The region’s grass, water and weather formed a solid foundation for the cattle business. Very fortunate we are the the public as well as the children and grandchildren are able to share the pleasure of this remarkable adventure. In 1890, he began attending the bear hunt because it was one of the few occasions when the area’s far-flung families were all in one place. Interior Grizzly Bears are known for the beautiful color phases of their fur. Irrationally, against all logic or instinct for survival, I envy that experience, just a little. By now, Finley had cleaned the grizzly’s head by boiling it and scraping off the soft tissue and hair. Black bear are the most timid and least dangerous of the bears found in North America. As the Greater Yellowstone grizzly population has increased, bears have been moving outward, and the separation between the two largest grizzly bear island populations in … Black bears have a flat “Roman-nose” profile, more prominent ears, no visible shoulder hump, and smaller, dark claws. Then off to bed and a good night’s rest in our tents and on our old camp beds, and early the next morning we were ready for another day’s hunt. Finley complied. (Livermore Peak is next to the highest peak in Texas.) Above: A photo of the Texas grizzly skull from “Stalking the Unknown” by C.O. (AP) — At the winter meeting of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, Lori Roberts introduced a new tool to keep the peace between grizzly bears and humankind — “bear … Texas' Premier, gay, clothing-optional campground Based in Navasota, TX we are an independently owned clothing-optional gay campground proudly serving the gay community. Bears were plentiful and hungry, and they spent their whole lives killing livestock. It seems to us it would be exceedingly unfortunate to take a chance of subjecting this specimen to the risks of transportation and exhibitions at a fair. “I have been asked to write the true story of a bear hunt on which the only grizzly bear had ever been killed in Texas. “That stopped when game laws went into effect,” Odie says. Finley, the hunter that killed the bear, relating the lengthy story of the hunt in his own words (with commentary from J.G. There we find C.O. They will try to avoid humans as much as humans try to avoid them. It was always uncertain which way a bear would run or how far. Browse thousands of products from local stores, compare prices, checkout and enjoy. Texas Grizzly Bear Apparel Store clothing and apparel! You will obtain a review and expertise form here. The women and children would stay as long as possible, but not often did they get in a chase after a bear and see him killed; they would drop out and a few of the older men would drop back to take care of them and see that they got back to camp. Grizzly bears were once numerous, ranging across North America from California to the Great Plains, and from Mexico all the way up into Alaska. Black bears mate during the months of June and July. Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists believe that female black bears in Texas hibernate while males do not. Field biologists traveled from one location to the next, collecting everything from pocket mice to skunks. This is the canyon that port of Fort Davis is on, and in going from the head of Saw Mill Canyon through the mountain over into Limpia Canyon there is a gap this is called Bridge Spring Gap. In the U.S., the grizzly bear can be found in Alaska, Montana, Washington, Wyoming, and a few in Idaho. Burr). During the denning period, the bears neither urinate nor defecate. The Texas grizzly skull still resides in the Smithsonian archives. Horse wranglers, to manage the string of 100 or more saddle horses, and chuckwagon cooks were part of the crew, along with a motley pack of dogs from several different families. Finley. “‘Because of the great value of these ‘types’ they are kept in fireproof, locked cases in the National Museum in order that they might be safeguarded against loss. Grizzlies are typically brown, though their fur can appear to be white-tipped, or grizzled, lending them their name. Yes, there was once a grizzly bear hunt in Texas, and it has no parallel in the wild animal history of the State. If he was fast he would probably not fun over a mile or two, but would climb a tree; but if he was poor he was always hard to stop and sometimes would get away entirely. The range of the grizzly extends from Alaska to well down into the mountains of western Mexico. The black bear is a protected and rare species in the state of Texas. Then we switched around some brush and rocks to where we could get a shot at him, but when we came out to where we could get that shot, the old bear was gone, and there sat four dogs, the only dogs out of the whole pack that would run the trail.”