SANP Field Event
Kyker Bottoms Adventure With Bob
Saturday July 23rd, 2022
Leader: Dale Potter/ Bob Howdeshell Phone: (865)-773-8114/ (865)-410-5479
Meeting place: Kyker Bottoms Refuge 1706 Big Gully Road, Maryville, Tn
Registration available: Beginning today
This is an area that is Bob Howdeshell's playground where he has captured some amazing photographs. We will allow Bob to share his knowledge and secrets about the area. It may be more rugged than some of the areas you have hiked in for bird photography. For a sampling of ideas about what you might see, check out this link, and link #2, and this link. These are just a sampling of what Bob has captured by camera.
I have not been to this area but have been looking forward to Bob showing it to SANP.
Description: There should be a lot of options for you to photograph. Bob will provide you with more information on the morning of this event. This area offers an individual a lot of photography opportunities but is a refuge area without the easy trails for walking.
Notes from Bob:
A Few Things About Kyker Bottoms. My intent for this field trip is to help our members become more familiar with the layout and getting around Kyker. It will not be a difficult hike ….. We will go slowly allowing everyone to enjoy the morning, ask questions, etc.
1. Kyker Bottoms does not have any paved or gravel trails/paths on the refuge
Foot paths are either game trails, tractor ruts or an occasionally mowed path
2. I would not recommend wearing anything “nice” that you would not want hung up on blackberry bush briars, or having stickers “stuck” (beggar lice) to them
3. There are no restroom facilities at Kyker
4. Kyker is a nature photographers dream ….. but it takes some work and is not for everyone.
5. Visitors will typically not see “fur bearing” animals. While I have seen deer, bear, wild hogs, bobcats, coyote, raccoons, skunk, otters and beavers ……. Kyker is not Cades Cove so the animals are not habituated to human contact, if they see you first, they will be “gone”.
6. Kyker looks as it does because it is being successfully managed for wildlife
and not for humans
7. Enjoying Kyker Bottoms is an acquired taste.
You may want you macro lens and your long lens. You will have several options to explore and play with your camera. Tripod suggested but not required.
What to wear: It is July. Dress comfortable. Be prepared for rain. Bring bug spray. Long pants may be desirable as this is not a maintained trail area.
What to bring:
My two primary lenses at Kyker are a “long” lens and a macro lens. Lenses
of 400mm, 500mm and 600mm will be best for the birds. Opportunities for close-up bird photos do happen but are not a common occurrence.
With so many varieties of wild flowers, insects and herps Kyker is a macro
Bug spray and sunscreen
Something to drink (water, etc.) and snack(s)
Backpack or waist pack ……. Try not to carry a heavy camera gear pack. You
do not need to bring all of your gear, on our hike
Hat / Head Covering
Closed toe footwear …. My recommendation is to wear sturdy boots
Full socks (no ankle socks)
Long pants / trousers, Blue jeans will work ….. NO Shorts
Kyker is an insect paradise which means it has ticks, fleas and chiggers
I highly recommend treating your exterior clothing with Premethrin spray
You can get Premethrin from Walmart and Amazon …. Sawyers is an
excellent brand …… lay your clothes out in your driveway and spray them
thoroughly…. Allow to dry overnight. Sawyers is safe for human and pet
Kyker Bottoms is a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Association (TWRA)
wildlife management area, located in south Blount County
Kyker Bottoms was created from a donation in 1995 of approximately 142
acres by long time Blount County resident Jimmy Kyker. In 1998 the
Foothills Land Conservancy (FLC) purchased another 349 acres bordering
the Kyker donated tracts. The levees and containment ponds were finished
Kyker Bottoms has received “significant” funding from Ducks Unlimited, to
create a hunt free, secure over wintering grounds for migratory ducks.
Kyker also has become a targeted priority WMA for study of resident
Northern Bobwhite Quail, thru donations and help by Quail Unlimited, The
University of Tennessee and TWRA
Current refuge size is approximately 648 acres
More About Kyker Bottoms WMA
The refuge is bordered by Garland Road / Big Gully Road / Lanier Road
Access to the refuge, beyond the parking areas is by foot only – no wheeled
vehicles or horses are allowed.
There are seven (7) different “parking areas” around Kyer Bottoms
Nine Mile Creek splits the refuge practically in half
Regular visitors consider the refuge as having two (2) parts – The “front”
(south) part, bordered by Garland Road and the “back” (north) portion
accessed by using Lanier Road
The south area (Garland) is relatively flat with some small elevation
The north area (Lanier) has multiple areas of uphill and downhill elevation
Kyker is one of the best areas in east Tennessee for birding. I personally
consider it a “long lens” needed opportunity
Kyker is considered one of the two best insect areas in the state, by TWRA
TWRA Info Link Visit Here.
Location Description: IMPORTANT INFORMATION
1706 Big Gully Road / Maryville, TN. 37801
Note: This address is for the only real parking area at Kyker Bottoms. It is a somewhat hidden asphalt parking lot with a large TWRA sign on the road.
Directly across Big Gully Road is a large one story home, with a great looking “wrap-around” pond.
Driving directions: Make sure you check out the direction on Google before you head out. Cell phone reception may not be available in this area. It is important that everyone be on time for this event.
Check the SANP website for the latest changes to this event, your email, or the SANP Facebook page.
If you select not attending on your email and then change your mind, you will have to go to the SANP website to get the latest information about this event. If you plan to register for this event, do not click on not attending.