I'm really enjoying the pictures that you and Hobbler are placing on the site. Great looking plants. Yesterday while I was in NC, namely the Blue Ridge Escarpment and why they bring that elusive $1200.00 per pound like your area does. They showed me rocks that have a speckled look to them and said they contained Barite, which is a chalky white material high in calcium. It grows some pretty sang.
Couldn't get to where I wanted to today, so I stopped at a spot where I thought I could get some berries in the ground, but got a little surprise! About 30 yards after I got off the 4 wheeler I heard something large running...bear! It ran from above me, right in front of me at about 30 yards, and right downhill away from me. I couldn't figure out why he didn't go uphill away from me, but oh well, pretty cool! About 20 seconds later another one, this one running right at me! There was big tall briars and mountain nettles, so I guess he couldn't see me until he was 30-40' in front of me. I pulled out my 9mm, put one in the chamber, sprayed some lead over it and yelled! He turned tail and bolted! Once I calmed down I started laughing and called my buddy that owns the property. He heard the shots. After that I settled down I did manage to get a few 15 yo roots and put a few berries in the ground. I did see where the bears might have been bedded down. This matted down area was not from me!
Glad you made it out alive maya. As the crow flies I don't hunt far from the great smokey mountain national park, and yes I use a gps to make sure I don't cross boundaries. There is bear scat everywhere, and I mean big bear scat. I was digging a plant just the other day and there was a big pile literally right next to it, not sure why it didn't eat the berries. I carry a 9mm also and hear people all the time tell me that a 9mm won't stop a bear. I told them if it doesn't stop it then 15 rounds in the head will sure make it change its priorities, lol.
You get a shot in the head or heart, they're toast! Like I said, I just flung a couple over his head, he heard it bark, and he took off. I never had the big gun syndrome. I just feel blessed to see them, made my otherwise crappy day good.