We have lots of black bears around here in East Tennessee, and we respect them. Any visitor coming to our area should do the same. Y'all would not believe the morons who come here and try to feed the bears! What idiots! Never leave food out, never feed the bears, and never get too close. You will be attacked.
We also have lots of snakes. I can't hear the sound of the timber rattlesnake and that makes me extra cautious. My least favorite snake is the copperhead. They are aggressive and will come after you. The most common medical problem treated here in the Smoky Mountains is the sting from the yellow jacket. they make their nests in the ground, and if you step on a nest, you had better be able to run fast.
One night our friend, Stickly (Yep, that is his real name), Trixie, and I were sitting around our campfire here by the bunkhouse telling stories. Somehow, the the topic of scary things that happened to us came up. Stickly said a few years back, he was fly fishing in the Little River out in the mountains. When he tried to come up the bank and go to his truck, he pushed his hands right into a nest of yellow jackets. They chased him and stung him from head to toe.
Trixie and I agreed that was pretty scary. She told us about the time when she finished bush hogging and general cleanup in our yard and pasture. She said she was sittin' on a stump when our dog, 'Two-Bit', kept yelping at a piece of plywood lying on the ground over by the fence. Trixie knew something wasn't right. She lifted the piece of wood with a hoe and had quite the shock! Under it was a bed of copperheads! She went to the bunkhouse and returned with the twelve gauge and shot all of 'em cold, stone dead.
Stickly and I agreed that was pretty scary. I told them about me doing something real stupid. I had been hiking alone in the mountains and came up on a bear cub. The mother was nowhere to be seen, but I knew she was around around. I turned to leave and there she was. I was caught between the mother and the cub!
"What happened?" asked Stickly.
I proceeded to demonstrate. I stood next to our campfire, arched my back, raised my arms and gave out an 'arrrr'! It was just like the mother growling at me while standing on her two hind legs. Stickly says that was pretty scary.
I satback down and he asked what happened.
I responded, "I messed my pants."
"I think I would have also," he said.
"No, I mean just a minute ago when I stood and went 'arrrr!'