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Exhibit item: GEORGE NIDEVER, Life and Adventures of George Nidever, manuscript:1878

Exhibit item:
Life and Adventures of George Nidever, manuscript:1878

George Nidever may have been the most prolific bear hunter of his generation. A proud marksman, Nidever inserted a target in this dictation as evidence of his shooting skills. The writing beneath the bullet holes reads "Target made by George Nidever, 77 yrs, 3 shots - 60 yds - muzzle load resting shot."

Life and Adventures of George Nidever, manuscript:1878

"I shot that year, as before stated, 45 grizzlies, not counting those that got away in the brush, most of them no doubt fatally wounded, but one of my rules was never to go into a thicket if I knew it contained a bear.

I killed some very large ones and one in particular whose skin I sold to one of the trading vessels. It was much larger than any bullock’s hide they took on board... When a she bear with cubs is found, it is best to shoot the old one first and the young ones can be shot at leisure, as they will not leave the mother.

I never shot at a bear unless I could see him plainly and was within good range, and in this way I never missed one. If a person is cool, a good shot, and above all prudent, there is but little danger in hunting bears. Most of those I shot this year, and in fact at all times, I killed almost as easily as I could a squirrel...

At this time there was no sale for bear skins, so that we never took the trouble to skin them... Why a man who is a good shot should be afraid of a bear under ordinary circumstances I cannot imagine, yet my experience has been that very few even among hunters care to hunt the grizzly much.

I think I must have killed, on this coast, at different times, upwards of 200 grizzlies."

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