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#5503626 - 12/28/14 01:45 AM One of my ancestors and the B'ar. Story from the 1800s
Sniper John Online   happy

gumshoe

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 16272
Loc: North Texas
This is a story I ran across about two Bears and my Great Great Great Grandfather when he lived in Virginia. It would have taken place early to middle 1800s best I can tell. And yep, it sounds like something I would do if I lived in that time. Enjoy.

James Musick walked with a slight limp which in no way seemed to hinder him. He was known to strip up his britches legs and show horribly scarred calves and thighs on either leg.

This is the story James Musick told: While living in Virginia he often hunted with a companion. One day in early winter while in the woods, they approached a cliff, and in a crevice in the rock they noticed hair where an animal had rubbed against the sides of the walls.
Examining it closely, Jim said, "Bear! He's holed up in there, sleepin' the sleep of the jest! I'll get 'im!"

Taking his gun, Jim ventured into the crack in the rock and after a few feet discovered he was entering a cave. Feeling around in the dark, he touched the sleeping animal. Scratching and rubbing its flank, Jim worked his way to the animal's head. The bear merely gave a grunting sound and barely seemed to be breathing. But suddenly, Jim encountered the head of a second bear! Returning to the outside, Jim explained the situation to his companion. "Thar's two uv'em. Now we'll both crawl in. I'll take one head and you take t'other. We'll set our gun muzzles in their yers an' I'll say, 'Ready? Fire!' an' at 'Fire!' we'll both shoot at the same time an' git 'em both. There's no danger. Jest scratch yourn along the flank and rub 'im around the yer a little, an' he'll jist sleep right on."

The other hunter agreed to the plan. Into the crevice of the rock they crawled, Jim Musick in the lead. As agreed, one took the one on the right t'other on the left. By touch , Jim located his bear and set the muzzle of his gun in place. "You found his yer?" he asked in a low voice.

"Yeah," the other hunter answered. "A'right, set yer muzzle." She's sot," came the reply.
"Ready?"
"Yeah."
"Fire! " and Musick squeezed off a shot that in the confines of the cave was deafening, but not so much that he failed to realize that no second shot had sounded.

All in one instant of time, he saw his "Chickened out" (author's expression) companion darken the hole as he scrambled for the outside and sensed the coming to life of the bear whose winter's sleep was not so profound as to ignore what had taken place.

James Musick was a large man, tall and powerful of muscle. The bear seized him just as he entered the slit. Musick told: "I'd reach jist as fer as I could and dig my fingers in an' pull myself. I felt 'im strip off my huntin' britches an' knowed my laigs was bein' tore to
pieces, but I kep' a-reachin' an' a-pullin'. The crack was so nar' he never could get a hug around my laigs nor reach me with his teeth to do no good. Ever' time I'd pull, I'd feel his claws grit bone. When I busted out into the daylight, I'd broke 'is holt. The first thing my
eyes lit on was the gun that feller had drapped when he left the hole.

I grabbed it an' got off a shot before that bear got use' to the light in his eyes. That was the last I remembered fer awhile." Meanwhile the other hunter returned to the settlement and told the
people that a bear had killed Jim Musick. A party went out and found the mangled man and the dead bear . Not knowing the full story, they were astonished when Jim begged for a loaded gun to take a whack at the fellow he had been hunting with.

He urged the men to go into the cave and get the second bear and his gun, but the sight of Jim's wounds was deterent enough and no one would venture in. The dead bear and the wounded man were dealt with according to the practices of the time- the bear was skinned and Jim
carried back to his own cabin for Mariah to doctor as well as she knew how.

Eventually, soaked with the grease of the bear and "wropped" with strips of the bearskin, Jim's legs responded to Mariah's treatment. Jim got able to stir about, still swearing vengeance against the man who had deserted him.

Spring came. "With the help of one of his sons, Jim made his way back to the cave, crawled in, and retrieved his rifle. The carcass of the bear was too far gone to salvage. Jim said that the months in the cave had ruined the rifle and that he traded it off, but since wished he'd
kept it.
As for his threat against the other fellow, Musick said: "When I seed the spring come ag'in an' ever'thing a-gittin' green an' new after that awful winter, an' I could crawl outside an' git me a place in the sun an' watch them big white-billed peckerwoods a-maulin' on the dead trees
out in the clearin', an' hear squirrels ever' now an' then 'Whee' over in the cove, then I was so glad jist to be alive that I said, 'God hates a coward! An' if God hates 'im, why ort I to' - but - I'd druther never lay eyes on 'im!

