USU Digital Library - Old Ephraim

Then, on the night of August 21, 1923, Clark was awakened by a loud roaring. Stopping just long enough to put on his shoes and grab his gun, he ran out of his tent to investigate the noise. In the darkness Clark didn't know that it was Old Ephraim roaring until he went past him. Then Clark knew that he was in a dangerous situation. So he decided to go further up the hill and wait until morning rather than try to get back to camp. In the morning Old Ephraim was still there hiding in some willows. Clark threw sticks at him hoping to scare him out. Instead, Old Ephraim ran to some willows by Clark's tent. Clark crept down close to the tent and shot at the bear. Injured by the shot, Old Ephraim stood up to his full height, and attacked. It was then that Clark saw that Old Ephraim’s right front paw was stuck in a trap and that the chain attached to it was neatly wrapped around his right arm. Clark froze for just a moment and then shot again. It took seven shots to finally bring the bear down. Clark then found another sheepherder who helped him skin and bury Old Ephraim.

Later, a Logan Boy Scout troop went to the grave and dug up Old Ephraim's remains. Members of the troop took his skull and some of his vertebrae to use as kerchief slides for their scout uniforms. His skull went to the Smithsonian for a period of time, and then in 1978 was returned to Utah State University. The skull is now on display in the Special Collections and Archives area of the Merrill-Cazier library along with other interesting items from the Old Ephraim collection which are available for public examination.

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