TRUE BEAR STORY AS TOLD BY FRANK CLARK, MALAD, IDAHO
Your request for the story of "Old Ephraim" shall be told to you just as it happened, by the one who killed and trapped him.
It will require that we go back to my arrival upon the scene of Old Eph's range of operations. I arrived on the right hand fork of Logan Canyon on July 13th, 1911, as a herder and pardner of Ward Clark Co. sheepmen.
At that time bears were yery plentiful and the first season killed 154 adult sheep.
Now before we go any further let us look into a bear's habits as I have found them during forty-five years in the mountains, having never missed but two summers in that time. They newer kill their prey but catch and eat what they want, such as the udder and brisket of sheep that were thus maimed, 23 in one day, and during the summer there were wery few days that I did not have to shoot at least one or two. I have also seen the tragedy of a mother deer robbed of her fawn or destruction of birds nests, all caused by bear. As a lover of nature and nature's animals I do not hunt.
I have sworn eternal vengeance on bears and it shall be mine. Old Eph¬ raim was the hardest of them all. By July of.1912 I was pretty well acquaint¬ ed with Old Eph and his range because of a deformed foot, he only had three toes on one foot, evidently having been born that way. He was a killer but not one of the particular kind described above, he generally killed a sheep or other animal and carried it off to eat at his leisure. I had the pleasure of making him drop a full grown sheep once as he was making off with it. I shot at him several times but was unable to hit him as-he.was going straight up the side of a mountain.
In 1913 I started to trap for him and others. I caught thirteen bears that year; t?ut Ephraim was not one of them. No other bear ever bothered his range for long.
j. In 1914? I determined to get him so set a trap in his wallow. He removed the trap without setting it off time and again. He was getting worse as a killer and many fellows followed his tracks and one or two got shots at him. I have had some good ones myself but - big as he was - I never touched him. ; From 19.13 on to the day he was caught, August 21st, 1923, was an ever¬ lasting battle every summer, but he was just too smart. In all those years I used everything that I could devise at his wallow and spring to get him