The black bear was once so widespread over Texas that its fat was used as a commodity. However, by the 1930s most of the population had been decimated by hunting. The Louisiana black bear was almost nonexistent in East Texas, there were no more bears in the Hill Country and the the few West Texas bears that remained were isolated in the mountains. Fortunately, conservation measures are allowing bear populations to rebound in Texas. I’ve recently come across a couple of rare bear photos from the 1930s that I wanted to share.
The first image is of a bear that was captured by the CCC crew in the Davis Mountains. It was kept as a mascot during the construction of Indian Lodge. From what I can tell, capturing bears young and keeping them as pets was common practice at the time.
The second bear hunting photo was a surprise find on Ebay. The owner did not know it’s exact location, but they did know it was from the 1930s in Texas. From the yuccas and landscape in the background, it looks to be a range in West Texas.
I recently found the following bear hunting image on eBay as well. It was developed in San Antonio, but from what I can tell from the background is either North or West Texas. I’m including it here because it was taken in 1939.