Bears as Predators ~ - Printable Version

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RE: Bears as Predators ~ - Polar - 01-18-2016

I think 50/50 for bear vs bull at equal weights is a fair assessment.

RE: Bears as Predators ~ - Polar - 01-18-2016

This seems to be the only account of an inuit, large polar bear, AND viking/Norse interaction all together in the Greenland coast!

The Quests of Nordig (pg.38), 1188 A.D:

"We once saw [a] large bear in Gronland, most blank in appearance. A few landers sought in the coast [with] their [sharp] spears and smooth skins. "Angiyok Issumadguyok," the natives [referred] to the bear. It's meaning is "one great bear," that's [what] it really looked like. The giant beast had a mixture of white fur and scat spots on the fur. It's mouth had only one meat-tooth in [the] front. We spotted the natives and the bear charging at them, and they [readied] their spears. Blood [was] everywhere and most of the natives could not comprehend the brute power of the greatest beast, the white bear. My [friend] Hendag had an encounter with one of these great beasts and he left the fight with a [broken] ryggrad after my men secured the village-born bear into its quarters.  Later, I talked to [chief] with my men and asked him about the bear. The [chief] described the bear as clever, old, and aggressive. All the natives avoided the bear for security and [danger], but the bear made great warning of his [hunger]. We had never [had an] encounter like this before, and before me and my men, all the natives were bloodied and as we say [massacred], and the great white bear feasted on one of them while sulking away [towards] a snow-layered hill, never to be seen again. There [were] no landers to deal with, but there was a trail of [blood] to [where] the bear had moved."

Looks like the bear described here was a grolar/pizzly combination? And surely it was an old one, indeed. Seems as though old carnivores target humans more than they do with less available, yet more nutritious and larger prey.

RE: Bears as Predators ~ - brotherbear - 01-18-2016

(01-18-2016, 05:39 AM)Polar Wrote: I think 50/50 for bear vs bull at equal weights is a fair assessment.

I disagree. In the arena fights, the bull usually if not always outweighed the bear yet the grizzly was the usual winner. This held true in both the Mexican and ancient Roman arena battles. For grizzly vs domestic bull, the grizzly defeated the bull better than 50%. 
Wild bovine is a different matter. A bull bison is a massive and powerful fighter. I believe that only a very large bear 600+ pounds might subdue and kill such a brute. And in this fight maybe the bear stands a 50% chance of a victory. I believe that this would hold true with the yak in the Himalayas as well; and for that matter any other wild bovine. On the Canadian tundra, the barren ground grizzly has been known to kill musk ox three times their own weight.  

RE: Bears as Predators ~ - brotherbear - 01-18-2016

The Grizzly Book by Jack Samson - page 241 - The Big Skull by Grancel Fitz.
In the case of bears, it wasn't hard to find. The world's record grizzly skull is in the National Museum in Washington. The measurements of skulls give us the only accurate basis for comparison, and it is worth noting that this one was inaccurately reported for the last edition of the records. When the figures were found to vary from those on the same bear in earlier editions, the Washington authorities made a careful recheck. The length of that skull is 16 inches. The width is 9 and nine sixteenths. Combining these gives the record "score" of 25 and nine sixteenths. But far more important is the fact that this bear was shot near the Missouri River in Montana, away back in 1890, and it is highly significant that E.S. Cameron bagged him as early as the 4th of April. Since bears live for 40 years or more, unless somebody shoots them, and since they keep on getting bigger until they die, it is a fairly safe bet that this old monster was born in the great days of the bison, at least a century ago.

With the passing of the bison and the settling of the plains, all this was changed. Those huge old buffalo-eaters turned to killing cattle, and were wiped out by the ranchers. The grizzlies that survived were in the high mountain country, where the heavy snows and lack of winter feed forced them to hibernate for as much as six or seven months of the year. If a bear can eat only half of his life, and has to sleep throughout the rest, it just doesn't make sense that he can ever grow as big as one who is out and eating well for nine months, and hibernates for only three.

RE: Bears as Predators ~ - brotherbear - 01-18-2016

The Grizzly Book by Jack Samson.

