We have encountered bears twice while riding in Cades Cove...one riding Christian Cemetary in Big South Fork...that one we never saw...just heard it as it was in front of us. One was a sow with cubs...the other two, well, I'm not sure. My husband spent a few years in Montana, so we saw bear there as well, but not on horseback. Every bear I have ever encountered only had one thing in mind...getting out of site and putting as much distance between it and me as possible. If you do encounter a bear who does not retreat, they say not to turn your back and ease away slowly. Funny, I have a hard time with a visual on that one being horseback. I can tell you the bears my horse actually saw did not rattle him but the one that was on the trail ahead of us really had him spooked.
We have seen our share of hunters in the fall. They are very common along the lower trail at Cordell Hull...mostly in tree stands. The horses never seem to mind. I have a set of hunter orange saddle bags I use during hunting season and always choose bright clothing.
Hi Vicki, thanks for the info on the bears, Pretty much that's what you do when you encounter a rattlesnake also. Pepper spray I heard is also something you should carry when you are riding. Yes I will wear bright clothing for the hunters. Robin.
Yes Vicki, I have had 3 rattlesnake encounters in Ocala, Florida. I galloped over one sunning itself by accident, came upon a mother and her babies, the horses saw it (as it made a loud rattle) she coiled up and hissed, we took the horses WAY wide of her slowly as the horses never took their eyes off them and another time the horse in front of me stopped to take a dump, I heard a rattling noise and looked over to see the biggest SOB of a snake coiled up and ready to strike about 7 feet away when I alerted my friend to GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE FAST!
Oh yea, I have met them several times in the woods and when i come up on them. I start talking to my horse rubbing his neck. then I start whistling and trying to maintain a feeling of bravery. I walk pass them really slow, looking directly in their eyes, never taking my eyes off them and just keep moving foward at the same pace.
i have not had a problem with Snakes or Bears.......just the hunters
if you want to see rattlesnakes, look at the pictures I added. it will make your skin crawl.
My worst fear.. and not knowing what to do. I did encounter a Rattle snake on the trail.. in New Mexico, after someone that lived there told me they never saw them...I was only there a week and saw one. It was sleeping in the trail under the shade of some brush.. it never moved.. we gave it a wide berth and went around. I turned around in the saddle after passed to take a picture and the thought passed my mind of the horse bolting and leaving me face up in front of the rattler!! omg.
Big chuckle on the sign.. had me going and intently reading.