Chattanooga Times Free Press, 11/24/08: A state wildlife biologist predicts a record number of black bears will be taken during the current hunting season.
There are two periods during which dogs can be used to hunt bear — one in mid-November, the other during the first two weeks of December.
“Him and his brother-in-law one night back years ago, about forty, went out a-bear huntin’, a-possum huntin’ or other, and treed a bear. He minded up the tree till it come down. I shot it. It rolled off down the mountain a piece, tore loose from the dogs, and run away on down the flat and treed up another tree. We minded hit up there a good long while.
“Finally it come down from up there. We had us a big fire made up at the root of the tree. When it come down, why we had a good fire light to fight it by. When it come down, I shot again, didn’t hit it the last time. When I shot it the last time, shot at it, why, just throwed my gun down and jumped a-straddle of it, grabbed it by both ears, me and my dogs. I thought I could help him and make him kill it, but I couldn’t do that. I broke the dog’s hold, seed I couldn’t hold it myself, and I let it loose, started to run back around the tree.
“The bear took after me, just as I got around next to the fire the dogs caught it again. I turned around and jumped on it again a-straddle of it, called for the axe, and my brother-in-law, he’d had the axe to fight the bear with, and he’d laid it down and burnt the handle in two. He couldn’t hardly find the axe, but he hadn’t holped me a bit. He hadn’t fit none of the time. When I got to hunting for the axe and reaching for the axe, I knocked it in the head ever so many licks before I could get it to roll over and hush hollering.
“Finally we got it killed, drug it around next to the fire, and I got to looking at it, just looked a-scared, to look at a bear a-thinkin’ a man of my age or size would jump on a bear to fight fist and skull without something to fight with. So we killed it, brought it in home that night about daylight next morning. About as far as I can go with that.”