Posters were plastered upon trees and rocks. WAR! WAR! WAR! The celebrated Bull-Killing Bear, General Scott will fight a Bull on Sunday the 15th inst. at 2 p.m. at Moquelumne Hill.

The bear will be chained with a twenty-foot chain in the middle of the arena. The Bull will be perfectly wild, young, of the Spanish breed and the best that can be found in the country. The Bull's horns will be of their natural length, and not sawed off to prevent accidents! The Bull will be quite free in the arena, and not hampered in any way whatever.

General Scott, a grizzly of some twelve hundred pounds, had killed several bulls in previous bouts, and during his introduction and that of the bull, the assembly amused itself by placing bets with each other as to the outcome. The bull was at first a reluctant participant, and had to be lured into the arena by the waving of a red flag. Eventually the bull charged, and each animal fought as it would in the wild; horns and power of charge against enormous strength and lacerating embraces. The bull, as was usually the case in such contests, was finally killed by the grizzly. The proprietors, as was also the custom, then announced that for an additional fee, another bull would be pitted against General Scott, and three or four men passed around hats which were quickly filled. The new bull was also dispatched, and the crowd filed out in high spirits. One of them remarked to Borthwick that it had been "the finest fight ever fit in the country."

A Solitary Beast by Michael Jenkins

RE: Bears as Predators ~ - brotherbear - 01-18-2016

The Grizzly Book by Jack Samson.

Monarch - The Big Bear by Ernest Thompson Seton.

That night the great bear left his lair, one of his many lairs, and, cured of all his wounds, rejoicing in the fullness of his mighty strength, he strode toward the plains. His nose, ever alert, reported - sheep, a deer, a grouse; men - more sheep, some cows, and some calves; a bull - a fighting bull - and Monarch wheeled in big, rude, Bearish joy at the coming battle brunt..."

RE: Bears as Predators ~ - brotherbear - 01-18-2016

The Grizzly Book by Jack Samson - A Gallery of Outlaw Grizzlies by W.P.Hubbard.

Two Toes was smart. He would never go near poisoned carcasses and went around traps as if there had been a sign posted beside them.

All during 1905, he was never seen, yet he raided over three ranges and killed more than twenty-five head.

Once he killed two range bulls within a mile of Ferguson's ranch buildings. On that morning a cowhand saw ravens circling a creek bottom. Investigating, he found the dead bulls. They had been fighting. One was younger than the other. Both were of crossed Herford-Durham blood and had good sets of horns. The young bull had been killed first. Tracks showed that the grizzly had surprised and attacked him while he was battling the other. He had gone down at the bears first rush, which had come from some brush bordering the creek. The other bull had then turned his fury upon the grizzly. They had fought a long time before the bull went down. Blood, hair, and bits of hide were on the fighting grounds. Two Toes moved to another section of his domain soon after the bull fight. Ferguson hunted for him with dogs for some time, but never got on a hot trail. That fall the reward was upped another $100.

RE: Bears as Predators ~ - brotherbear - 01-18-2016

The bear paw is capable of delivering a powerful force, resulting in significant
blunt trauma, particularly to the head and neck, ribcage, and abdominal cavity, especially
solid organ rupture. Therefore victims of bear attacks should be evaluated for occult
blunt trauma

RE: Bears as Predators ~ - brotherbear - 01-19-2016

The Grizzly Book by Jack Samson - A Gallery of Outlaw Grizzlies by W.P. Hubbard - Red Robber 1880 - 1885.

In April, 1881, on a flat near Hatch Wash, Ed Rowe, a cowhand drifting through the country, came upon a big, dun-colored longhorn steer sprawled at the base of some boulders. From the evidence, it had made a fighting stand against a bear. The steer had a good set of five-foot horns. One horn was smeared with blood several inches back from the tip, and both horns had claw and tooth marks upon them. The steers neck and shoulders were a mass of shredded flesh. One side of the lower jaw was crushed and almost bitten in two. The steer soon died.

RE: Bears as Predators ~ - brotherbear - 01-19-2016

California Grizzly by Tracy I. Storer and Lloyd P. Tevis, Jr.

