Author Topic: bear hunters pistol kit  (Read 3102 times)

Offline David Rase

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bear hunters pistol kit
« on: June 06, 2020, 07:56:58 AM »
Do any of you guys know what a bear hunter in the 1800's in the south using a pistol would of had for accouterments?  Shooting bag, coat pockets, holster.  I have seen quite a few "bear pistols" but never questioned how they carried the pistol or their shooting accessories.  I have seen the photos of a shoulder holster in Dennis Glazener's Gillespie book but that is the extent of my knowledge. Thanks, David

Offline Levy

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Re: bear hunters pistol kit
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2020, 04:12:22 PM »
A change of underwear and a friend that can't run as fast as you can.  James Levy
James Levy

Offline smallpatch

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Re: bear hunters pistol kit
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2020, 05:26:49 PM »
Serves you right Dave!
In His grip,

Dane

Offline Bob McBride

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Re: bear hunters pistol kit
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2020, 05:33:53 PM »
A change of underwear and a friend that can't run as fast as you can.  James Levy

Reminds me of that old saying we used when bear hunting in Alaska. I dont have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you.

Offline Dave Marsh

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Re: bear hunters pistol kit
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2020, 06:42:39 PM »
Or like the guy who bear hunts with his partner and carries a .22 as a back up gun.  Just shoot your partner in the leg and then run.  8)

Dave
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Offline Carl Young

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Re: bear hunters pistol kit
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2020, 08:59:39 PM »
Hi David, I will refer you to The Big Bear of Wannetola, which while very short on details, does offer some descriptions:
https://tinyurl.com/yad8vewk

After reading a few of these old bear hunting tales it seems rum or whisky is a prime necessity.

Carl
Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses. -Juvenal

Online Cory Joe Stewart

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Re: bear hunters pistol kit
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2020, 04:43:41 PM »
David,

I don't know if it would be that different from any other kit.  Maybe a hatchet if they did much butchering in the field. 

Cory Joe Stewart

Offline Notchy Bob

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Re: bear hunters pistol kit
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2020, 09:28:54 PM »
Here is a photo of Mont Plott's outfit:




I see a right-hand flap holster and a belt with a fitting for a military-style belt plate. I have seen a somewhat clearer image of Mont Plott's gear, which showed some simple cross-hatch tooling on the holster.  The other end of the belt just had a hook rather than a belt plate.  There was also a small, flat powder horn with the grouping, but I'm unable to post that picture. 

I would also recommend Our Southern Highlanders, by Horace Kephart.  Chapter IV is "A Bear Hunt in the Smokies."  You may glean something about traditional accoutrements from it, but this book is a good read, anyway.

From there, it would be pure speculation on my part.  Bear hunting was done with hounds, so we might assume that in the muzzle-loading era, and possibly later, there would be a hunter's horn to call them in.  In Florida, where I grew up, houndsmen with breech loading shotguns (single or double) would open the breech and unload, then blow through the muzzle of the gun like playing a bugle.  This made a low, musical tone that would carry a good distance, and made it unnecessary to carry a horn for calling the hounds.

No southern man ever goes anywhere without a knife of some sort, but I can't say that they used any special kind of knife for bear hunting.  The older men I knew when growing up took a great deal of pride in keeping all of their tools sharp, especially their knives.

You might try contacting Bob Plott, the author.  He is a direct descendent of Mont Plott, one of the best known of the old-time bear hunters.  He could probably give you some more information. 

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
"Should have kept the old ways just as much as I could, and the tradition that guarded us.  Should have rode horses.  Kept dogs."

from The Antelope Wife

Offline Daryl

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Re: bear hunters pistol kit
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2020, 10:03:48 PM »
Now I know where the RNWMP & NWMP got their designs for their revolver holsters that was used by the RCMP into the 1990's for the .38's.
tks.
Daryl

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Offline Clark Badgett

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Re: bear hunters pistol kit
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2020, 11:52:57 PM »
Here is a photo of Mont Plott's outfit:




I see a right-hand flap holster and a belt with a fitting for a military-style belt plate. I have seen a somewhat clearer image of Mont Plott's gear, which showed some simple cross-hatch tooling on the holster.  The other end of the belt just had a hook rather than a belt plate.  There was also a small, flat powder horn with the grouping, but I'm unable to post that picture. 

