Grizzly Bear is Caught at Last

Moccasin John, After Years of Fight, Falls Before Hunters

She dragged trap for five miles

January 7, 1908
Santa Ana Daily Register

The last of her giant race, after years of single handed battling against hunters, Old Moccasin John is dead. She was killed in the mountains at the head of Trabuco canyon on Sunday by a rifle ball from the gun of Ed Adkinson, the result of trapping of Adkinson and Andrew Joplin.

This old grizzly bear had been in the mountains for twenty-five years and scores of expeditions have gone forth to land her. But a charmed existence seemed to be the part of the big animal, and not until Sunday did the charm wear off.

During the last few months the old bear has been coming down from the Manganito covered ridge among the ranches owned by Walter Robinson and Andrew Joplin. Joplin and other mountaineers set carefully to work to capture the grizzly, but not until Saturday night did their work result in anything like success. Adkinson and Joplin set a bear trap out, weighted down with iron, that a good trail might be left should Clulbfoot get into the jaws. About 10 o'clock Saturday night the Moccasin John stuck a foot into the trap. Sunday with their dogs, Andrew Joplin, Ed. Adkinson, Frank Rowell and Harvey Groover started on the trail.

They followed it back into the mountains for five miles through thick brush and over rough ground.

Old Bruin was cornered by the dogs under an oak tree. She turned on the dogs [unreadable] that would do well in the [unreadable] fiction. The first sight the [unreadable] had the bear and three dogs were rolled into a snarling mass.

Seeing that the big animal would injure the dogs, the men gave up hope of capturing Clubfoot alive, and Adkinson got close in and waited his chance. When the bear threw the dogs he fired. It took three shots to kill the big chap.

The mountaineers examined the carcass carefully and came to the conclusion that Moccasin John was fully thirty-five years of age. Marks of bullets and traps were on her body, but in the main the skin is an excellent one. One foot showed marks of an old time experience with a trap.

The big grizzly measured six feet three inches from tip to tip, and her weight was guessed at about 600.

The old bear showed great age. So far as known she was the only grizzly in the mountains the last of her race in the old Saddleback region. During the lifetime of the bear the ranchers always thought Moccasin John was a bruin.

Moccasin John

Moccasin John