The adversaries that the grizzlies met in the arenas were not the stolid, domesticated Herefords commonly seen on the California range today but were "the lithe, thick necked Spanish bulls, sharp of horn, quick of foot, always ready for a fight, and with a charge like that of a catapult" ( Kingsley, 1920 : 22 ). These bulls, combining weight, speed, agility, and sharpness of horn with bad temper, were exceedingly dangerous to both man and bear. Wister ( 1937 : 127 ) called the wild Spanish bull the noblest game in America, with possibly the single exception of the ... California grizzly. He knows no fear, and shrinks from no enemy, having been accustomed all his life to fighting his rivals and other formidable animals, and when surrounded by his family is always spoiling for a fight. He will come a mile for his enemy, and will as lief charge a hundred men as one.

Our tabulations of fights results during the Spanish period show that the grizzlies most often triumphed. Robinson ( 1846 : 105 ), however, thought that a strong bull could cope with two bears in an afternoon; Garner ( 1847b : 187 ) said that "an old mountain bull" was sure to be the victor; and Gibbs ( 1853 : 111 ) stated that the conflicts usually ended with "the death of both parties." Leonard ( 1904 : 214 - 217 ) wrote that "the bear is much the strongest, but it has no chance of avoiding the thrusts of the bull, in consequence of the smallness of the pen; but in an open field, a grizzly bear will conquer a bull in a few moments."

In contrast to these statements, Wilkes ( 1844 : 212 ) had the positive opinion that bears always won regardless of the size and temper of their adversaries. Bancroft ( 1886, 2 : 434 ) cites a record of a bear that killed three bulls. Pattie ( Flint, 1930 : 304 ) observed a contest in which fourteen bulls were conquered by five bears. Bell ( 1930 : 108 - 113 ) tells of a grizzly that killed three bulls one after the other and then was overcome by a fourth.

RE: Bears as Predators ~ - brotherbear - 01-20-2016

Man Meets Grizzly by Young and Beyers.
"The bear was an ugly grizzly that for years had roamed the pineclad region of Palomar Mountain, rising six thousand feet above the little mission. Tied to a huge post in the center of the old adobe-walled quadrangle he stood almost as high as a horse, a picture of fury such as painter never conceived. His hind feet were tethered with several turns of a strong rawhide riata, but were left about a yard apart to give full play. To the center of this rawhide, between two feet, was fastened another heavy riata, doubled and secured to a big loop made of double riatas thrown over the center post. The services of a man on horseback with a long pole were constantly needed to keep the raging monster from chewing through the rawhide ropes.
"By the time the bear had stormed around long enough to get well limbered up after being tied all night, the signal was given, the horseman affected his disappearance, and in dashed a bull through an open gate. He was of the old longhorn breed but of great weight and power. He had been roaming the hills all summer, living like a deer in the chaparral of the rough mountains and was quick and wild as any deer. He too, like old Bruin, had been captured with noosed lasso in a sudden dash of horsemen on a little flat he had to cross to go to a spring at daylight, and felt no more in love with mankind than did the bear. As he dashed across the arena it looked as if the fight was going to be an unequal one, but the bear gave a glance that intimated that no one need waste sympathy on him.

"No creature is so ready for immediate business than is the bull turned loose in an amphitheater of human faces. He seems to know they are there to see him fight and he wants them to get their money's worth. So, as soon as the gate admits him, he goes for everything in sight with the dash of a cyclone. Things that outside he would fly away from or not notice, he darts at as eagerly as a terrier for a rat the instant he sees them in the ring.

"This bull came from the same mountains as the bear and they were old acquaintances, though the acquaintance had been cultivated on the run as the bull tore with thundering hoofs through the tough manzanita and went plunging down the steep hillside as the evening breeze wafted the strong scent of the bear to his keen nose. But now, in the arena, he spent no time looking for a way of escape but, at a pace that seemed impossible for even the great weight of the bear to resist, he rushed across the ring directly at the enemy as if he had been looking for him all his life.

"With wonderful quickness for so large an animal the bear rose on his legs and coolly waited until the long sharp horns were within a yard of his breast. Then up went the great paws, one on each side of the bull's head, and the sharp horns whirled up from horizontal to perpendicular, then almost to horizontal again as bull and bear went rolling over together. In a twinkling the bear was on his feet again, but the bull lay as a rag, his neck broken.

