Steve Dunlap, the Northwest Region Education Coordinator for the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, comes to Hobbs State Park, 20201 AR-12, on Sunday, February 10, at 2 p.m. to present a story about Colonial bear hunting in Arkansas.
According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, “By the first decades of the 1700s, large groups of hunters trudged through the hills and deltas seeking all types of available wildlife but were especially interested in bears. Bear fat—more than meat or fur—was prized for its multiple uses, including fuel for oil lamps, insect repellent, and hair gel. Indeed, through much of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, bear products represented a key segment of the local economy.”
For European men, during this early time in Arkansas, there were crisscrossed buffalo trails, Indian trade routes, and warpaths, according to a Hobbs State Park press release.
Hunters made up the vast majority of the Europeans who chose to make this area their home, and they were poor, and hunted, cured meat, and traded in tallow and bear oil, the press release states.
Other than the clothes on their back and their light flintlock muskets, they had no other worldly goods, and outsiders described them as “people of bad behavior,” according to the press release.
The press release states, that Dunlap, “tells it as it is, or was, and that is why his programs are so memorable.”
The event is free and open to the public.
For more information on Hobbs’ programs, call: 479-789-5000