Legendary critters

JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior MemberPosts: 6,551 Senior Member
I imagine that most areas of the world have, or have had, animals that wrought havoc, escaped killing or capture, and just basically became a local legend due to such feats. Colorado certainly has had some. I thought it might be fun to post various accounts of such animals.

One of the most legendary of animals in Colorado was a grizzly known as Old Mose. He was given credit for killing 4 or 5 people over a 20+ year period, and lord only knows how much livestock. His legend began in 1883 when he supposedly killed a miner, Jacob Ratliff, from Fairplay, who was hunting along Badger Creek. It ended on May 2, 1904 when Wharton Pigg killed him on Black Mountain, which is roughly 30-40 miles north/northwest of present day Canon City. He field dressed 775 lbs., which put him well over 1000 lbs. live weight.

He was recogizable by two missing toes on one of his feet. He had been trapped years before, and pulled loose from the trap. His escape, though, had cost him his toes.

Somehow or another his remains ended up in a storage room of a museum at UC Berkley. A researcher managed to get one of the bears teeth and aged it. Remarkably, the 20+ year old legend was only 12 years old, according to the tooth. No doubt there were several bears whose feats were attributed to Old Mose during that time. Regardless, he became a local legend. Even today, there's a tourist shop just outside of Canon City that uses the bear as part of its advertisement.

FWIW, the information I'm posting comes from a book titled "Old Mose" by James E. Perkins. It's an interesting read in case anyone wants to know more.

There's also the Plute bull, but I'll leave that for someone else, or maybe for a reply to this thread.

Would anyone else care to share similar stories. I'd like to read them.
Jerry

Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.

Replies

  • olesniperolesniper Senior Member Posts: 3,760 Senior Member
    I remember reading about Old Mose. IIRC, Pigg took him out with a 30/40 Krag.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil: For I carry a .308 and not a .270
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,551 Senior Member
    olesniper wrote: »
    I remember reading about Old Mose. IIRC, Pigg took him out with a 30/40 Krag.

    According to the book I cited, that is correct.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,851 Senior Member
    Dang JBC, you come up with the most interesting threads. But this time you got me. I can't think of a thing to add. Well there was one incident around Seadrift but it hardly ranks up with anything like Ol' Mose. But bear, even blak bear are rare as hen's teeth around here. We have chronic shortage of such critters. However, we do have the occasional big cat around here. Once when we lived out in the country in Seadrift out west of town we saw a big black cougar outside walking in the front yard. That cat had been seen aroun that area for years. Or maybe there were more than one. All I know is that it scared the bejesus out of us.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,551 Senior Member
    double tap. See next reply, as it is edited for easier reading.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,551 Senior Member
    I thought others might have stories/tales to share, but I guess not. Any way, here's the story of the Plute bull, which was recognized by the Boone and Crockett club as the number 1 all time typical bull elk for nearly 40 years. That 40 year span doesn't count the 60+ years that the rack went unmeasured. Regardless of the circumstances, it was one huge bull elk.

    I saw the mounted head about 20 years ago. At that time, it was hanging in a small Conoco station in Crested Butte, Colorado. According to the two posted articles below, it is now hanging in the Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce Visitor's Center, or on tour.

    I am posting two accounts I found on the internet, along with the web page where I found them.

    I also found a web page that provides details of the top 20 all time B&C elk. If you're interested, check out the following.

    http://www.outdoorlife.com/photos/gallery/hunting/2011/08/world-record-elk-nontypical-world-record-elk-typical-record-elk-spide

    From http://www.cbchamber.com/elk-story.html


    Elk Story


    The Former World Record Elk was killed here in 1899 by John Plute of Crested Butte

    John Plute, a hunter and bachelor who lived and worked in Crested Butte, shot this huge bull elk in 1899 in the Dark Canyon of Anthracite Creek, 12 miles west of Crested Butte with a 30-40 Krag rifle.

    He gave the horns to John Rozich who later gave them to his stepson Ed Rozman.

    It was Ed and Tony Rozman who first made the effort in 1955 to bring recognition to the rack. A measurement form was filled out and sent to the Boone and Crocket Club in New York. In September 1960, with the help of the Hotchkiss Elks Lodge and Jesse Williams of the Montrose Game and Fish Department, an official measurement
    was made and also sent to New York.