"In rode four horsemen and threw riatas around the feet of the dead bull, while the grizzly did his ferocious best to get rid of them. As they dragged the body of the vanquished victim out one gate, the runway to the bullpen was opened once more and a second bull, a black one with tail up, as if to switch the moon, charged into the arena. On his head glistened horns so long and sharp that it seemed impossible for the bear ever to reach the head with his death-dealing paws before being impaled.

"But this problem did not seem to worry the grizzly. He had not been living on cattle for so many years without knowing a lot about their movements. When this new antagonist came at him he dodged as easily as a trained human bullfighter, and as the bull shot past him, down came one big paw on the bovine's neck, with a whack that sounded all over the adobe corral. A chorus of shouts went up from the rows of swarthy faces, with here and there a white face, as the victim, turning partly over, went down with a plunge that made one of his horns plow up the dirt, then break sharp off under the terrific pressure of his weight and momentum.
"The bull was not done for; he tried to rise and Bruin made a dash for him, but his tethers held him short of his goal. In a second the bull got to his feet and wheeled around with one of those short twists that makes him so dangerous an antagonist. But once he's wheeled around, his course is generally straight ahead, and a quick dodger can avoid him; however, he is lightninglike in his charge, and something or somebody is likely to be overhauled in short order. So it was this time, and before the bear could recover from the confusion into which he had been thrown by being brought up short by his tether, the bull caught him in the shoulder with his remaining horn.

"Few things in nature are tougher than the shoulder of a grizzly bear, and a mere sideswing without the full weight of a running bull behind it was insufficient to make even this sharp horn penetrate. The bear staggered, but the horn glanced from the ponderous bone, leaving a long gash in the shaggy hide. This only angered Bruin the more. He made a grab for the head of the bull but again was foreshorted by the riatas, which allowed him only a limited scope of action.

"The bull returned to the charge as soon as he could turn himself around and aimed the long horn full at his enemy's breast. But just as the horn seemed reaching its mark the grizzly grabbed the bull's head with both paws and twisted it half round with nose inward. The nose he seized with his great white teeth, and over both went in a swirl of dust, while the crowd roared and cheered.

"Now one could see exactly why cattle found killed by bears always have their necks broken. Bears do not go through the slow process of strangling or bleeding their victims, but do business on scientific principles.

"This time the grizzly rose more slowly than before; nevertheless he rose, while the bull lay still in death. The owners of the bear now wanted to stop the show, but from all sides rose the roar of "Otro! Otro! Otro! Otro toro!" - Another! Another! Another! Another bull!" The owners protested that the bear was disabled and was too valuable to sacrifice needlessly; that a dead bull was worth as much as a live one, and more, but that same arithmetic did not hold good for a bear. The clamor of the crowd grew minute by minute, for the sight of blood gushing from the bear's shoulder was too much for the equilibrium of an audience like this one.

"Soon another bull shot toward the center of the arena. Larger than the rest but thinner, more rangy, he opened negotiations with even more vigor, more speed. With thundering thump of great hoofs, his head wagging from side to side, eyes flashing green fire, he drove full at the bear with full force. The grizzly was a trifle clumsy this time and as he rose to his hind feet the bull gave a twist of his head that upset the calculations of the bear. Right into the base of the bear's neck went a long sharp horn, at the same time that the two powerful paws closed down on the bull's neck from above. A distinct crack was heard. The bull sank forward carrying the bear over backward with a heavy thump against thr big post to which he was tied.

"Again the horsemen rode in to drag out a dead bull. But the grizzly now looked weary and pained. Another powwow with his owners ensued, while the crowd yelled more loudly than ever for another bull. The owners protested that it was unfair, but the racket rose louder, for the audience knew that there was one bull left, the biggest and wildest of the lot.

"The crowd won, but Bruin was given a little more room in which to fight. Vaqueros rode in, and while two lassoed his fore-paws and spread him out in front, the other two lassoed his ropes behind so as to give him more play. He now had about half the length of a riata. Allowing him a breathing spell, which he spent trying to bite off the riatas, the gate of the bullpen was again thrown open.
"Out dashed an old red rover of the hills, and the way he went for the bear seemed to prove him another old acquaintance. He seemed anxious to make up for the many times he had flown from the distant scent that had warned him that the bear w3as in the same mountains. With lowered head turned to one side so as to aim one horn at the enemy's breast, he cleared the distance in half a dozen leaps.

