• 68°

East Tennessee Outdoors… News for the week of July 29, 2020

BY DANNY BLEVINS

STAR CORRESPONDENT

It has been an interesting and tragic week, but we do hope all is well with all of our readers. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency had a busy week with a drowning death in Watauga Lake and with an up close and personal black bear encounter.

Overall, the weather is hot and the fish are still biting so get out and enjoy some time in the outdoors.

Black Bear Encounter

One man got the surprise of his life a few days ago. The man was working on a house as a carpenter when he turned to notice a giant black bear a few feet from him.

He, along with his working companion, froze and watched as the 400-pound beast mocked charged them stopping about ten feet from both of them.

The men made some noise and were saved when one of them hit a truck alarm button that caused the bear to turn and run away.

The TWRA reminds everyone who is outdoors this time of year that bears are fattening up before winter and they are very active.

Also, they want the public to remember that a bear’s action will usually tell you what they are about to do next.

A bear may fake a charge or slap the ground with his or her paw and this is a bear’s way of telling us as humans to back away and leave them alone.

If a bear only watches you and stays where he or she is, a person can back away and make plenty of noise. This is our way of telling the bear we are giving them plenty of room.

The man and his companion in the above sighting handled the situation perfectly, making a surprised noise that spooked the bear and scared it back into the woods.

Watauga Lake Drowning

A man drowned over the weekend while boating at Watauga Lake. According to the TWRA, the man was boating with several other individuals when a dog in their boat jumped overboard.

The man volunteered to jump out and save the dog.

According to witnesses, as soon as he jumped, he got into trouble and had to be saved by a pontoon boat that was nearby. The individuals in the pontoon boat tried to give the man mouth to mouth resuscitation but could not bring him back.

Hiker Saved

On Monday individuals from the Carter County Rescue Squad had to rescue an individual who had become injured on the Appalachian Trail.

According to reports the hiker was complaining of overheating and not feeling well. The hiker was hiking on the trail between Walnut Mountain and Buck Mountain.

65 Tennessee Counties Ban Importing of Firewood

Two more counties have been added to the list of Tennessee counties that have a quarantine on firewood.

Hickman and Dickenson Counties, counties just west of Nashville, were added to this list last week because of the presence of the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle.

This beetle bores down into the wood and kills the wood. Campers then inadvertently take that firewood to another county during hiking, camping, and fishing trips, and it infests the trees in that county.

The Department of Agriculture wants to remind all the counties east of Hickman County that they have quarantined all firewood to the county it was harvested.

When camping, do not take any firewood from county to county, but you can burn firewood in the county it was cut.

The Department of Agriculture hopes to contain the spread of this beetle and eventually kill it out.

Have a safe week outdoors.

Try to avoid the heat and drink plenty of liquids. God bless and happy fishing!