Bear at Gatlinburg motel

Discussion in 'CCW & Open Carry' started by Edknn, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. Edknn

    Edknn Supporting Member


    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    That's why I have carry insurance. "I was in fear for my life, the bear was attacking me." Then shut up. Sue the hotel for not providing a system to keep the bears off the second floor etc. What if that was a child without a gun and the dog went nuts? Many hotels have video surveillance in the hallways. This probably wasn't the first time a bear was on that floor.
    Merle, HPD855 and Edknn like this.

  3. Edknn

    Edknn Supporting Member

    Totally agree. It's stupid not to protect yourself by having insurance for stupid law enforcement actions like this. If he didn't fire on the bear, they probably would have cited him , whether dead or injured, for not properly securing his weapon.
    HPD855 likes this.

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    I'm not following you on the failure to secure the weapon.

    If the dog hadn't been there he might have been able to retreat to his room. But dogs being as they are don't listen too good at times. Like when I read the water meter today for the guys. They wouldn't shut up. Luckily they meant me no harm.

    Years ago when I was living in the boonies North of Alligator Alley I was walking my Rott/Dobie mix, and a German Shepherd mix. I saw momma and her 2 cubs crossing the road 600ft away. The dogs didn't see them. When we got up there they sniffed the ground and weren't interested in tracking the bears. ;)
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  5. OldOutlaw

    OldOutlaw Supporting Member

    You know what? I have seen a couple of videos of that bear at the same Motel appearance wise on again off again. For better than a month now I would guess. I kind of suspect that bear was a regular visitor that tourists liked to see there. But who knows. Personally, this link has a bad smell to it.

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    Hixson man responds after being charged for shooting at a bear at a Gatlinburg motel
    The man said he did it in self-defense. Neighbors familiar with the bear said they are taking a wait-and-see approach as to whether the animal was aggressive.

    Author: WBIR Staff
    Published: 3:13 AM EST November 8, 2019
    Updated: 1:35 AM EST November 12, 2019
    GATLINBURG, Tenn. — A tourist in Gatlinburg faces a couple of criminal charges after firing his gun six times at a bear outside the door of his motel room Thursday night.

    Gregory Sapp, 53, of Hixson, Tenn. was cited for illegal discharge of a firearm and reckless endangerment.

    Gatlinburg police said Sapp claimed the bear was outside his room on the second floor breezeway of the Motel 6 and charged at him. The shooting happened 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

    Sapp was not injured. On Monday, he said he shot the bear in self-defense and did not miss his mark.

    "I didn't miss. I heard the bullet 'toomp, toomp.' And there was a blood trail. Pretty nasty one too," he said. "There was only one way to react, sir. And that was either that bear or me. I had no time to even move."

    Officers with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) were unable to find the bear Friday. As of Monday, they still do not know how many shots hit the animal or if it is still alive.

    Neighbors said they are very familiar with the animal and expressed skepticism that it was aggressive.

    "I heard several shots ring out. It turns out this fellow was shooting at a black bear that he claimed tried to attack him and his wife. He exclaimed it was a 300 or 400 pound bear, which is the exact size of that bear that has been in our neighborhood for a while. It is a big bear. But like I said, I've never had a problem with that bear. It goes about its business," said neighbor Anthony Gunter.

    "He was a really friendly bear. He would just walk over here, leave us alone, and go over there. I hope he's alive," said neighbor Brooklyn Lanham.

    Police said they are still investigating the case. Sapp said he is standing by his actions, but said he wishes he didn't have to harm the bear.

    The Motel 6 has several cameras visible on the exterior of the building and at the breezeways.

    Neighbors said they'll take a wait-and-see approach on whether the animal was aggressive toward the motel guest, but admit animals roam the breezeways of motels.

    "Those bears will go up and down the ramps of these hotels searching for food. You know, whatever they can find," said Gunter.

    TWRA said if the bear was truly aggressive and threatening, the man may be justified for shooting it in self-defense. But you are not allowed to shoot a bear because it is close to you. Firing a weapon should only be used as a last resort when there is no other escape option.

    "The bear ran off and was not located," said TWRA spokesperson Matt Cameron. "If his statement is true about the bear acting aggressively, TWRA would not likely place any additional charges."

    Cameron said National Park Service helped TWRA look for the bear 2 to 3 hours Friday but they lost the trail of blood.