"The bear was still slower than before in getting to his hind feet, and his right paw slipped as he grabbed the bull's head. He failed to twist it over. The horn struck him near the base of the neck, and the bull and bear went rolling over together.

"Loud cheers for the bull rose as the bear scrambled to his feet, showed blood coming from a hole in his neck almost beside the first wound. Still louder the applause as the bull regained his feet. Lashing his sides with his tail and bounding high in fury he wheeled and returned to the fray. The bear rolled himself over like a ball and would have been on his feet safely had not one foot caught in the riata which tied him to the post. Unable to meet the bull's charge with both hind feet solid on the ground, he fell forward against his antagonist and received one horn full in the breast, up to the hilt.

"But a grizzly keeps on fighting even after a thrust to the heart. Again he struggled to his feet, the blood gushing from the new wound. With stunning quickness in so large an animal, the bull had withdrawn his horn, gathered himself together, and returned to the charge. The bear could not turn in time to meet him, and with a heavy smash the horn struck him squarly in the shoulder forward of the protecting bone. Those who have seen the longest horns driven full to the hilt through the shoulder of a horse - a common sight in the bullfights of Mexico - can understand why the bear rolled over backwards to rise no more."

RE: Bears as Predators ~ - brotherbear - 01-20-2016

From - Man Meets Grizzly - Combat Between a Grizzly and a Wild Bull - J. Ross Browne.

