Wildcat-Bear Contest

Hello Forest County Residents!

This week I discovered a past time that took place among the “Kentucks” in Forest County that I am very glad  does not exist any more.  Bear or wildcat fighting was popular in Kentucky and brought to Forest County in the early 1900s. The practice supposedly ended in January of 1922 when State Humane Officer, A.E. Frederick, arrested Henry McMillion and John Conn of Crandon for animal cruelty. According to the Lexington Herald, ” McMillion’s bear knocked out the first canine to accept the challenge with the first blow. The next dog, an airedale owned by Conn was said to have put up a hard fight to the privilege of engaging in a battle with a wildcat which the victor was to meet”. The contest was broken up before the bear and wildcat were forced to face off in a battle to the death. I wonder how McMillion captured a bear without harming it?  Has anyone ever heard of this sport?


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