The Bear Must Have Been Pissed That He Wasn’t Invited In To Eat At Cracker Barrel

BY Herschel Smith
6 years ago

Via TCJ Eastern correspondent Fred Tippens, this bear was pissed.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A bear was spotted Wednesday afternoon walking around the parking lot at an East Knoxville Cracker Barrel.

Restaurant staff said the bear was spotted in the Cracker Barrel parking lot off of Millertown Pike near Knoxville Center Mall. They said the bear got startled by people getting out of their cars and began jumping on parked vehicles and scratching them, damaging several.

Mckensi Burchell, from Blaine, was at Cracker Barrel when an employee told them to look outside.

“As soon as we looked out the window, the bear was on a 4Runner, then it jumped on top of my car and dented the whole top in,” Burchell said. “What are the chances of this happening?”

Pretty high, I think.  Carry guns, boys.

And speaking of bears, Dean Weingarten at Ammoland has a really interesting article up where he mostly lifts citations out of prior exchanges between a bear expert and park rangers on the best way to defend against big-boy bears.  Spray or guns.

You be the judge.  I’ll carry a gun with me.  The moral of the story is the 3-second rule.  Be prepared, be practiced and be perceptive.


  1. On June 28, 2018 at 11:55 pm, BRVTVS said:

    If you’re making a trip to Yellowstone or some other bear country, consider this. You can’t fly with bear spray, not even in checked luggage. Bear spray is expensive at around $40 per can. When I made a trip to Yellowstone a few years back, I had to separately ship the bear spray back. In retrospect, a gun would have involved less hassle.

  2. On June 29, 2018 at 12:37 am, TheAlaskan said:

    A 44 year old civil engineer killed by a brown bear about a week ago in the Anchorage area.

    Read the comments.

    “Spray or guns.”

    My bear spray has 300 grains…

  3. On June 29, 2018 at 1:12 pm, Fred said:

    I’m beginning to believe that God uses Bears to instruct me about self defense. Stick with me, there are layers. And no, I didn’t see the bear.

    I’m gathering water at a springhead because who doesn’t like chemical free, PH balanced, mineral rich, limestone filtered, cool clean drinking water? Now, I don’t watch TV and most days I know exactly what’s happening within 100 meters of me and little else.

    A nice lady pulls up, gets out with her box of large restaurant size pickle jars for her water and she starts to tell me that a bear was at the Cracker Barrel. This bear is inside the I640 loop. It had to cross a six lane Interstate to get to the Cracker Barrel. I know that it didn’t go across the street and that it used one of the many underpasses of small roads or CREEKS to get over to where he could get to the area of the restaurant. It’s hilly and wooded all around.

    This springhead is already a self defense nightmare. I’ve stood there many times while my jugs are filling examining the surroundings. It’s hard not to. It’s a tricky spot. It’s been raining for 2 days and the foliage is dark and low and thick all around. Behind you is a creek with ‘nature trails’ and bike paths leading into wooded areas. Up the creek? Who knows? It’s covered by dense growth. Down the creek is a more open and grassy area. Across the street is more dense underbrush and trees. You couldn’t see a Big Foot if it was 15 meters from you.

    Now, beyond this undergrowth across the street are a few houses. They get to their houses down a dirt tract that parallels the small road for half a mile where there is an access point and their mail boxes. What’s at the other end of this street? I’m pretty sure you can’t get down this access road without four wheel drive when it’s been raining. Anyway, it’s not the type of thing where you think; Hey that’s a cute cape cod with an inviting front porch. You can’t really see these people’s houses, they like it that’a’way and you ain’t invited down this dirt tract on any account. (note to Washington DC; stay home with your wingtips and fancy ties. There are places even locals know not to go. It’s for your own safety, really.) My point is I don’t exactly know what’s at the other end of this access ‘road’ and it ain’t my business, but a bear could use it to move within 20 meters of this spring and to get to different areas on the edge of the city that’s for sure. It’s hilly everywhere. A bear could also, and very likely would, use the creek we’re 10 feet from as egress out of the Cracker Barrel area.

    At this point, and a Bear that can move at 30mph, and contrary to what ‘Officials’ and ‘Experts’ say you won’t hear them coming, has got me and the lady if’n he wants one us. So, I start to do, not sure what to call it, a 360 degree sector by sector scan out to about 25 meters, and a second scan out to about 50 meters and then down the creek into the only open area. The problem is a full two thirds of the scan-able area you can’t see a flippin’ thing beyond 20 feet. The friendly lady, who ain’t never gonna drink that county tap water mind you, is watching me. She starts to realize the spot we’re in but she doesn’t look so worried.

    And then my heart sinks. I’ve got over 2 dozen rounds on me and I go chambered but they are all hollow point. Not useless against bear but much less effective for certain. Now this lady has no idea if I’m armed or not. Have you ever read The Gift of Fear? Do it, now! The lady’s intuition reports to her consciousness that my demeanor has changed and she realizes that I realize that I can’t keep us safe. She doesn’t know why, she just knows it.

