The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Mr. Eli Young who was born on Crooked Creek 4 miles above Powell, Ark., in 1832 gives an account of a fierce fight with a bear near his father’s old home south of the creek. He said that he and his father, whose given name was also Eli, and his brother Mike Young with the aid of the dogs attacked an enormous bear one day near the house and made it so hot for Bruin that he beat a hasty retreat. The dogs, which were seven in number, rushed him along the crest of a ridge until he ran into a sink or deep swag in the ground. Bruin was now in an angry temper and was ready for a fight and stopped in the lowest part of the swag to try his strength against the dogs. All the dogs surrounded him and the battle soon become lively and warm. Very soon the bear rose on his haunches and boxed the dogs with his huge paws until he had hit every dog in the bunch. But they were brave and faithful and were soon ready to continue the combat. We ventured up near the enraged animal to encourage the dogs and they all pushed up in closer quarters with his bearship. The battle was furious and noisy. The bear knocked with his paws and bit with his teeth until two of the dogs were killed. In the meantime we were not idle spectators but we shot several bullets into the animal’s body. A few minutes after the two dogs were dead the bear showed signs of weakness from the effects of the shots and the worry from the dogs and he scrambled out of the sink hole with the remaining five dogs still able to contend with him. When Bruin reached level ground he tried to escape but on running a few yards from the edge of the swag he staggered and fell and died in a short while. Though the bear was very fat and furnished us with a nice lot of meat yet it did not recompense us for the loss of the dogs."

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