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Bear Photo Album
Photo Album Page 1


Photo Album Page 1 | Photo Album Page 2 | Photo Album Page 3 | Photo Album Page 4 | Photo Album Page 5

Don't miss the Grizzly story at the bottom of the page.

A sunset; Actual size=240 pixels wide

Brent McGhie tagged this huge boar. Cinnamon bears are common in our area.

A sunset; Actual size=240 pixels wide

Jeff Greer used his Matthews bow to take this good bruin. He had wanted a bear for years.

A beach house; Actual size=240 pixels wide

This bear was tagged for a New Mexico study as a cub in 1996. He was harvested in October 2001 and weighed more than 300 pounds. Mature bears with excellet pelts are what we encourage our hunters to take.

A beach house; Actual size=240 pixels wide

Donna harvested this huge black colored bear while hunting in New Mexico. Fall bears are fat and have thick hides.

Photo Album Page 2

This is a classic story about boys, horses and bears. We seem to have better judgement these days but not the stories. I'm hunting up the story of Fred Fritz right now and will post it when available. Fred lost his run in with a Griz down at the XXX ranch on the lower Blue.




The wide open cattle ranges during the early settlement of Arizona were ruled by smoking rifles, but in this case the range was domin­eered by a seagrass rope in the hands of a cowboy.


The twenty-four Cattle Company, an English owned spread by the name of Smith and Tee, with headquarters ranch 12 miles north of Springerville and their summer range in the White Mountains from now McNary to Sheep Springs, saw Hank Sharp of Nutrioso as range foreman.


There was a big grizzly bear roaming around their summer range that would kill cattle wantonly. The cattle were so numerous that he didn't try to eat them. He was identified by having lost two' toes on the front foot by being caught once in a steel trap, but he had pulled himself loose.


Packs of wolves, coyotes, lion and bear would follow his bloody trail and never went hungry. Many animals ate the poisoned bait and stepped into the trap that had been set for the killer bear. He would hang around water holes and springs where the cattle watered, down in the more level country where he could pounce down upon his prey. After his kill he would lumber off into the deep canyon of Whiteriver and hole up in caves and secluded places.


A reward of $200.00 was offered by the big company, whose ten thousand cows wore the 24 brand. The local stockmen or livestock association placed a like reward for the killer, which attracted many hunters and trappers to the summer range. True the trappers killed a number of bear and wolves but the killer out-smarted them and always made his get-away.


Hank Sharp, the-range foreman, often said to his men that tie would lay his line on anything that roamed the White Mountains.

The 24 owned a dun colored cutting horse that was brought in on the big trail herds from Texas and was used for no other purpose. Hank would ride him on short trips where roping was involved. The roundup was at Haystack Cienega about four miles east of where the big lumber camp of McNary is now. Hank was piloting the chuck wagon into the cienega when he and the cook spied a bear nipping at the heels of s steer, going at high speed right down through the willows.


Here is the story in Hank's own words: "I built me a rather small loop, patted my horse and said: "Come on, Alamo. Let's go get them." I dropped right in behind the bear and down through the willows we went.



Alamo was fast and seemingly had no fear of the bear. As the bear was so engaged in the chase, he had no time to look around and as he passed a small glade, right on level ground, I gave a couple of hard swings and let out some 40 feet of rope which was tied hard and fast to the saddle horn. The loop went right around the bear's woolly head.

Alamo set his hind feet in the ground and gave old bruin a helluva jerk, flopping him on his side.

As soon as the bear got up, I made a side run on him and jerked him mighty hard, but we just couldn't move him as there was too much port on my line. I then tried to snake him, but old Alamo was not strong enough. The old bruin was trying to pull the rope off his neck so I kept the rope taut. I could see that he was not enjoying the show.


At this juncture the cook saw the boys coming in with the round up. Waving his hat at the boys in the lead to come at once, pointing at my trouble with the bear.

They came at high speed in time to see the bear make a quick run and jumped with his front feet right up on Alamos hips. With mouth wide open he bit at me, but missed a little and bit the cantle of the saddle, taking out a mouthful of wool and rawhide. I could see his big white teeth as he snapped at me and tore the seat of my saddle. Mr. Smith, the owner, arrived in time to see that.


I now wanted to get loose, but had no time to finger around in my pocket for a pocket-knife to cut the rope. I sure did keep the rope taut and jerked him to keep his mind off me till help came.


The first boy tried to heel the bear as he ran by but his horse shied off and missed. The next boy threw his rope trying to catch the bear around the neck but my rope threw his loop away.


Next came Henry Beeler who had his .45 out. I told Beeler to shoot fast and damn straight when he started, as the bear would sure make fight on me as soon as he was wounded. Beeler emptied his .45 out and made every shot tell, hitting the bear wherever it happened to be. The old cattle-killer bear slowly spread himself out on the ground.

I told the boys that me and Alamo had tussled with the killer for over an hour but I guess it was only about 15 minutes."


Mr. Smith aided in skinning the bear and had the head cut off to remain on the hide. Hank gave the hide to Mr. Smith, who had it tanned and mounted. When he returned to England he presented the skin to the Queen of England, where the skin was seen by all who might be interested, at the Buckingham Palace in London.


The skin was as large as the biggest cow-hide in the White Mountains.


Mr. Smith, after the cattle ranches were sold, gave Hank old Alamo. Alamo was kept and given his freedom at the Hank Sharp ranch in Nutrioso, Arizona. The faithful old horse was fed and groomed by Hank and during his last days refused to eat his grain unless it was given to him by Hank. The old horse was given a right decent burial, which brought tears to the eyes of those who participated in the final rites.


This is a true and well known story by many pioneer cowmen and citizens of Apache County. While seated around the chuck wagon at dinner that day, Hank had little to say, but did say, Boys, I have said that I would lay my line on anything that roamed the White Mountains, but I have now changed my mind.