Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Adams County Makes the News - Adams County Leader #36

The Adams County Leader        Published Weekly On Friday
Wm. Lemon Editor and Manager
Member State Editorial Association 
Member National Editorial Association
Official Paper of Adams County Price $2.00 Strictly in Advance

July 26, 1929

There are a lot of things that this editor doesn’t know about bears, but we do visualize the time, and not far distant, when bears will be a thing of the past in our Adams county mountains unless something is done to protect them.  There is no closed season on bears and they are killed promiscuously—whenever and wherever it is possible to bag one.  Under such conditions one can readily contemplate a time when bears in these woods will be no more.  It may be that they are destructive enough to justify killing them off, but we doubt it. 

The mere fact that they are all gone and that man has so wantonly divested these mountains and woods of one of its most interesting and rather likable wild animals makes us feel ashamed of ourselves.  It is high time, we believe, for the state game department or the Rod and Gun Club to begin to look to some sort of protection for these animals, for they are none too plentiful now.

July 26, 1929

To the Adams County Leader:

It seems that some of our town friends are getting alarmed and think the bears are becoming extinct.  There is no need for this worry.  There will always be too many bears.  They are now frequently seen from the highway as was stated in your paper.

No.  These cunning, destructive pests will always be with us; like the coyote, civilization can only keep him down to a minimum.  The combat has been on ever since the seven she-bears ate those Hebrew children.  The mother bear begins at two years old with two cubs and raises a pair every year for 8 to 10 years.  I am glad this question has come up at this time.  There has been considerable agitation to put bears on the protected list as a game animal when in fact they are one of our worst predatory animals. 

Just two weeks ago you will see in the Statesman where at Fall Creek, Colethorpe and a partner had 400 sheep killed in a pile-up caused by a bear.  The dread of bears is the sheepman's nightmare.  Last year 26 head were killed within a half mile of the highway; 28 head in one night on Hazard Creek.  Colethorpe’s loss alone will be around $5,000.00.  Let something like this happen in a city.  Would there be a protection put on the Cause.  An attempt was made at the last Legislature to put a protection on bears, fostered by a lot of bear-hearted Gun Club fiends, and it was nearly accomplished.

Now, it’s just this: if we are going to protect pests, why not cover them all—rattlesnakes, codling moths, and all living things.  Nature set us all going together.

Moses says that God told him that Man was “to have dominion over the world and subdue it.”  Some job.  And it’s not finished yet.

If you could put in a few days at Yellowstone Park, you would see what bears will do under a protective law.  Check up the property damage, the number of people who have actually been killed by them.  It’s appalling!  The make of a bear’s anatomy naturally makes him a pest.  He is a strange mixture—being both carnivorous and herbivorous.  It requires an immense quantity of food to put on the fat necessary to carry him through his five month’s winter sleep, at which time he safe from all harm, consequently he must eat anything he can get.  Toward fall, he becomes a wanton killer not satisfied with just enough.

In early times when they were more plentiful and they could get at a settler’s orchard, they would ruin the trees in a short time by breaking off the limbs.  And to go in his hog pen and pack off his winter fattening hogs was a common occurrence.  Coyotes will not do that.  There is nothing too bold for a bear to do.  He is dangerous as a pest.  I have had my camps destroyed in the daytime, I have seen sheep killed while staked out on a rope.  Now why on earth do they want to make it worse?  With wool 18 to 26 cents per pound and a tariff of 38 cents per pound, isn’t this enough. 

Another thing—there is no pest so hard on young game animals as bears and especially bird life.  He is so snoopy and can clean up a bevy of little grouse quicker than anything I know of.  If I can keep the bears from killing too many sheep, I hope to pay up expenses and pay for a subscription to the Adams County Leader.

Thos. Morgan

compiled by Eberle Umbach


  1. I do love this series. I was in Bradford Library the other day reading 100 year old copies of the Bradford Telegraph : and that mix of inconsequential stories that so perfectly sum up a period in social history made me think of this series and the two of you. From Bradford to Adams County - greetings.

  2. Hi Alan: I like that--inconsequential stories ultimately are the sum of social history, & as such--however inconsequential when considered separately--become of consequence when considered as part of the whole. Thanks so much. We both appreciate your enthusiaism for "Adams County Makes the News."


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