I would also recommend Our Southern Highlanders, by Horace Kephart.  Chapter IV is "A Bear Hunt in the Smokies."  You may glean something about traditional accoutrements from it, but this book is a good read, anyway.

From there, it would be pure speculation on my part.  Bear hunting was done with hounds, so we might assume that in the muzzle-loading era, and possibly later, there would be a hunter's horn to call them in.  In Florida, where I grew up, houndsmen with breech loading shotguns (single or double) would open the breech and unload, then blow through the muzzle of the gun like playing a bugle.  This made a low, musical tone that would carry a good distance, and made it unnecessary to carry a horn for calling the hounds.

No southern man ever goes anywhere without a knife of some sort, but I can't say that they used any special kind of knife for bear hunting.  The older men I knew when growing up took a great deal of pride in keeping all of their tools sharp, especially their knives.

You might try contacting Bob Plott, the author.  He is a direct descendent of Mont Plott, one of the best known of the old-time bear hunters.  He could probably give you some more information. 

Best regards,

Notchy Bob

That is actually a left handed flap holster. The belt end that is shown is on the left handed end of the belt, the buckle was normally on the right handed end.
Psalms 144

Offline BOB HILL

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Re: bear hunters pistol kit
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2020, 04:04:47 PM »
These were not bear hunters, but hog hunters in South Carolina. An old hunter relating a very large hog they caught a great distance from home, told me of going to borrow a mule and wagon to transport the hog. He said when he got back the other two hunters had cut poles to slide the tied hog up into the wagon. He commented that they always carried an ax with them hunting. I don't find it hard to believe these woodsmen would have done the same.
Bob
South Carolina Lowcountry

Offline T.C.Albert

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Re: bear hunters pistol kit
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2020, 10:56:12 AM »
https://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=60744.0

There is a link to a few books on the topic. You might enjoy them.
TC
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Offline Notchy Bob

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Re: bear hunters pistol kit
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2020, 05:21:22 AM »



That is actually a left handed flap holster. The belt end that is shown is on the left handed end of the belt, the buckle was normally on the right handed end.

Clark, thanks for your observations.  The resolution of that black and white image is not great.  I have seen other, more recent photos of this pistol and accoutrements with better resolution, but I am unable to share them on the forum.

If the flap holster in the photo is worn on a belt in the customary fashion on the shooter's left side, the pistol butt would be pointed forward, for a right hand cross draw, or a rather awkward left hand "twist draw."  The same holster on a belt on the shooter's right side would position the pistol with the butt to the rear, for a right hand "straight draw."  To me, that would be a right-handed holster.  Your terminology may be different.

Regarding the belt, I believe it is a recycled military belt.  The brass fitting you see on the end of the belt, with the rectangular hole, is indeed the "receiver" (for lack of a better word) for the hook on a military belt plate, or "two piece buckle."  Normally, the other end of the belt would be doubled over a bar on the belt plate, and the very tip of that end of the belt would have an adjustment hook riveted on, to engage holes punched in the leather.  You don't have the benefit of seeing the other end of the belt, which was clearly visible in the more recent images I was able to view, but I can tell you the belt plate is missing, as is the leather keeper.  The other end of this belt has the brass adjustment hook still riveted on, and the belt is opened up to its full length.  If worn as a waist belt, this would only fit a man of considerable girth, and it leads me to believe Mr. Plott may have slung the belt over his shoulder to carry the pistol in its holster.

It is an interesting outfit, in any event.

Thanks for your comments.

Notchy Bob
"Should have kept the old ways just as much as I could, and the tradition that guarded us.  Should have rode horses.  Kept dogs."

from The Antelope Wife

Offline JohnnyFM

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Re: bear hunters pistol kit
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2020, 09:18:57 AM »
Do any of you guys know what a bear hunter in the 1800's in the south using a pistol would of had for accouterments?

A BIG knife!