Ghost bear of Fall River
The Ghost Bear of Fall River Mills by Brian Kyncy III
In the Fall bear season of the year 2006 in Fall River Mills, Timbered Crater area my dad Big Brian Kyncy and I Lil Brian Kyncy (at age 13 in the 7th grade) were contacted by a fellow bear hunter/houndsman by the name of Pete C. and Cory L.
Pete C. had heard through the grape vine that we had trained some pretty good bear dogs and said he wanted to see how good our dogs were and invited us to hunt with him up near timbered crater.
In Late September 2006 we met up with Pete C. and took our dogs out. Our Dog Roxy had struck off of the box and we turned our dogs in on the bear spore. Pete C. also turned his dogs in on the race. After approximately 1 hour we caught up with our dogs as they came back to us with a very wild and scary look in there eyes like they were scared. Pete C. started to laugh and said “that was the Ghost Bear” he has killed many dogs and this is what the dogs usually look like when they come back. Other local’s had nick named this bear “Paddle Foot” and some named him “The Dog Killer”
For several weeks my dad and I went out and we caught about 3 bigger than normal bears a week. The friends we took harvested 3 out of the 14 bears we caught and all three were over 350lbs.
A couple more weeks went by and it snowed. We met up with Pete C. again and went out for another try in “The Ghost Bears” territory. Our dog “Roxy” struck off of the box and we got out and looked and we found the ghost bears huge track in the snow. One by one we turned in all of our dogs on the track, (Roxy, Missy, Bowdrie, Sky, Bindy, and Jeremiah) and into the race. Pete C. also turned in several dogs into the race.
We drove for about 30 minutes until we could get as close as we could to the dogs in the lava flows. We then parked our trucks, grabbed our guns, our food and water, our tracking equipment, our camera, our collars and other gear and started to track the dogs.
After marking our waypoint with our GPS we hiked the lava flows for about two miles and we caught up with the dogs at a cave. (See photo’s). When we caught up with the dogs Roxy was on the outside of the cave but Bindy, Sky, Katie and Bowdrie were going inside the cave and disappearing. One by one we grabbed our dogs and tied them to a tree to keep them from getting injured in the cave. We were missing my Plott hound Jeremiah, and Pete C. was missing all of his dogs.
After we got the dogs settled down, we heard a dog in the cave whining like it was hurt. Pete C. said it was one of his dogs and we needed to get to it. Pete C. recommended that we build a fire to smoke the bear out so we can go in and get his injured dog out.
We built a fire in an adjoining lava tube that was about the size of a basketball and after the fire was burning we covered the fire to make the smoke go into the cave. Smoke started coming out of caves and tubes for 75 yards in all directions.
After we tried this for about an hour I found a hole and stuck my head in the hole and could see the injured dog. It was my Plott hound Jeremiah. My dad and Pete could not see because they were too big for the hole, but I could see Jeremiah’s back was broke clean through. (see photo) He was about 10-15 yards down in the lava tube.
After trying unsuccessfully to smoke the bear out for hours so I could climb in and get my dog we heard Jeremiah pass away. It was a very sad moment and my dad and I cried and were very mad. Pete C. was very nice and wanted to go in and shoot the bear. My dad would not let him go in, and my dad would not go in either. My dad said it was too dangerous with me there.
My dad said he had to work the next day and asked Pete C. if he wanted my dad to call another hunter by the name of Cory L. Cory L. was known to be very brave or crazy. Pete said yes, he would wait with the dogs for Cory L. to show up. My dad marked the cave where Pete C. was with his GPS and then we grabbed all of our dogs except Roxy and we walked the 2 miles back out to the truck. We had to drive until we got a cell phone signal to call Cory L. We finally got a hold of Cory L. and told him what was going on and we met Cory L. at the Golden Bear store in Round Mountain. My dad gave Cory L. his GPS and Cory L. Just had to follow the arrow.
The next morning Cory L. called my dad for help to get the bear out and said it was a huge monster of a bear. My dad called my sisters, their husbands and their friends and sent us all up there to help carry the bear out. When we got there Cory L and Pete C. had already skinned and quartered the bear out inside the cave because it was ti huge to get out, and the Skin was huge also. We could all sit on it. Cory L. said he thought it was 7 or 8 feet tall and weighed more then 700 pounds. I believe him, but we will never know for sure because we had to leave all of the entrails in the cave. We couldn’t even carry the quarters; we had to cut the bear down into smaller parts.
Cory L. told me that he went into the cave on his hands and knee’s to the right and the cave made several turns. He went in on his hands and knees with his flashlight in his mouth along with his .454 Casull revolver and with his flashlight in his mouth and both hands on his gun.. He said he saw the huge Ghost Bear hiding around a corner to the right. He shot the bear and it bolted right at him and then past him with in inches. Cory continued to shoot as the bear went past him at point blank range. Several yards down the lava cave the bear collapsed to his death. We took many photos of the Ghost Bear and his original tracks that Roxy struck. We also took photos inside of the cave. My little brother Nathaniel and I climbed inside and took pictures of our dog Jeremiah that the Ghost bear had killed and we buried Jeremiah in the cave. See Photo’s on next page. Cory L. tagged the bear and had a full body bear mount.
Update; The Ghost Bear can now be seen at at the Great Outdoors Sporting goods Store on Hartnell in Redding, Ca.
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