The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

In my collection of bear stories is one furnished me by John B. Hudson who when I interviewed lived on George’s Creek 6 ½ north of Yellville, Marion County, Ark. "As to ‘bear, " said Mr. Hudson, "I never met them frequently but I got pretty well acquainted with them. One day in 1855 I and my brother Jim Hudson were hunting on the head of the left prong of George’s Creek when we met five bear in one ‘bunch. We had a dog with us we called watch which had proved to be a faithful hunting dog in the past and had brought him along with us to use in case we might need him. When we saw the bears which were going away from us at a fast gait we tried to persuade the dog to chase them with the hope that he would bring them to bay and cause them to go up a tree, but the sight of seeing so many bear together was too much for watch and he refused to obey us and dropping his tail ‘between his legs he deserted us and ran toward home. The bears were composed of an old one and 4 big fat cubs more than a year old. We followed the Bruins and managed to get in rifle shot of them and shot one of the cubs in the back which disabled it so that it could not keep up with the others. We shot it the second time and killed it. The others went on their way. After taking out the entrails of the cub we tied its feet together with hickory bark and procuring a dead pole that was stout enough to hold up the weight of the dead cub we swung it on the pole and carried it home with us. Being boys we found that it was a heavy carry for us and we were compelled to stop frequently to rest on our way home. The bear weighed 200 pounds dressed and I thought It was the sweetest bear meat I ever tasted."

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