    The lady, rightly, and immediately accepts this intuitive input, and instead of talking herself out it of by thinking; What are the odds of this bear…or It’ll probably be alright…, instead she picks up her box of jars says something to the effect of; I think I’ll come back tomorrow, gets into her car and leaves me standing there. I finish filling only the one jug and go myself, heartbroken that I’ve failed to be adequately prepared to defend precious life. I owe God an apology and I have a New Rule: Carry a spare mag of Full Metal even “in the city”.

  4. On June 29, 2018 at 1:29 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    I read your story. Life gives us all kinds of lessons, doesn’t it? For my upcoming trip to the bush, I intend to use ball ammo.

    These. Browning BPT Performance Target .45 ACP. 920 FPS.

  5. On June 29, 2018 at 3:21 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    Bear Spray? That just assures that said bear is good-and-angry when he tears you apart and eats you for lunch. There is a reason our forbearers, the pioneers who settled the North American continent, went into the wild armed and ready for anything.

    As one who has had experience with bears in the wild, my respect for them as predators has only grown over the years. In my younger days, I did forestry work in northern Minnesota and in Canada for a time – and chanced to encounter black bears on a number of occasions.

    One night, a buddy and I were driving along an old logging road, doing about 25-30 mph or so, the best speed we could make on a rough trail. There we were, minding our own business when a full-sized adult black bear darted into the headlights of our truck, running at full speed. That bear kept ahead of us for a good 150-200 yards before veering off into the bush again.

    Seeing something that big move that fast is not something you forget easily. Especially when you realize that you can’t begin to run that fast.
    That’s reason enough to be well-armed when you go into bear country.

    Black Bears can be dangerous to humans, but most attacks upon humans are committed by the larger and more-aggressive brown and grizzly bears found in the Pacific NW, Northern U.S. and into the Yukon and Alaska.

    Black bears generally top out around 500-600 lbs. Although exceptional large examples may be weigh upwards of 800 lbs., these are quite rare. The largest male North American black bear in captivity at Ely, MN, weighs 950 lbs.

    The North American brown bear, which has numerous variations and subtypes – including the Kodiak bears found in the Yukon and Alaska, varies greatly in size depending on habitat, food availability and other factors. Adult male Kodiaks typically weigh between 700-1300 lbs., and exceptionally massive examples can run as high as 1,500 lbs. – or three-quarters of a ton. It’s only competitor in terms of size is the polar bear.

    Since the habitat and natural ranges of these varieties of bear overlap, some wildlife scientists believe that there exist hybrid black-brown bears.

    Many bears are omnivorous, and will quite happily eat anything from roots to berries to grubs to garbage to carrion. However, they are carnivores as well, and some prefer a diet richer in fat and protein. They are opportunistic and aren’t above taking a conveniently-located human, even though they generally prefer to stay away from humans if possible.

    If you plan to go into big bear country – don’t become a statistic, go well-armed.

  6. On June 30, 2018 at 1:19 am, TheAlaskan said:


    “– including the Kodiak bears found in the Yukon and Alaska,”

    Kodiak’s are only found on the Kodiak Island Archipelago. Your weight values are correct though. Kodiak bears get huge. Boars are typically 1,000 # plus. A trawler friend of mine shot a kodiak on the buskin river that runs between the town of Kodiak and the airport. It weighed in at about 1,400 #, give or take. He did a full standing mount..10′ plus stand. Too big for his house in Washington. It is displayed in the lobby of the Westmark Hotel in downtown Kodiak. I helped him put it in there.

    “some wildlife scientists believe that there exist hybrid black-brown bears.”

    Poppycock. Maybe in zoos. Black bears range into all brown bear habitat. But when the brownies show up, the blackies disappear. You will not see them fishin’ salmon with the brownies. Brown and black do not mix. Brown bear inhabit the coasts where salmon spawn. Grizzlies are interior bears. They have slowly been moving North into polar bear range.

    We have all five bear (if you count the kodiak) species in North America in Alaska.

  7. On June 30, 2018 at 11:07 am, TheAlaskan said:

    And…there are no black bear on Kodiak Island.

  8. On June 30, 2018 at 12:04 pm, Gryphon said:

    Lots of Black Bears in the Woods and Hills of Virginia, right up to the edges of the Suburbs. In Farm Areas, they have been known to Raid Chicken Coops and Garbage Cans, but are seldom Aggressive unless confronted. Horses can Smell them a Kilometer away, and they are my ‘Alarm System’ when a Bear comes along the Creek in the Woods. Seeing them Run up the Hillside and gather at the Shed for no visible reason means to get the Mossberg 12 that is loaded with Slugs and a ‘Bird Bomb’ Firecracker in the Chamber. That’s the ‘warning shot’, and it has always worked (So far.)

    As for “bear spray”, Georgiaboy has it Right. Why would you want an Angry Bear ripping your Head Off, when it doesn’t Hurt any more than when a Happy Bear does it?

  9. On June 30, 2018 at 11:51 pm, Dan said:

    The majority of those advocating FOR spray and AGAINST firearms are anti 2A agenda driven leftists. And the majority of these leftists do NOT spend time in bear country. Which brings us back to the fundamental rule of “don’t debate with libs, they are not capable of reason, logic or rational thought”.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Guns and was published June 28th, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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