Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Stover Wise Attacked by Bear That Had Been Killing Hogs in Little Lost Cover, N.C., 1911

 “Hunter Attacked by Bear” in the Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., February 2, 1911.

Linville Falls--The first authentic case of black bear attacking a man is that reported by Stover Wise, one of the most successful bear hunters of this region. It happened on a recent big bear hunt which ended a few days ago in the killing of the largest bear that has been taken in this vicinity for many years. He weighed about 300 pounds.

This bear has been living off the hogs kept at a sawmill in Little Lost Cover, about 8 or 9 miles from here toward Grandfather Mountain. The bears’ depredations being reported by Wise and Aldridge boys, they started after the brute with their dogs. It was the largest and hardest race on record here, lasting five days using up several packs of hounds and extending over much more than 100 miles. Bruno was chased up to Grandfather Mountain and over some of its roughest slopes and finally back to the place where he was started.

By making an effort, which only a life-long training made possible and which he says was the hardest climb he ever made, Stover Wise intercepted the bear on a ridge in time to get a shot at him from a distance of about 100 yards, using a Winchester. To his surprise, the bear turned and came straight for him, never stopping despite repeated shots until he was within 20 feet of the hunter. Then he went down.

Examination showed that five shots had taken effect, all in the head and shoulders, ranging back Wise says he is not certain whether the bear was dazed by the first shot and did not know what he was doing, or if he really meant to attack. All the old bear hunters hereabouts agree that a black bear never attacks a man, even when wounded, if he can run away.

This was the twelfth black bear killed within 8 miles of Linville Falls this fall and winter and most of them were secured much nearer.

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