Dustin Tolley and Adam Buckles were night fishing at Watauga Lake in eastern Tennessee on July 17, when something unexpected happened. “[We] heard the craziest sound coming off the mountain right towards the boat,” Tolley wrote in a Facebook post. “So, we got the boat light to shine to see what was coming toward us, and this is what we saw.”
Tolly and Buckles had unexpectedly come upon a black bear taking down a mature whitetail deer. While using a spotlight to illuminate the scene, they filmed a short video of the scene. The bear used its paws and jaws to pin the deer down, before dragging it up the hill away from shore as it flailed weakly.
“Eighty-five percent of a black bear’s diet is made up of vegetation, but you wouldn’t know it after watching this video,” wrote the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) in a Facebook post about the incident. “We want to take this opportunity to remind people not to feed or approach bears. We know they appear cute and cuddly, and you may want to take pictures with them, but remember, they are predators and may attack when provoked or hungry.”
Tolley and Buckles say the bear continued trying to drag its kill up the slope away from the lake when they left. According to the TWRA, black bears in the state can reach weights of up to 500 pounds and be between 4 to 7 feet long. The state’s bear population is on the rise.