When bears were varmints - a pic


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JohnBT
January 27, 2014, 09:26 PM
Wipe 'em out.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj80/JohnBT3/greatuncleandy_zpsc5feb016.jpg (http://s269.photobucket.com/user/JohnBT3/media/greatuncleandy_zpsc5feb016.jpg.html)

The man in the middle is my great uncle Andy from the Greenville VA area - south of Staunton on I-81. He was born in the 1880s and died before I was born in '50.

See the hat on the ground? There're are people under there holding those skins up.

My mother knew him and said he never married. He lived with one of his sisters and would wander off into the western slope of the Blue Ridge for days at a time wearing a great coat and carrying a surplus rifle. He'd sleep in the leaves or make do. It used to drive his sister crazy because she'd send him to town for flour or something and he'd disappear.

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BigBore44
January 27, 2014, 10:35 PM
The bear in the middle is pretty impressive. Any idea what rifle he used?

JohnBT
January 28, 2014, 08:38 AM
The rifle was a bolt action, probably surplus from the Spanish-American War or WWI according to family members. My mother was born in 1924, so she remembers him, but not the details. Uncle Andy didn't have any money. ;)

A lot of Civil War and WWI bringbacks like swords and bugles and canteens and such ended up in the scrap metal drives. Here's pic of one ad...

http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe40s/media/life_0801.jpg

MrBorland
January 28, 2014, 08:38 AM
My mother knew him and said he never married. He lived with one of his sisters and would wander off into the western slope of the Blue Ridge for days at a time wearing a great coat and carrying a surplus rifle. He'd sleep in the leaves or make do. It used to drive his sister crazy because she'd send him to town for flour or something and he'd disappear.

One of most interesting characters in Wendell Berry's fiction is a colorful feller named Burley Coulter. Sounds like your Uncle Andy might've been the template. Thanks for sharing.

1911 guy
January 28, 2014, 08:50 AM
I had a great-great uncle, whom I never met, that was sent to get a loaf of bread and a pound of butter. Came back three years later with the bread and butter, a bit late for dinner.

HoploDad
January 28, 2014, 11:50 PM
Thank you for sharing that picture. An interesting true story of those times is The Messenger, by Claude Chafin. I just got it on Amazon in eBook form for $4.99.

Like your uncle, the men in this story would melt into the woods and disappear for long periods of time. In this case though, the story's subjects are various Hatfields, after the feud ended, who still had bounty hunters after them. Great read if you like that period in American history!

d2wing
February 4, 2014, 06:39 PM
I had uncles on both sides something like that. One died as a cowboy in Montana. The other was my hero and was a great outdoorsman.

MyGreenGuns
February 6, 2014, 02:50 PM
This is cool. Thanks for sharing.

francesvincent
February 12, 2014, 04:14 AM
I agree. Kinda feels like “ those were the das”.

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returningfire
February 14, 2014, 05:42 PM
I wish I could live like your Uncle did.

buck460XVR
February 14, 2014, 06:03 PM
I wish I could live like your Uncle did.


Is it because he never married and lived his whole life with his sister? Or because he could legally shoot a bear cub? While it's always fun to dream about the good old days, they really weren't all that good. Bear hunting today is probably better than it was back in those days and record size bears are shot every year. You can still quit your job and wander around for days on public land sleepin' in the leaves if you prefer that to a bed and a roof over your head. I have a hunting cabin where I spend a lot of time at.......let me tell ya, gettin' old and not having a bladder that will hold till morning sucks when all you have is an outhouse and it's -15 out. Course there's always a chamber pot. Odds are that pic was taken before the common use of penicillin, when any infection could lead to death or amputation. One needs to be careful what they wish for.


Just sayin...........

Art Eatman
February 14, 2014, 08:12 PM
Freedom is not necessarily comfortable.

alvinsarris
March 11, 2014, 03:01 AM
it may look kinda fake, but when you look closer, it's actually real bear coat! Very fascinating.

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jim in Anchorage
March 11, 2014, 08:23 PM
When they where varmints? Unit 16b Alaska browns 2 a year, no closed season, blacks 3 a year, no closed season.

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