    A letter from Boone and Crocket stated that the horns would have to be shipped to them to be measured by their own officials.

    On March 19, 1961 they were certified in a new world record: score 442 3/8. Recently, a set of horns from Arizona apparently surpassed the Crested Butte elk by a mere .25 points.

    Through the efforts of the American Sportsman’s Club, a cape was mounted to the Crested Butte antlers by official taxidermist Joe Jonas Jr. and displayed during the National Western Stock Show. Countless numbers of people have seen the head.

    When not on loan and/or tour, the head is being displayed at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center in downtown Crested Butte. It is still one of the most impressive displays you will ever see.



    http://www.outdoorlife.com/photos/gallery/hunting/2011/08/world-record-elk-nontypical-world-record-elk-typical-record-elk-spide?photo=2#node-1001347727

    #2 TYPICAL
    Hunter: John Plute
    Score: 442 3/8
    Year: 1899
    State: CO

    When elk are killed a good century back, details of the hunt tend to get fuzzy. Nearly 20years ago, OL outdoor writer Jim Zumbo struck out to see and hear about what was then the world’s largest elk. Legend has it that John Plute, 31, was a miner around Crested Butte, Colorado — as most able-bodied men from the region were. He
    lived in a boarding house, occasionally trading wild game meat for rent. He hunted every chance he got. One day in 1899, he went up to Dark Canyon, 12 miles west of Crested Butte and killed a fine bull, a mighty fine bull.

    He didn’t typically haul out the racks as it was tough to pay rent with something that useless back in those days. He told others about the size of his elk, and to prove it, he eventually went back in to pack out the antlers.

    Then in 1915, as legend has it, Plute gave the rack to a bar owner to pay his tab. The Rozman brothers inherited the saloon in question in 1948 along with the antlers. The rack was loaned out, stuck in storage, and returned. It was finally measured by an official scorer. In 1961, it was made official in New York City as the number one bull in the world. After touring about, the elk ended back in Crested Butte in 1971. It sat in a hardware store that’s just about as old as the rack. Now, when it’s not traveling the country as a display, it sits in Crested Butte’s Chamber of Commerce
    downtown. And while everyone knows where that famous rack is, no one seems to have a clue about what happened to John Plute.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    olesniper wrote: »
    I remember reading about Old Mose. IIRC, Pigg took him out with a 30/40 Krag.

    IIRC that is also what downed the Plute bull
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,551 Senior Member
    IIRC that is also what downed the Plute bull

    From the first posted article.

    John Plute, a hunter and bachelor who lived and worked in Crested Butte, shot this huge bull elk in 1899 in the Dark Canyon of Anthracite Creek, 12 miles west of Crested Butte with a 30-40 Krag rifle.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    You know Jerry, when I saw the rack as a little kid it was STILL in that hardware store! IIRC, my dad said the rack was mounted on a cows head mount. But then again, he could have been wrong and just assumed a rack so big had to be on a small head lol

    If we make this years elk hunt in 54, I think it would be worth it to make a short jaunt up the highway to Crested Butte to go pay homage to that fine rack.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,551 Senior Member
    You know Jerry, when I saw the rack as a little kid it was STILL in that hardware store! IIRC, my dad said the rack was mounted on a cows head mount. But then again, he could have been wrong and just assumed a rack so big had to be on a small head lol

    If we make this years elk hunt in 54, I think it would be worth it to make a short jaunt up the highway to Crested Butte to go pay homage to that fine rack.

    I have been told the same thing about the cape being from a cow.

    I totally agree that it would be time well spent to take another look at that mount.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,543 Senior Member
    There's a small country store a few miles north of Natchitoches, La. that's owner collects animal mounts and displays them in the store. I've only been there once, but it's an interesting place. I can't even recall the name of the store.

    Anyway, I saw a full-body bobcat mount that was huge. I mean really, really big for a bobcat. But, it did look a little strange. The shape just wasn't quite right.

