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  1. #61
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    At some point they have to finish the autopsy and let the family bury the man.

  2. #62
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    ...and now another five weeks have gone by making it FOUR months and one week since William Lee Hill Jr's body was found and I can find nothing on the web to tell us if the bear that was feeding on his body killed him. We have now exceeded by 5 weeks the longest estimate for autopsy results authorities were quoted as providing in published articles.

    In my mind it is important for the east Tn hiking community to know if the bear killed him. Autopsy results are open records in Tn and I submitted a request 2 weeks ago but have heard nothing back. I wish the local news services would also submit a request and push this issue. We are coming into hiking season again soon.

  3. #63
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    Again---we have a request in.......

    keep in mind----we are still in a government shutdown....

    that means that the PIOs are not working right now...

    no work--no info.....

  4. #64
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    And if you submitted a request two weeks ago---that was also during the shutdown....

  5. #65
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    The partial gov't shutdown may affect the Park Service and their opportunity to make public statements regarding the death, but does not affect the state of Tn. The autopsy is the responsibility of the county in which the death occurred, as is supplying the results to any requests. As someone outside the medical community I may not be able to interpret the autopsy results, but knowing that it is complete is at least a step in the right direction.

  6. #66
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    Who is "we" and what request has been submitted?

  7. #67
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    Finally an answer has been released on the death of William Lee Hill Jr. From a local news article:

    The autopsy of Hill's body, performed at the Knox County Regional Forensic Center, revealed "extensive postmortem animal predation," but found no evidence he was attacked by the bear while he was alive, the autopsy report says. Hill had a history of drug use, and his body was found near syringes and other drug paraphernalia, the report states. The autopsy concluded he died of an accidental meth overdose.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdP View Post
    Finally an answer has been released on the death of William Lee Hill Jr. From a local news article:

    The autopsy of Hill's body, performed at the Knox County Regional Forensic Center, revealed "extensive postmortem animal predation," but found no evidence he was attacked by the bear while he was alive, the autopsy report says. Hill had a history of drug use, and his body was found near syringes and other drug paraphernalia, the report states. The autopsy concluded he died of an accidental meth overdose.



    Yes....

    i created another thread for people to look/comment on....

  9. #69
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    Hmmm. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. No wonder there is a problem with bears at Mt. Rogers. VDGIF is the same agency that has turned white tailed deer into antlered rodents in my section of Virginia. Bears are rapidly approaching the same population levels. As a beekeeper I spend hundreds of dollars on both chain link and electric fencing and my apiaries are a long distance from any residence. We feed no pets outside. No bird feeders. No barbecue grills. Last year a bear threatened one of my family members at our home and showed no fear of humans. I responded in a way that will make the bear think twice if it so desires to return. Not sure what the answer is, but these creatures are not Winnie the Pooh as some would have you think.

  10. #70
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    The game laws in Va make it virtually impossible for hunters to help solve this problem. Bear hunting over bait is not allowed. In addition, any bear killed must be taken to a check station and weighed. Field dressing is the only "processing" that can be done prior to going to the check station. This means the bears causing problems at back country shelters won't be hunted because it is virtually impossible to transport a 200-300 lb carcass any distance over rough terrain. If hunting over bait was allowed, as is done in many other states, the bears with the least fear of humans would be the ones most likely to be removed from the population.

    It will be interesting to see what happens this year as we go into the peak hiking season. The Va Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries, by their own admission in their Black Bear Management Program, recognizes that it only takes one or two instances for a bear to become habituated to human food sources, and that once this happens efforts to discourage the behavior are ineffective. So unless something has happened to the problem bears that we are not being told about, those bears are still in the area and are likely to be a problem again this year.

  11. #71

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    This is just an aside, but Iím amazed that there is a sizable black bear population anywhere in the lower 48. With what you can get for dried bear gall bladders on the black market, I expected them to be poached to near extinction.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  12. #72
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    The population in the south, especially within the GSMNP, has increased in numbers in the 20 years I've lived down here....

    without hunting, and a natural predator---they are thriving....

    and expanding into other areas where they haven't been in a long while.....

    poaching happens down here but it hasn't decreased the numbers....


    also---doesn't help that people like to feed bears either through birdseed and dog food but with their trash as well....

  13. #73
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    Sale of black bear gall bladders across state lines is a federal offense and is not easy money. For those willing to break the law there are many more profitable endeavors.

    Black bear populations are increasing throughout the east. Bear hunting opened in Ky a few years ago as expanding populations in Tn and Va moved back into the eastern regions of the state. Bears have spread into Missouri from Arkansas and now inhabit at least the southern half of the state. Bears are a problem in residential neighborhoods of western Maryland and New Jersey. The western NC mtns have too many and the largest black bears in north America live in the NC coastal region. Black bears raid the trash cans of my friends lodge in Franconia NH when there were no bear problems there 20 years ago.

    Tourists in their vehicles like seeing bears so bears translate to $ for the state. This has led to terrible wildlife management decisions that impact the permanent residents in addition to those who want to enjoy and be safe in the back country. Anti-hunting organizations and left leaning politicians have managed to restrict or stop hunting that would help control bear populations to levels that would ensure a stable population AND minimize unsafe human-bear encounters. Unlike deer that only eat your landscape plants when populations get out of control, bears are opportunistic omnivores. They have teeth and claws and great strength. Black bears can and do kill people.

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