The Tale of OLD SCARFACE....
Where does an 800+ pound grizzly bear go? ANYWHERE HE WANTS……especially if it’s Old Scar Face who vandalized the Upper Boulder River Valley in the 1930’s.
After fighting a ferocious battle and losing his reign in Yellowstone Park to a younger grizzly, later named Caesar, Old Scar Face meandered into the Boulder Valley terrorizing residents for 3 weeks. He entered and damaged a total of 19 cabins, nearly demolishing a half dozen of them. One of the cabins Old Scarface entered belonged to Ralph Jarrett, the owner of the Hawley homestead that he had purchased from Tom Hawley in 1917. The bear entered the cabin and tore up the sugar bin. Finished with the sugar, the grizzly pushed the bin back into its cabinet so hard that it later took two men to get it out.
Late one evening Game Warden Herman Saylor and four or five residents of the Boulder Valley concealed themselves at the Fleming Ranch not far from what is today the Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch. Attempting to snag the $50 reward offered for Old Scar Face, “Dead or Alive,” the group was prepared for an all-night vigil. Around midnight something was seen moving not far from the cabin, and someone shouted, “There he comes!” A shot was fired__ and down went a HORSE!
However, Old Scar Face was outsmarted the following morning. He was trapped by Sheriff Floyd Bailey and Oscar Falling of Big Timber at the old Jarrett cabin (located just below the cliff where Hawley Mountain’s Eagle Nest Lodge now sits) about 3 miles from the “horse shooting” the previous night. The massive grizzly was caught in a trap there that was baited with a dead woodchuck. Three death shots were fired quickly, without ceremony, and the ex-king of Yellowstone Park was no more. It took little time to deal permanently with the destructive bear, the carcass (weighing 800-1,000 pounds) was loaded into a truck, and the animal was hauled to Big Timber. There, Old Scar Face’s head mount was on display for years in Sheriff Floyd Bailey’s sporting goods store.
Old Scar Face may be gone, but he is not forgotten! His history lives on, and he is one ranch adventure that Hawley Mountain Ranch is glad not to have experienced.
NOTE: A question was asked as to where the taxidermy mount of Old Scarface is now located. According to local Big Timber resident, Tim Thompson, the mount hung in Frye's Cafe in Big Timber for many years. It was then given to Tim's dad, Teddy Thompson, who was an outfitter in the Boulder River Valley. When the Gosnell brothers from AZ came to this area to hunt one year, Teddy loaned the mount of Scarface to them to hang in their restuarant, Rustler's Roost, back home in AZ. Several years later Old Scarface was returned to Teddy, and he then gave the mount to Don Cowles, Jr. who hung it in his cabin up the Boulder. Unfortuately, the cabin burned down a few year ago, and Old Scarface was a casuality of that fire.