Museum Moments on Thursday, February, 18, at noon, will feature the wild and wooly big delta bear hunts in the early 1900s as scribed by James T. McCafferty, a former New Albany resident now living in McComb .
McCafferty’s latest book is called “The Bear Hunter: The Life and Times of Robert Eager Bobo in the Canebrakes of the Old South. In it he focuses on one of Mississippi’s most famous hunters – Robert E. Bobo (1847-1902) who lived in Coahoma County and was a hunting guide for many of the famous bear hunts at the turn of the century .
The book focuses on Bobo’s bear hunts in 1894 and 95 when the hunts carried the men and dogs in to the “wild, trackless Delta canebrakes ..where a horse’s stumble over a cypress knee could mean certain disaster…”
The main objective of those bear hunters was t0 protect the dogs when the hunt was close. So they pursue their game; charge into the cane to knife the bear before the bear could decimate the pack and they would “taste the fear when the hunter become the hunted.”
This isn’t McCafferty’s first literary foray into the world of Delta bear hunts. The famous story of Holt Collier is told in his children’s book, Holt and the Teddy Bear, he describers how Collier was chosen to guide President Theodore Roosevelt’s hunting trip into the Delta and the classic story of how Collier convinced the President not to shoot the bear , thus the inspiration for the “Teddy” bear.
And McCafferty is not finished with his stories of big game hunters – , he is now well into a book about another famous big game hunter with many local connections – Paul Rainey.
McCafferty , who has a law degree, now lives in McComb. His time in New Albany was spent here when he was in high school here.
Museum Moments at the Union County Heritage Museum, 114 Cleveland Street is free with the help of the Community Partners. Kappa of New Albany will supply a light lunch beginning at 11:30 and the program will begin at noon. For more information call the museum at 662-538-0014.
Jill N. Smith
Union County Heritage Museum
114 Cleveland Street
New Albany, Mississippi 38652