. Shortly thereafter, they asked to keep it in order to preserve it permanently as a one-of-a-kind specimen in the Smithsonian’s collection. Grizzly bears are potential competitors for most foods valued by humans, including domesticated livestock and agricultural crops, and under certain conditions can also represent a threat to human safety. Well, we turned him over, opened him up and removed his insides, then turned him back again to drain. Then we knew the bear was dead and down we rushed to look him over. For all we know, there may have been only one, and it was killed by a hunting party in 1900. Mr. and Mrs. C.O. Thorn who, at the time, was the general superintendent of the western district of the T. and P. Railroad and a good friend of ours as we shipped a good many cattle over his road in those days from Van Horn and Kent. In this setting C.O. The bear so tore up the dog’s jaws and neck that we had to kill the old fellow. Finley sat down and made a written report of the hunt, and sent it to his brother, O.Z. Tracks that may have been made by a grizzly were found in the Guadalupe Mountains in 1931, but the bear was never seen. If you want the opinion of the writer, he is ready to assert that those hounds had a keen sense of the eternal fitness of things. Grizzly Bear is an American rock band from Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2002.The band consists of Edward Droste (vocals, guitar, keyboards, omnichord), Daniel Rossen (vocals, guitar, banjo, keyboards), Chris Taylor (bass, backing vocals, woodwinds, producer), and Christopher Bear (drums, backing vocals). “On the second day of November, which was our fifth day hunt, we all left camp as usual about sun-up and went that morning right into the mountains. A hallmark of the meeting was and still is unity among the represented denominations: Presbyterian, Disciples of Christ, Methodist and Baptist. George Evans, John Means and I kept three of them and took them to El Paso and had them plainly mounted for watch fobs, and the fourth we gave to a good friend by the name of Tat Hulling who ranched at that time back north of Kent on the Delaware but who has since died. Finely were among the earliest settlers in the Davis Mountains (1885). The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is also offering a $2,000 award for information in the case. The article is worth reading because it includes some interesting … Grizzlies were eliminated from Texas by about 1890, and the last of California’s grizzly bears was shot in 1922. If they know of any easy food source they will use it, but they generally travel at night to avoid detection. We located him standing with his head toward us in the brush, with the dogs standing off barking. Jeff Watson, owner and trainer of Brody the Bear has been raising and training bears for 19 years. So, file this away to read as often as you like and hand it down to your children and grandchildren.” This was written four years before C.O. While park officials believe that the population is stable, they say female grizzly bears of reproductive age are critical to the long-term success of the species. The extinction of Grizzly Bears would affect the economy in many ways. Some days we had fine luck and other days our luck was not so good. Give the gift of the great outdoors this holiday season. Finley from “Stalking the Unknown” by C.O. One more round of bullets finished the job. They utilize the food consumed during summer and the fall since there is no eating during the denning period. The hunters and even the dogs sense the danger of attacking an animal powerful enough to kill and drag a four year old cow a hundred yards. Folks came from all over Texas to take part in The Annual Bear Hunt and Renew Acquaintances. The bears have nonetheless been known to … Only after seeing one of the dogs tug at the fur of the bear did the men approach it and find the surprise of their lives. They have also worked with some of the top professional wildlife photographers in the United States. We also invited one or two ministers every year to our camp which was as clean and free of bad language as possible. 2:12 Two grizzly bears seen roaming Cochrane neighbourhood WATCH ABOVE: People who live in the southwest end of Cochrane were being warned to watch out for a grizzly on the loose. There were various estimates to the number of hounds that started on the morning hunt, the highest being 52 but the more conservative (I will not say cowardly) members of the group began to drop out as the gravity of the chase began to appear. In addition to our own families we always had a number of friends from over a good part of Texas – from Ft. Worth, Dallas, San Antonio and other parts to spend a week with us on our hunts. But there was one hunt that stood out above all others, and if you wish to go over the ground here is Mr. Finley’s picture of how it looked. In a letter written to Finley in the early 1900s, a researcher assured him that the skull of Texas’ one and only grizzly bear would be kept “in perfect condition for future generations.” A hundred years later, some of Finley’s descendants are still a little irritated with the government for not returning the skull, but they can be comforted by the fact that the National Museum has kept its promise. The IGBC’s purpose is to ensure recovery of viable grizzly bear populations in the lower 48, and is made of representatives from the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Finley, describes the mentality of the day: “All they were doing was protecting their cattle. Odie points out that women were welcome on the hunt. When every one was ready, which was never later than sun-up, and pretty cold in October and November in the mountains, some one would blow their horn and off we would go to the mountains, which was bear heaven. However, this particular speciment was used by Dr. C. Hart Merrian, former Chief