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Another monstrous bear, whom a single huntsman met within about an hour after, whilst at a distance from his companions, beating about for afforgame, ded an uncommon instance of strength, and courage alluded to in the te. The noise the two made, drew the party of gentlemen to the spot, who happened to be nearer it than the profefsional huntsmen; and they were astonished to find a large bear on his hind legs, fighting with a man, who happened to be without his couteau de chafse, the useful and usual weapon on such occasions. The bold fellow held the bear, taller than himself, by the ear, at arm's length, with his right hand, and with the left was striking him on the opposite side of the head, every time he offered to bite or claw the extended arm, which kept him from being hugged. Count Alexy Rosomoffky, much alarmed for the safety of the huntsman, with the rest of the company, called him to let go the animal that they might shoot him, or he certainly would be destroyed; but the hardy Russian replied, that the bear was only in joke, although he had already clawed his face in such a manner, that no one knew which of the men it was, thus engaged in singlecombat. At this moment a number of his companions came running up, and instead of attempting to kill the bear, instantly took off their belts; and coming behind the animal, still struggling with their comrade, and growling as they do when attacked, slipt one belt into his mouth, a couple more round his body, and carried him off alive.
Second bear chace.
Third bear chace.
Since the above mentioned hunt, an old superannuated huntsman, retired on a pension, and living in a hut not far from Pauloffky, the summer palace of the great duke, killed another large bear when quite alone, with his conteau de chasse.
The old sportsman had fallen unexpectedly on a bear, whilst sauntering in the woods in search of other game. The noise of his gun, probably fired close to the animal without knowing it, brought him upon the old man, unable to save himself by flight; he therefore drew his side arm, and as the bear rose to hug him, plunged it so fortunately into its belly, as to lay it dead at his feet. He then went home, and having procured a boor's cart, conveyed his prey to his imperial highness, who was so charmed with the bold veteran, that he gave him an hundred rubles for his aged prowefs, and ordered him to keep the fkin as a trophy of it, which he did, and shows to this day with much pride.
Fourth bear chace.
When upon this subject it is worth while to mention the manner in which the hunters attack the bear, when only three in number, the least that venture on that dangerous businefs, with a premeditated design.
When one is found, the three sportsmen take their station at a certain distance and direction from one another; one of them fires at the animal, on which he immediately makes towards him; the second then fires to draw him to the other side, and the third does the same, to give him a third direction. By the time these manœuvres are executed, the
first sportsman has time to load again, and in this manner they fire and load alternately, till they have dispatched their game.
Mode of tracing the bear in summer.
There is still another curious circumstance attending the Russian bear hunt, and that is the manner the peasants trace them out in summer, by what may be called, in sporting language, their form, with the method they have of judging of his size by it, although, properly speaking, it is only the form of his hinder parts, and not of his whole body.
The bear is fond of corn, and makes a great ha voc among it by the quantity he consumes, and the quantity he treads under foot; but the manner of his feeding on it is very remarkable, especially as it is in that act, he leaves what the peasants call his form, in the earth, and by which they trace him from one part to another during his feeding season,
On this animals finding a field of corn to his taste, either in the milky or ripe state of the grain, he chooses out a soft spot amongst it, free from stones, where he sits down on his buttocks, and eats all round him as far as he can reach, turning on his buttocks as a center; so as to make a hole or print in the ground, round and smooth like a large bason. This ascertains to the peasant the size of his hind quarters, and measuring from that to the cropped circle in the corn all around, they judge of his length; as the lazy animal never quits his seat to eat further than the utmost reach of his muzzle and paws, but removes to a frefh spot, when all is consumed near him, and begins the same businefs over again. These prints or forms, then, by. their comparative fresh,
Marth 6. nefs, apprize the peasants of their approach to the enemy they are tracing. So that the discovery of the bear in summer, depends on this second remarka able trait in bruin's character, which I must own was new to me, as it may probably be to some more of your readers.
Mode of hunting the bear in Finland.
The Finish peasants, a very different race from the Russians, mark the difference of their characters, by the lefs dangerous and active mode they hunt the bear; and although I believe their stratagems are better known to Europe, than those I have given above, I shall however relate them likewise as pràctised in Russia.
The Fin erects, about the middle of a tree, in the bears favourite haunts, a species of small round scaf fold, much in the stile, whether for form or position, of one of the tops of a ship; on this he sits secure, and waits with patience the arrival of the animal at the foot of the tree, att acted by honey, or some other favourite food, placed there as a bait, and fhoots at him through holes made in his stage. But fhould he only wound, instead of killing the bear, the animal is stopped in its furious course up the tree, which he climbs like a cat, by the round top, which sets bound to his pursuit, and gives the secure hun ter still a more favourable opportunity of dispatching him. He is likewise always armed with an ax, to chop off his paws, fhould they appear above the stage, in attempting to mount it; so that this species of hunting, in use amongst the Fins subject to Rufsia, (much inferior to their Swedish brethren) may be almost said to be unattended with danger.
Account of a bear chace extracted from Mr Camp
bell's Travels in North America.
In one of these excursions, many stories were told me of the bears in this country; one of which, as being somewhat curious, I shall relate.
On an island, called Spoon island, which I had pafsed a day or two before, there were seven bears killed in one day. A gentleman and his son, near a house in which I then lodged, had been out working at hay, having pitch forks and rakes; and seeing a monstrous bear, quite close to the river, they prefsed so hard upon him as to drive him into the water. They then thought they had him secure, as there was a boat near them, to which they immediately ran; and having pursued and come up with him, they struck and pelted him with the pitch forks and fhafts till they broke them to pieces. The exasperated monster now, as they had no weapon to annoy him, turned the chace on his adversaries; and fixing his fore paws upon the gunnell of the boat, attempted to get in. They did all they could to keep him out, but their efforts were in vain ;-he got in. So that at last they had nothing else for it, but either to jump out into the water, or stay in the boat and be torn to pieces. They chose the former, and swam a-fhore. The bear, now master of the boat, whence the enemy battered him, was so severely galled with the strokes and wounds he had received, that he made no attempt to follow, but continued in the boat, otherwise he might VOL. Xiv,