Reader Reese Crawford sent a podcast recommendation and it’s so good I don’t want to let it get buried in the post comments.
Turns out that MEAT EATER features a number of podcasts, one of which is called Bear Grease with Clay Newcombe. The episode Reese recommended is titled Death of a Bear Hunter — and it’s just fantastic. Here’s the caper:
On this episode of The Bear Grease Podcast, we’re exploring the gruesome death of Erskine, an Ozark Mountain bear hunter killed by his quarry in the 1840s. You’ll hear the firsthand account of the incident from his comrade, Frederick Gerstacker. We’ll also interview the leading historian of Ozarks (Dr. Brooks Blevins), hear from the man who found the only clue leading to Erskine’s grave, and go in search of the grave ourselves. This is one of my favorite stories of all time and its contents have affected my family and me for the last decade. I want to explore how stories impact us and why.
A great hunting story, yes, but also a thoughtful discourse on how stories — even obscure ones — have the power to shape us. That’s a subject near and dear to my ardent heart.
I knew nothing of Frederick Gerstacker, a German adventurer who hunted in the wilds of Arkansas in the late 1830s and early 1840s. Now I’m bound to read his works. I sure hope I can find Wild Sports in the Far West with this lurid, Men’s Adventure-style cover…