Bear Hunter

Quick Facts

Significance:
Shoshone Chief, led Native American forces at Battle of Bear River
Place of Death:
Bear River, ID
Date of Death
January 29, 1863

A chief of the Shoshone tribe, Bear Hunter led raids against settlers in the western territory throughout the winter of 1862 and 1863. These raids were provoked by a series of incidents between the European-American settlers and the Native peoples. One such example was the hanging of a young Indian boy under the suspicion that he was a horse thief, despite the statements of an English immigrant to the boy's defense. In response to Bear Hunter's raids against Mormon colonists, telegraph workers, and wagon trains, Col. Patrick Edward Connor led a contingent of troops in an attack against Bear Hunter's forces. The resulting Battle of Bear River would prove to be a massacre as around 250 Shoshone were slaughtered by the troops, including approximately 90 women and children. Bear Hunter was taken captive, tortured, and ultimately killed during the conflict.