Another friend said, "You've learnt yer lesson, ain't ye, Jim? Ye'll never go in after another denned-up bear, will ye?"

Musick glowered from under shaggy eyebrows, "Yes, by darn', I will! But never with no other dam' feller to foul me up, I won't!"

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#5503632 - 12/28/14 02:06 AM Re: One of my ancestors and the B'ar. Story from the 1800s [Re: Sniper John]
Seadog Offline
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Registered: 09/26/07
Posts: 13451
Loc: East Texas
Good story!!! I don't think I'd go in the bear den though!!!
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#5505202 - 12/28/14 08:21 PM Re: One of my ancestors and the B'ar. Story from the 1800s [Re: Sniper John]
TreeBass Offline
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Registered: 06/26/06
Posts: 22067
Loc: Central Texas
Pretty cool story up
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#5505247 - 12/28/14 08:37 PM Re: One of my ancestors and the B'ar. Story from the 1800s [Re: Sniper John]
stxranchman Offline
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Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
up
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#5505453 - 12/28/14 10:01 PM Re: One of my ancestors and the B'ar. Story from the 1800s [Re: Sniper John]
Texsun Offline


Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 16671
Loc: North Texas
Love these!
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#5505630 - 12/29/14 01:53 AM Re: One of my ancestors and the B'ar. Story from the 1800s [Re: Seadog]
chital_shikari Online   content
Minor in training

Registered: 08/03/11
Posts: 11387
Loc: Katy, TX
Originally Posted By: Seadog
Good story!!! I don't think I'd go in the bear den though!!!
X2. The other hunter is a prime example of the punch like of the song Loyal by Chria Brown grin
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#5510819 - 12/31/14 01:52 PM Re: One of my ancestors and the B'ar. Story from the 1800s [Re: Sniper John]
7ARanch Offline
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Registered: 12/13/10
Posts: 1525
Loc: Tarrant/Jack, County
cheers cool story, not sure I'd of crawled into a bear den though of course that is today back then who knows.
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#5510883 - 12/31/14 02:20 PM Re: One of my ancestors and the B'ar. Story from the 1800s [Re: Sniper John]
Western Online   content
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Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 23577
Loc: Wise County Texas
Cool story! If I had not been reading Colt.45's post, I may not have understood half of that!! LOL
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#5510915 - 12/31/14 02:33 PM Re: One of my ancestors and the B'ar. Story from the 1800s [Re: Sniper John]
dogcatcher Offline
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Registered: 07/17/06
Posts: 77327
Loc: Abilene or on the road...
Great story.
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#5514520 - 01/01/15 10:24 PM Re: One of my ancestors and the B'ar. Story from the 1800s [Re: Sniper John]
Simple Searcher Offline
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Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 4145
Loc: Helotes, Hext
Good stuff
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#5514639 - 01/01/15 11:39 PM Re: One of my ancestors and the B'ar. Story from the 1800s [Re: Sniper John]
TurkeyHunter Online   content
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Registered: 04/04/05
Posts: 11264
Loc: Bedford, TX
Really neat story. Thanks for posting.
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#5515072 - 01/02/15 09:54 AM Re: One of my ancestors and the B'ar. Story from the 1800s [Re: Sniper John]
Deadend Offline
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Registered: 09/07/09
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Loc: Mineola,TX
happy3 slinger taz
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#5515098 - 01/02/15 10:02 AM Re: One of my ancestors and the B'ar. Story from the 1800s [Re: Sniper John]
Cast Offline
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Registered: 12/14/08
Posts: 14901
Loc: North Texas - God's Country
Heck, walking into the bedroom when SWMBO is hibernating is much more dangerous.
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#5515108 - 01/02/15 10:07 AM Re: One of my ancestors and the B'ar. Story from the 1800s [Re: Sniper John]
dkershen Offline


Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 15131
Loc: Denton/Argyle
Cool story. Brave man for sure.
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#5515146 - 01/02/15 10:16 AM Re: One of my ancestors and the B'ar. Story from the 1800s [Re: Sniper John]
redfred Offline


Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 1351
Loc: La Porte
If I were that other hunter, I'd be looking over my shoulder the rest of my life. Great story.
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