One time while vacationing in the Smokies, I happened to read an article in the local paper about one elderly gent who was followed by a black bear while out hiking a trail by himself. Apparently the bear thought he had food and was trying to beg. However the old fella kept his cool and bonked the unfortunate bruin over the nose with his hiking stick. The bear decided the pickings were easier elsewhere and turned tail. Now how often does something like that happen? I have encountered black bears several times while out hiking, but, fortunately, they never bothered me, even though I usually packed a lunch. 'Course, it was kept in zip-lock bags in my backpack. I've already found out how sensitive bears' noses are! See my earlier post: There's a Bear in my Car!