    Talking to the owner yielded the following info about the mount. The bobcat was actually a road-kill from Utah, having been hit by a local truck driver sometime back in the '50s. He knew it was unusually big, so he took it to the Utah wildlife department. Turned out (and I have no idea where they would have searched, but apparently they did) it was the largest bobcat, captive or wild, ever recorded.

    It was so large it was mounted on a juvenile cougar form. That's why it looked so strange. It would have been an amazing thing to see had it been properly mounted. Even so, it was pretty impressive as it was, even to my admittedly non-expert eye.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,418 Senior Member
    There was a restaurant in northeast Arkansas where I used to stop when fishing in the area. Their dining room featured all sorts of taxidermy, including a few hybrid critters. There was a BIG jackrabbit with a set of antelope horns on it- - - - -the legendary "Jackalope", and about a 10-lb. bass with a bobcat's head grafted on. The owner of the place called it a "Badmouth Bass", and of course, he had a tall tale about how he caught it!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Posts: 1,611 Senior Member
    I will take a look at the bull next time we go to Taylor Park, we often go to Crested Butte on that trip to let somebody else cook for us. As for legendary animals with the advent of game cameras some neighbors/ friends were watching a really big buck 200+ in. class for two years. I had seen him from the road on two occasions myself, every body was hoping to recover his sheds if not get a chance to kill him. Finally this year the oldest boy was successful during archery season, trophy of a lifetime and he's only 21. But he worked hard hunting that guy, and let a lot of other bucks walk to hold out for the monster.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,728 Senior Member
    In my hometown, there was a space of time while I was in Highschool that two lions (exotic pets) escaped from a pen that some guy had. The Lioness was hit by a car in the middle of town (I saw it on the side of the road right in front of Rosie's Tacos), and supposedly, the male lion was never found. That was a good story for kids.

    There was also a troop of Japanese snow monkeys that supposedly escaped from a primate rescue organization outside of San Antonio ( http://www.primarilyprimates.org/ ). There were supposed monkey sightings all over the area west of Boerne near I-10 for years after.

    But nothing good like a monster bear or anything like that.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,551 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    There was a BIG jackrabbit with a set of antelope horns on it- - - - -the legendary "Jackalope", Jerry

    Aw heck, I've killed hundreds of jackalopes. They've all been does, though. The bucks are much harder to find.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,551 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Great, I was thinking of posting the 30/40 on Gunbroker and now it has to stay... You guys are costing me money...

    Let's not get carried away, Wambli. They guy was also a miner, a bachelor, lived in a boarding house, and walked every where he went. I think you have a bit of leeway there. :)

    Getting back to the story, though, I am amazed at the actual hunting feat that John Plute pulled off to get this bull. First, he walked 12 miles, one way, over rough country. I've never been to Dark Canyon, but I have been on the road that runs west from Crested Butte and goes near Dark Canyon. That is some rough country.

    That bull also had to be large, probably in the 1000-1200 lb. range on the hoof. Even if you bone the meat out, you're probably looking at 300-400 lbs. of meat to pack out. That's a lot to carry on your back, and would require at least 2 trips, probably more. The last trip just to bring out the horns couldn't have been easy, either.

    I'd say Mr. Plute earned that bull more than I have ever earned any animal I've brought home.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,851 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    There was a restaurant in northeast Arkansas where I used to stop when fishing in the area. Their dining room featured all sorts of taxidermy, including a few hybrid critters. There was a BIG jackrabbit with a set of antelope horns on it- - - - -the legendary "Jackalope", and about a 10-lb. bass with a bobcat's head grafted on. The owner of the place called it a "Badmouth Bass", and of course, he had a tall tale about how he caught it!
    Jerry

    Man, Jackalopes are all over south Texas. They get huge! LOL!!! You can see them in mueseams across the state, right next to the Armadillo drinking a Lonestar beer. That's gotta be one tough animal to drink that horse pee, LOL!!!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • bklysenbklysen Member Posts: 403 Member
    Well, there is this thing stomping about....



