County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Old Postcard Holds a Whopper of a Bear Tale


Mrs. Ester Hileman is a long-time subscriber and called us about this photo postcard that ran the Cleaver last week. She identified three out of the five of the men in the photo. Donny Case, left, Bill Case to the right of the bear with his father Horton Case behind him. Identifying the men led to an article in the Clare Sentinel from May of 1949. The man in conservation uniform is most likely Don Bell. Bill Case and Don Bell were WWII veterans. Bill Case was Mrs. Hileman's brother-in-law. Thank you, Mrs. Hileman, for giving us more information that led to the rest of the story in this photo!

Clare Sentinel, 6 May 1949

There was quite a lot of excitement around Mann Siding Friday night when Cecil Hubel saw a big bear attacking a colt, belonging to Eddie Hubel’s D & D Riding Ranch, about a mile and a half west of US-27 on the south side of the Mann Siding Road, as Cecil was driving by at about 5:00 o’clock. Cecil threw a stone at the bear, which turned on him and drove him into his car. He then ran into the bear with the car, knocking bruin into the ditch, but he got up and attacked the car. Not desiring a “hand to hand” encounter with the 200-pound beast, Cecil drove to the Horton Case home, where Horton and his two sons, Bill and Russell, armed themselves with a 30-30 and 32 special rifle and 20 and 16 gauge shotguns with buck shot and slug loads, and returned to find the bear standing near a fence not far from where Cecil left him. They shot the bear with the 32 rifle and knocked him down, but he got up again and ran into the woods, with the men in hot pursuit firing as they ran. They knocked the bear down several more times and Case finally killed him with a slug load from his shotgun. Conservation Officer Don Bell was called from Clare and Horton Case dressed the bear, which was taken to the Mt. Pleasant State Home and Training School and added to their meat supply. The colt, although mauled and scratched up considerably escaped alive.


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