Bears Ive Known !!!!!!!!! I was riding with some guests today and was reflecting on a spring day , just like this one in 1973. It was a perilous time for the black bears and grizzly bears of Yellowstone and the surrounding primitive area and national forest. We had no wilderness area . It was called the Absaroka Primitive area. The boundary started on the far side of the Specimen divide and ended just north of brundage creek. So honda 90s on the trail was normal stampeding fodder for mules and horses along with bears of Yellowstone Park .You see just a few years earlier the government , much to the chagrin of many folks, closed the dumps cold turkey to all bears . They had been feeding in these dumps for 50 plus years. Many generations worth. The bears , not to blame them, started a reign of terror on the gateway communities, campers , hikers, hunters, etc.. They were hungry and associated people with a free lunch. I saw first hand dozens of bears trapped and killed or “relocated” with helicopters . There were reports of more than a few malfunctions with the nets they hauled them in . One pilot told me , in later years , he was instructed to let a particularly troublesome boar grizzly fall from the sky. Well Jardine had its own little dump just on the border of this little mining , outfitter, government employed community. We had bears galore . Nowadays everyone would be in a tizzy wondering what to do and have public meetings and whine about the safety of their pets and children . Well to 4 boys living in the mountains , having bears live in our community meant one thing, EXCITEMENT, and we loved it. We figured that they didn’t want them here so if we roped them it would scare the tame out of them and instill the wild factor in these Yellowstone bears, I know its not politically correct and not what should of been done but it was no different than watching them get caught in a culvert trap by bait. Which reminds me of the time when one of our local colorful citizens was in dire need of a drink and some fun loving friends baited him into a bear trap with a 5th of Jim Beam. When found the next morning he was in as foul a mood as a grizzly with a sore tooth ! But the whiskey was all gone so maybe it was the hangover and not being caught in the trap all night.. Anyway one day our parents went to town and we were checking our trout lines in bear creek when we came upon a bear with 2 ear tags . They were awful and he was young and looked terrible with them. They were huge and degrading . Our opinions.
( I know its necessary but Ive always hated radio collars on wild animals. I wont even look at a photograph of them. I firmly believe it hinders their survival in the wild.) Anyway we got our horses shook down our wore out ropes and ran the bear up a tree. We got a rope on him and pulled him from his perch . 3 feet at a time. He was about 125 pounds and was in no mood for this . Well as he came out of the tree I threw a perfect heel loop and missed him clean .( you thought I caught him } Clarence was the only one on horseback and his horse piled him up hard . As he layed there getting his wind I ran the bear up another tree . This time we fished the rope around one hind paw in the tree . About this time Roy Marchington came by , our neighbor, and said Verns going to whip you . Sort of chuckled and went home. Boy I miss the real men from back then . Thats all he said like someone roped a bear every day. Or when you slammed the door headed out in the morning and your Mom or Dad hollered ” Don’t rope any bears today!” Not be careful or wear your helmet.Well we got her home and closed her head in the shed door and took the ear tags off. We lost some blood a pair of jeans and gained a few everlasting scars. We then thought how cool it would be to raise her up . So we got a chain on her only after she bit my cowboy boot . Clarences fault . He denied it but he started chuckling 2 minutes before she pulled away from him and bit me. We damn near went to fistacuffs but the bear at hand changed our minds . She did learn a few more cuss words though. Well we new Dad would really appreciate the next little trick we devised. We put the bear behind the house with just enough chain to reach the corner .Then we fed her there every time she came around the house . Well pretty quick when she heard footsteps she came on the run. My parents came home . We said we had found a new dog and come look at her . When she hit the end of that chain all hell broke loose and we would of rather face the bear than Dads wraith . God almighty could that man beller . Well when it was safe to venture out of the woods and Dad got back his infamous sense of humor we put the bear in a rabbit hutch with a promise from him we could build him a cage and big pen in the morning . Well during the night he mysteriously got away and was never seen again .We were disappointed, but looking back its kind of like building a fort, the fun is in building it. Now I know this is not what you are supposed to do but it was different times! I had the greatest childhood growing up…I hope you enjoyed this.