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hodag
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 8,662 Senior Member
    I am surprised that nobody mentioned Hogzilla

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hogzilla
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,851 Senior Member
    Diver43 wrote: »
    I am surprised that nobody mentioned Hogzilla

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hogzilla

    There are a lot of huge hogs throughout the South. Around here you hear about 500-600 pounders being killed all the time. But I would reduce these by a hundred or so pounds. I know there have been several actual 500 pounders killed around the state but at that they really aren't that common. So Hogzilla was definitely exceptional, even though he didn't live up to the original claims.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • pardogpardog Member Posts: 423 Member
    Only legendary critter I could think of. I actually saw Old Ephraims skull last summer. I would much rather go after Elk with a 30-40 than Grizzly with 25.-35

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Ephraim
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,851 Senior Member
    Ol' Ephraim was some big bear!!!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,418 Senior Member
    Here's a pair I thought would get mentioned:

    maneaters.jpg

    The theory was that burial details for the workers who died while building the railroad just disposed of their bodies in the bush, and the lions developed a taste for human flesh. Both lions were old and sick, but they just about brought construction to a standstill for several months.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    Well if we are opening up the lore to a world wide format, there are all kinds of famous ones! I can't remember the exact details, so I can't look them up, but I remember reading about an entire pride of lions that went man-eater in Africa, for generations.

    Some of my favorite to read about were several of the leopards and tigers Jim Corbett dispatched around India.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Senior Member Posts: 3,246 Senior Member
    The Man-Eaters of Kumaon! Classic stuff. Corbett had some gigantic stones
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • olesniperolesniper Senior Member Posts: 3,760 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I was sure someone would bring them up! One of my favorite movies "Ghost and the Darkness" and apretty darn good book too.
    tsavo_lions.jpg?w=550&h=389

    When I was in grade school, we went to the Museum of Natural History, in Chicago. They had the Tsavo man-eaters on display. Them was a couple of big skanky looking cats.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil: For I carry a .308 and not a .270
  • AiredaleAiredale Banned Posts: 624 Senior Member
    This is a story you can tell your grandkids about "The Tree Moose".
    Seems way back when, when moose could fly, they attempted to land in trees that wouldn't support their weight. That accounts for all the trees we see on camping trips with their tops broken off. Who knows? There may still be some of those critters flying around.
    Another topic, a while back I went to the agriculture museum in Glasgow, Montana. A quansett hut type building that had some of the most impressive heads of game animals taken way back when.
    There was also a display of Asssiniboine artifacts that have since (I think) been moved to their reservation nearby. There was an authentic elk skin tepee that belonged to a famous chief of that tribe.
    Great stuff!
    Jim
  • drwalker47drwalker47 Member Posts: 192 Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    I imagine that most areas of the world have, or have had, animals that wrought havoc, escaped killing or capture, and just basically became a local legend due to such feats. Colorado certainly has had some. I thought it might be fun to post various accounts of such animals.

    One of the most legendary of animals in Colorado was a grizzly known as Old Mose. He was given credit for killing 4 or 5 people over a 20+ year period, and lord only knows how much livestock. His legend began in 1883 when he supposedly killed a miner, Jacob Ratliff, from Fairplay, who was hunting along Badger Creek. It ended on May 2, 1904 when Wharton Pigg killed him on Black Mountain, which is roughly 30-40 miles north/northwest of present day Canon City. He field dressed 775 lbs., which put him well over 1000 lbs. live weight.

    He was recogizable by two missing toes on one of his feet. He had been trapped years before, and pulled loose from the trap. His escape, though, had cost him his toes.

    Somehow or another his remains ended up in a storage room of a museum at UC Berkley. A researcher managed to get one of the bears teeth and aged it. Remarkably, the 20+ year old legend was only 12 years old, according to the tooth. No doubt there were several bears whose feats were attributed to Old Mose during that time. Regardless, he became a local legend. Even today, there's a tourist shop just outside of Canon City that uses the bear as part of its advertisement.

    FWIW, the information I'm posting comes from a book titled "Old Mose" by James E. Perkins. It's an interesting read in case anyone wants to know more.

    There's also the Plute bull, but I'll leave that for someone else, or maybe for a reply to this thread.

    Would anyone else care to share similar stories. I'd like to read them.

    Sounds like the same story I read in Field and Stream years ago...only when they skinned that one,
    he had over 100 bullet holes in his hide and a man's hand and wedding ring in his belly.
    Celebrate life, moment by moment. I plan to enjoy what time I have left, and that means MORE GUNS!
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