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  • Kyker Bottoms Adventure With Bob

Kyker Bottoms Adventure With Bob

  • 07/23/2022
  • 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • 1706 Big Gully Road, Maryville, Tn.
  • 2


  • Members and visitors are invited to register.

Registration is closed

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.

Learning opportunities: 

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

photographers dream

 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

in 1998.1

 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.

Contacts:     Jerry Whaley, President       Julie Glibbery, Membership Manager       General Information

Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located near the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.
Mailing address: 1143 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Ste 107A-231, Oak Ridge, TN 37830
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