of the Biological Survey, as the basis for a new race of grizzly bear, namely Ursus horriaeus texensis, and this particular skull is the type form selected for this race. Send all the koala bears to Australia, all the gummy bears to San Francisco they’ll be fine. Never an oath was heard nor a bottle of whiskey came to our camps. While this was all good sport, especially if you go in the chase and got to the killing of the bear (which was sometimes up a tree or in a cave, or out in the open) it was awfully hard on the horses and men who rode hard and reckless in that rough country to follow and keep up with the hounds. The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis), also known as the North American brown bear or simply grizzly, is a large population or subspecies of the brown bear inhabiting North America. Charles Otis Finley died in 1944 at Pecos. The bears dig up their dens on elevated slopes. Failing to catch the other dogs he came back and stopped in exactly the same place he was in when we made our first shots. The accepted practice of the day was to control their population with an annual hunt. A couple of important things missing in these comparisons are size and color. The grizzly bears’ historical range runs from Alaska through Texas and into Northern Mexico, but there is only one recorded instance of a grizzly actually being killed in Texas. Means and I had ridden as far as we could and had to leave our horses and walk down the mountain side to where we heard the dogs barking. The young are born in January or February, while the mother is “hibernating.” She normally gives birth to two-to-three cubs every two years. We traveled some eight or ten miles, crossing up near the head of what is known as Saw Mill Canyon just north of Livermore Peak, and on southeast over into the head of Limpia canyon. A brief note accompanied the write up. Extend your fun after the water park is done! C. Hart Merriam, the father of modern mammalogy, believed the skull represented a unique subspecies. According to early settlers of the region, who relied upon cattle ranching for both income and food, bears were a major threat to their enterprise. Much of the hunting provided food for the meeting. Finley’s comments about how the annual bear hunt had been happening in the 1890s. All 1/2″ plate tines. The grizzly of northwestern Mexico is a sub-species called the Sonora grizzly, but Dr. Merriam in 1914 hitched on the sub-specific name texensis. John and I had often talked of doing this but had put it off until now he is gone, and it is up to me, for I did not want to go (pass on) and leave the most eventful day ever spent in the Davis Mountains unwritten. Mrs. Finley resides at Pecos. Alfred L. Gardner, wildlife biologist and curator at the National Museum of Natural History, retrieved the skull from storage to photograph it for this story. The burden proved too great for the horse, and the load was eventually transferred to a buckboard pulled by a pair of mules for the last part of the trek. A Canadian park ranger is giving some ramblers a warning about bears, “Brown bears are usually harmless. Another year went by, and the Washington researchers once again asked for the skull for continued study. ... Bubba is a good old boy from Texas who visits Alaska and is amazed at the size of Alaska. Bell, Chief, Division of Wildlife Research. Grizzly bears in the mountain national parks are part of a larger grizzly population interconnected through the Rocky Mountains. Asking for lodging at our ranch Mrs. Finley let him stay and during the winter he heard us talking about our past fall hunt and saw the bear’s head hanging out over the door. The participants grew to include more than just the hunters. Later researchers have suggested that the bear may have been a Sonoran grizzly that wandered north from Mexico. Approximately 21,000 are in Canada and anywhere from 1200-1500 in the lower 48 states. I trust that Mr. Finley will appreciate the importance of safeguarding so valuable a specimen against loss or damage. During our Grizzly Bear Photography Workshop, you will capture stunning images of grizzly bears in their natural habitat and perfect your wildlife photography skills while enjoying the picturesque settings of the Alaskan wilderness. John Zachariah Means died of pneumonia in El Paso in 1937. Population trend studies show that grizzly bear populations remain steady in the mountain parks. In fact this skull is the only known specimen of its kind in the world. It would be easy enough to abridge the story of the great bear hunt, but cold statistics should be warmed up a bit in order to get the feel of the players as they enacted that mountain drama of more than half a hundred years ago. If they could get together to hunt, then why not hold a camp meeting?” explains Odie Finley. “It was then that the dogs had started trailing the old bear, and when the bear heard the dogs he pulled out from where he was bedded up near the cow he had killed, and ran out of the canyon south across the mountain, crossing out on top just ahead of John Means and myself; so we rode like drunk Indians to keep up in hearing of the dogs. While there are approximately 15,000 grizzly bears in B.C., and plenty of black bears on Vancouver Island, the area is not typical grizzly habitat. Canyon where the family settled, and there the brought down the black bear and the antlered mule deer. He worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Division of Biological Survey, a forerunner of the Biological Survey Unit of the Department of the Interior. “When we had unsaddled and turned our tired and wornout poneys loose, and had unloaded and stretched the bear hide over a big rock, we were the most excited bunch of people ever seen. 1 hunter X 1 guide. Grizzly bears attacks do happen sometimes, enough to keep as much distance as possible from these animals. 