburg only once. I attended a long classic pickup truck show in nearby Pigeon Forge. I dumped wifey and the kid off at Dollywood and GB for a day. It's such a beuatiful area but before my fly fishing days. I'd like to get back there. Smoke's pic is cool as well. It is what I imagine a Smokey MT stream to look like, in a wide spot anyway. :)
 

okiekev

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We didn’t get to see the forged in fire guy but that is a really cool show. We did Dollywood, the Titanic museum, the mountain coasters, Titanic, the Pirate dinner show, downtown Gatlinburg, and so much more. It was a great time but wears me out just thinking about it all.

The fishing was slow, we got some rain so the streams were high and fast limiting the areas we could fish. We will definitely go back sometime.
 

spm

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Great photo of your father. It's a great photo on its own; could be the cover of Fly Fishing Magazine.

Glad you could get away with your father.

steve
 

okiekev

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Great photo of your father. It's a great photo on its own; could be the cover of Fly Fishing Magazine.

Glad you could get away with your father.

steve
Thank you for the complement. He still usually beats me pretty bad on the stream. Good times together.
 

The Mad Duck

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Next time you get over that way, check out Cades Cove. Some very cool old architecture and LOTS of wildlife. Deer Bear and Turkeys EVERYWHERE. Take your camera.
 

okiekev

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Next time you get over that way, check out Cades Cove. Some very cool old architecture and LOTS of wildlife. Deer Bear and Turkeys EVERYWHERE. Take your camera.
We were going to get over that way, but the park was so incredibly crowded I didn’t think it would be worth it. Every pull off and parking lot was overflowing! I will take your advice next time as we would love to see some bears.
 

The Mad Duck

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If you ever get to the NE end of NC, I can put you on a place that is loaded up with bears. I have seen ass many as 26 in one day.
 

okiekev

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If you ever get to the NE end of NC, I can put you on a place that is loaded up with bears. I have seen ass many as 26 in one day.
I will take you up on that! Maybe we can wet a line as well. I just added a couple of sales people in NC to my team and will be spending some time up there.

Random question... a friend of mine who lives in Knoxville and I were discussing bear hibernation in the smokies. I read they will hibernate up in hollow trees, is this true? And when is their typical hibernation season in that area?
 

The Mad Duck

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In the area where I go to photograph, the bears do not hibernate all winter. During cold snaps, they might den up for a day or two. There is ample food at this refuge where they can forage all winter and not need to hibernate. In areas close to this refuge, the bears can get REALLY big. As a matter of fact, this area has the highest concentration and the largest Black Bears in the lower 48. The state record is 880 Lbs. The bears that get really big have figured out how to get in the slaughter bins at local hog farms and eat the stuff that doesn't get used. Between all the food at the refuges and the hog farms, these bears can get big. We see bears at this refuge all year long and in the spring, we see a lot of moms with cubs. You can get really close to the bears assuming they don't have cubs with them, then we just hang a bigger lens on the camera and move back a bit.
I saw a bear 3 years ago that walked through a waterfowl impoundment and never got its belly wet.
I found this last weekend and am pretty sure its a den. I watched it for about an hour and nothing ever came or went. I'll be keeping an eye on it over the next several months.

KRB20038 1.jpg

As far as hibernating in tree cavities, I imagine they do,but have never seen one do that
 

okiekev

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Holy **** that is a huge bear! You have supported my thoughts on hibernation, I would think it is more of a slowing of bodily processes and metabolism. I always thought bears in relatively warm climates such as this area would function more as a cold blooded creature.

I will be honest, after your story of the 800 pound bear, I might be a little hesitant to peak into that hole...
 

The Mad Duck

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Oh, I'm not going to walk up to the den hole and stick my head in. I'll stay a hundred yards away with a big lens. The bears there are pretty docile, but wouldn't want to get too close to one that was waking up from a nap, or with cubs in tow. I have been within 15 yards of several bears over the years. They hardly pay attention to people. They are more interested in getting back their food.
They forage at night and go back to wherever it is that they go just after sunrise, then up again to forage about 9:30-10:00am. We see them up and about most of the day, but, some times are better than others. I have some photos of some of the bears I've seen over the years. I'll see about posting a couple.
 
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