While in this position, with the prospect of a dreary night before me, and suffering the keenest physical anguish, a very singular circumstance occurred to relieve me of further apprehension respecting the cattle, though it suggested a new danger for which I was equally unprepared. A fine young bull had descended the bed of the creek in search of a water hole. While pushing his way through the bushes he was suddenly attacked by a grizzly bear. The struggle was terrific. I could see the tops of the bushes sway violently to and fro, and hear the heavy crash of driftwood as the two powerful animals writhed in their fierce embrace. A cloud of dust rose from the spot. It was not distant over a hundred yards from the tree in which I had taken refuge. Scarcely two minutes elapsed before the bull broke through the bushes. His head was covered with blood, and great flakes of flesh hung from his fore-shoulders; but instead of manifesting signs of defeat, he seemed literally to glow with defiant rage. Instinct had taught him to seek an open space. A more splendid specimen of an animal I never saw; lithe and wiry, yet wonderfully massive about the shoulders, combining the rarest qualities of strength and symmetry. For a moment he stood glaring at the bushes, his head erect, his eyes flashing, his nostrils distended, and his whole form fixed and rigid. But scarcely had I time to glance at him when a huge bear, the largest and most formidable I ever saw in a wild state, broke through the opening.
A trial of brute force that baffles description now ensued. Badly as I had been treated by the cattle, my sympathies were greatly in favor of the bull, which seemed to me much the nobler animal of the two. He did not wait to meet the charge, but lowered his head, boldly rushed upon his savage adversary. The grizzly was active and wary. He no sooner got within reach of the bull's horns than he seized them in his powerful grasp, keeping the head to the ground by main strength and the tremendous weight of his body, while he bit at the nose with his teeth, and raked strips of flesh from the shoulders with his hind paws. The two animals must have been of very nearly equal weight. On the one side there was the advantage of superior agility and two sets of weapons - the teeth and claws; but on the other, greater powers of endurance and more inflexible courage. The position thus assumed was maintained for some time - the bull struggling desperately to free his head, while the blood streamed from his nostrils; the bear straining every muscle to drag him to the ground. No advantage seemed to be gained on either side. The result of the battle evidently depended on the merest accident.
As if by mutual consent, each gradually ceased struggling, to regain breath, and as much as five minutes must have elapsed while they were locked in this motionless but terrible embrace. Suddenly the bull, by one desperate effort, wrenched his head from the grasp of his adversary, and retreated a few steps. The bear stood up to receive him. I now watched with breathless interest, for it was evident that each animal had staked his life upon the issue of the conflict. The cattle from the surrounding plains had crowded in, and stood moaning and bellowing around the combatants; but as if withheld by terror, none seemed disposed to interfere. Rendered furious by his wounds, the bull now gathered up all his energies, and charged with such impetuous force and ferocity that the bear, despite the most terrific blows with his paws, rolled over in the dust, vainly struggling to defend himself. The lunges and thrusts of the former were perfectly furious. At length, by a sudden and well-directed motion of his head, he got one of his horns under the bear's belly, and gave it a rip that brought out a clotted mass of entrails. It was apparent the battle must soon end. Both were grievously wounded, and neither could last much longer. The ground was torn up and covered with blood for some distance around, and the panting of the struggling animals became each moment heavier and quicker. Maimed and gory, they fought with the desperate certainty of death - the bear rolling over and over, vainly striking out to avoid the fatal horns of his adversary; the bull ripping, thrusting, and tearing with irresistible ferocity.
At length, as if determined to end the conflict, the bull drew back, lowered his head, and made one tremendous charge; but blinded by the blood that trickled down his forehead, he missed his mark, and rolled headlong on the ground. In an instant the bear whirled and was upon him. Thoroughly invigorated by the prospect of a speedy victory, he tore the flesh in huge masses from the ribs of his prostrate foe. The two rolled over and over in the terrible death struggle; nothing was now to be seen save a heaving, gory mass, dimly perceptible through the dust. A few minutes would certainly have terminated the bloody strife, so far as my favorite was concerned, when, to my astonishment, I saw the bear relax in his efforts, roll over from the body of his prostrate foe, and drag himself feebly a few yards from the spot. His entrails had burst entirely through the wound in his belly, and now lay in long strings over the ground. The next moment the bull was on his legs, erect and fierce as ever. Shaking the blood from his eyes, he looked around, and seeing the reeking mass before him, lowered his head for the final and most desperate charge. In the death struggle that ensued both animals seemed animated by supernatural strength. The grizzly struck out wildly, but with such destructive energy that the bull, upon drawing back his head, presented a horrible and ghastly spectacle; his tongue, a mangled mass of shreds, hanging from his mouth, his eyes torn completely from their sockets, and his whole face stripped to the bone. On the other hand, the bear was ripped completely open and writhing in his last agonies. Here it was that indomitable courage prevailed; for blinded and maimed as he was, the bull, after a momentary pause to regain his wind, dashed wildly at his adversary again, determined to be victorious even in death. A terrific roar escaped from the dying grizzly. With a last frantic effort he sought to make his escape, scrambling over and over in the dust. But his strength was gone. A few more thrusts from the savage victor and he lay stretched upon the sand, his muscles quivering convulsively, his huge body a resistless mass. A clutching motion of the claws - a groan - a gurgle of the throat, and he was dead.

The bull now raised his bloody crest, uttered a deep bellowing sound, shook his horns triumphantly, and slowly walked off, not, however, without turning every few steps to renew the struggle if necessary. But his last battle was fought. As the blood streamed from his wounds a death chill came over him. He stood for some time, unyielding to the last, bracing himself up, his legs apart, his head gradually drooping; then dropped on his fore-knees and lay down; soon his head rested upon the ground; his body became motionless; a groan, a few convulsive respirations, and he too, the nobler victor, was dead.

RE: Bears as Predators ~ - brotherbear - 01-21-2016

The Grizzly Book by Jack Samson - A Soitary Beast by Michael Jenkinson.
On the open range, the great bears became skilled predators of cattle. Unaccustomed as they were to defiance from their prey, they rarely backed off when challenged by the tough, sharp-horned bulls, and fights were not uncommon. Wanderer J. Ross Browne observed one of these struggles from the safety of a tree branch:
The grizzly no sooner got within reach of the bull's horns than he seized them in his powerful grasp, keeping the head to the ground by main strength and the tremendous weight of his body, while he bit at the nose with his teeth, and raked strips of flesh from his shoulders, with his hind paws.

Suddenly the bull wrenched his head from the grasp of his adversary and retreated a few steps. The bull charged with such impetuous force that the bear, despite the most terrific blows with his paws, rolled over in the dust. By a well-directed motion ( the bull ) got one of his horns under the bear's belly.