4″ Frame. Even to seasoned bear hunters, the animal was massive, with three-inch claws (a typical black bear’s claws are about an inch long). These massive beasts are keen senses that make getting within shooting range extremely difficult and their sheer size and strength is enough to frighten the most advanced trophy hunter. “In about a year the Department wrote me again and asked me to return it to them, which I did, as they wanted to re-survey it. This was about 20 miles from where we had killed the bear. “The head which I kept Mr. Means from shooting into I took home and boiled all the meat off in a big wash pot. And every day or so some one would get lost from the bear chase and kill a deer or two. It took off up the side of the mountain, crossed the ridge in front of them and vanished. The skull remained there for several months and was eventually returned after being assigned the scientific name Ursus horraeus texensis. Eight years ago after the death of John Means. As a prelude to this story, I will give a brief history of the beginning of what turned out to be an annual bear hunt by a member of the old pioneer ranchmen in the Davis Mountains. Dear Brother: “Am enclosing the history and kill of the bear hunt the day we killed the old grizzly bear. When we reached the bear we discovered the gray tips of his haid. David J. Schmidley’s Mammals of Trans-Pecos Texas talks about them. According to the record in the National Museum at Washington the bear was killed November 2, 1890*. The Last Texas Grizzly How a 1900 West Texas bear hunt made scientific history. Amazingly, the Bloys “Camp meeting” continues today. “Our party usually ran from forty to seventy-five people; men, women and children, and hte dogs ran from young, untried hounds to old, tried and true bear dogs. This level of cooperation and unity is a miracle in and of itself, as most of the rules set up to keep things amicable date from the turn of the century. This was during an annual bear hunt in the Davis Mountains in 1899. After keeping it for several months, they sent it back with several long names attached to it that we couldn’t read, but pronounced it a real grizzly bear with the claim that there was no record of one ever having been found in Texas before. “We would then clear us off a spot of ground and dance the old square dances for an hour or so, as we always had musicians and plenty of music in the camp. Photo Credit: NPS / Neal Herbert. William Benjamin Bloys was an itinerant Presbyterian minister who served families in the Fort Davis area. Well, when John Means and I got out on top, we were possibly a mile or more from the balance of our party. The tents are tall enough to stand up in and are very spacious. He and Brody have worked together on commercials, television shows and feature films. As a preparation for denning, grizzly bears consume large chunks of food during summer and fall. Grizzlies were eliminated from Texas by about 1890, and the last of California’s grizzly bears was shot in 1922. Finley and John Means, good friends who always hunted together, separated from the main group and went up the side of the mountain, then turned and rode parallel to the rest of the group below, a mile or two away, in C.O.’s estimation. It occurred in the Davis Mountains about fifteen miles southwest of what is now the site of the McDonald Observatory, and southeast of Livermore Peak in the head of Merrill Canyon. The result was a reunion of sorts that was part revival and part square dance, with plenty of good eating and fellowship. And hope I am just a section of helping you to get a better product. “We hardly ever failed to get a bear and sometimes three or four during the day. “A grizzly bear is a major threat to wolves, even if there is a pack of them, so they will work together to escort the bear out of the area,” she said. During the Texas Centennial in 1935-1936 , Evans enlisted the help of his Congressman to get the skull loaned for a time for display in Texas but the museum said it was too rare to be allowed outside the museum. We could not go straight through the mountains to camp and lead this horse with such a load, the weight of the bear being estimated at at least 800 ponds, and the head, and feet possibly four or five hundred pounds, so we had to go around and out of the mountains on the west side and out by my ranch. As with many species, westward expansion, human transformation of the landscape, and fear led to near-eradication of grizzly bears in the continental United States. Male bears weigh 150 to over 350 lbs., and females weigh 120 to 250 lbs. I scraped it and cleaned it up well and hung it up over our front door outside, and never expected anything to be done with it other that to be seen and admired by all guests. 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