    TWRA said if it the animal is found dead, it will be sent to the University of Tennessee for examination and necropsy.

    Neighbors were upset by the shooting and said there is a bigger issue with tourists reacting inappropriately when they encounter wildlife.

    "These animals, we're in their territory. It [the bear] probably scared him and maybe it was attacking, I don't know. What I do know is when you take care of your trash, don't have dumpsters or food to attract them, and leave them be, they leave you be," said Gunter.

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    Trip Advisor:
    14. Re: Bear shot at motel in Gatlinburg
    Nov 10, 2019, 5:24 PM
    We were about a mile up ski mountain road. About 30 minutes before this incident a bear and her 2 Cubs found an unlocked van and got inside. When the owner walked outside to see what was going on, the mama bear charged at him. We were able to run them off banging pans together and lock the van back up. It was only for a couple minutes before the bears followed another SUV pulling in to their cabin. They were very active this weekend.

    Lots of tree huggers in that area. Looks like every snowflake is worried about the bear. I get tiresome reading, "it's their home blah-blah-blah etc. That trash can is an attractant to bears. Seems like they could make the trash inaccessible to bears just like the dumpsters are.

    It might very well be the same bear @OldOutlaw mentioned.

    Goober in the interview I saw didn't seem to be the sharpest crayon in the box.
    OldOutlaw likes this.
  8. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    I am a bit skeptical. Living at "the gateway to the foothills" and spending time on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I have had interactions with black bears more than once. Black bears are generally not aggressive. People on the other hand, generally have one of two reactions. Either "awww, ain’t the bear cute’ or "’s a bear...we are going to die!”.

    I kind of suspect the man in this article was of the second type. I wish they would release the video. I am making a guess there is one as they have been alluded to. I feel like if the bear was attacking, and it was captured on video for all to see, the man would not be charged.

    There are 3 things I see in play here. First, I suspect the man might bee of the "’s a bear...I am going to die" type. Second, the dog, as trashy mentioned, sometimes they don’t listen well. Did the bear perceive a threat? Third, the Gatlinburg Christmas Lights run from November through February. I would hazard there were more than a few people out and about. Hence the gents claim that all his bullets went into the bear. My guess is that there was likely a bit of a ruckus when the shooting was going on. Could it be a matter of the authorities thinking they had to do something?

    And let’s add a 4th fact. Bears living in close proximity to people do lose their fear of people. Maybe a better term would be they get used to people. Anybody who has been on the parkway has seen the “do not feed the bears” signs. These are to protect the people as much as the bears. Maybe it’s not such a good idea to hand the bear a fruit cake. Ever been nipped by your dog while handing it a treat? It happens, but I doubt your dog weighs a couple hundred pounds or more. Most people hurt by bears is not due to aggression.

    my mind plays out like this. The bear was enjoying its late night garbage can snack. The mad admittedly did not know the bear was there, I feel sure the bear knew the man was there. The bear rustled the can, the man sees the bear, the dog comes out and starts barking. The bear senses a threat and decides to get the hell out of Dodge, the direction of the man being it’s intended escape route, the man thinks he is being charged at, and goes into self defense mode. The man will be found (as any would reasonably) believe he is about to be mauled by a bear acts in self defense. Is acquitted of all charges. Now they just have to figure out what happened to the $1800 custom Kimber so they can return it to its rightful owner.
    Twisty and OldOutlaw like this.
  9. Edknn

    Edknn Supporting Member

    TNTRAILERTRASH likes this.

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    Here we are 3 weeks out, no bear, nothing new.

    Haven't seen the park service file a civil suit on behalf of the bear yet.
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  11. Poppa Mike

    Poppa Mike Member

  12. OldOutlaw

    OldOutlaw Supporting Member

    adam01364, rtm and Poppa Mike like this.

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    Can't be me............I'm bald...............and better looking! :lol:
    Poppa Mike likes this.
  14. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    It might be this one
    Poppa Mike likes this.
  15. cicpup

    cicpup Resident PITA Supporting Member

    Damn bears are overstepping their boundaries a bit too much lately. Just the other day I saw one stowing away in the back of a pickup. Ballsy thing was so nonchalant about it he was actually taking a nap. Lucky for him the driver never noticed him. Probably would have pulled over and tossed his ass out on the side of the highway. Then what? Stupid thing would have looked silly hitching between exits all the while hoping a cop doesn't drive by.
    Rerun likes this.