The bull made another charge, was knocked down, and both animals rolled in desperate struggle, the grizzly biting and clawing, the bull attempting to break away, to get to its feet for another charge. The bull although badly injured and wobbly, charged the mortally gored bear, and killed it.

Then, as Browne noted, "The bull uttered a deep bellowing sound, shook his horns triumphantly, and slowly walked off. As the blood streamed from his wounds, a death-chill came over him. Finally, his body became motionless, and the victor was dead."

*Note: in most of those witnessed fights between range bull ( Texas Longhorn ) and grizzly, the bear killed the bull. Of course, there were exceptions when the bull killed the bear or, as in this fight, they killed each other. We must keep in mind that a grizzly will not, as a general rule, choose a mature bull or cow as prey; they go after the calves. When a grizzly fights a bull, it is the bull which initiates the fight. This always results in a face-to-face battle between these two powerful titans.

RE: Bears as Predators ~ - brotherbear - 01-21-2016

California's Day of the Grizzly by William B. Secrest.

"A Grizzly Bear Hunter in Congress," Defiance Democrat, Defiance, Ohio, February 21, 1878:

Duhaut-Cilly's account of a bull-bear fight that took place in Monterey's public square at the time of his previous-cited visit, is a concise classic of the cruel contests as they had evolved:

This show took place at the conclusion of mass and the spectators were many. When the two combatants were in the centre of the court, the bull, not paying, at first, any attention to the bear; began to run upon those surrounding him; but soon feeling himself held back by the leg, he turned quickly toward his formidable enemy, and with the first blow from his horns, he threw him down. Unluckily the bear had had a paw broken in his first fight with the soldiers, and could not make use of his prodigious strength; but he bit the bull in the neck and made him utter loud bellowings. This attack having increased the bull's rage, he took the field anew and fell like lightening upon the wild beast which, after a few minutes, was horribly gored, and lay dead on the spot; so that the victory remained entirely with the bull; but the combat would have been doubtful. at least, had the bear been less maltreated beforehand.

RE: Bears as Predators ~ - brotherbear - 01-22-2016

California's Day of the Grizzly by William B. Secrest.

"Lassoing Grizzlies Most Dangerous Sport," Lincoln Nebraska Evening News, July 19, 1904:

This bull was the idle of the people. He had amused them for a long time, never failing to kill the bears he was pitted against. He knew his business, this red bull. If one death thrust did not reach home, he had a new one for the next rush.

When they brought him up to the old Franciscan mission the morning of this gala day; everyone shouted and making desperate efforts to loosen the ropes that bound him, was as good as dead already. Only the Indian, who had lassoed the bear and with considerable assistance brought him to town, was willing to bet on the bear. He had nothing but a cayuse ( horse ) and his saddle, and he would have bet that a thousand times over.

We made a great ring in front of the mission, where there was a level place, a great ring of men, women, and children, and here and there a padre. They brought in the bull, with one rope tied to his foreleg. The bear loosened, all but one rope fastened to one of his hind paws. This was to keep him from running away when the red bull began to gore him.

As the bull charged with a mighty bellow, we held our breath and waited. The grizzly was waiting too and reared up on his haunches, looking as big as an abode hut. They came togetherbut the bull's horns did not even ruffle the fur on the bear's chest. Too quick had the bear seized the massive head and held it to the ground. For a moment they swayed there, neither giving nor gaining an inch. As the peons ran up to separate them, the bear struck out quickly with one of his huge paws and tore a gash in the bull's neck. The red fellow, with a growing anger that was terrible, drew back for a second charge. It was as useless as the first. The bear seized and stopped him, holding his head to the ground. Again the peons pulled them apart.

It was a prize fight with regular rounds, this fight of honor of the great general. On the forth or fifth charge the bull gored the bear, but the wound did not seem to disable him greatly. In the seventh round - suppose we call it round - the bear dodged the charge and tore the bull's shoulder terribly. That bear knew his business too.

So the fight went until the bull had charged fifteen, twenty, twenty-one times. Then the commandant put an end to it. It was plain that the bear was going to get the better of the fight, that he would kill the red bull, and that the commandant did not care to afford it. It was indeed a battle royal, and I, for one, was sorry when they tossed a lasso around the bear's neck and slowly strangled him to death.