Bear & Cowboy Sculpture

Item# M-37252


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'When Cowboys Take A Dare' bear and cowboy sculpture by Steve Miller and Montana Silversmiths.

16" long x 8" wide x 10" tall.

Click image to enlarge. Read more about Steve Miller.

Steve Miller, Sculptor
Growing up in Montana, it was not uncommon to hear a story now and then of old time cowboys, and those not so long ago, roping
bears, coyotes, wolves, and even an elk now and then. Last fall I heard the story again from a friend whose granddad roped a black bear on a bet, and packed a permanent scar for the effort.

It was the inspiration for, “When Cowboys Take a Dare.” When bored cowboys, tendin’ a herd, spot a large grizzly on the open prairie the word spreads quickly though camp. You see, no predator is welcome around a cow camp, unless of course they might participate, although unwillingly, in some good cowboy fun; that is, if they can ride him down before he takes cover in the distant timber.

You can bet it wouldn’t take long before a few of the older, seasoned hands loudly questioned the intestinal fortitude of the younger boys. The boys didn’t have much choice but to meet the dare with a steel eye and the roll of a rowel. It didn’t take long for a dust trail to rise headed straight toward the ol’ griz, who until then had been minding his own business.

Now bringing a grizzly, or any other wild animal, to the ground with horses and ropes is a guaranteed cowboy thrill, precisely because it’s never easy, but cowboy logic says two mounted cowboys can hold and subdue any beast between good cow ponies who had seen most everything at least once on the end of a rope.

When the bewildered and cornered bear sits down, a young cowhand deftly settles a neck loop and takes his dallies. But a wise old grizzly can use his front paws like hands, or hay rakes, and almost as fast as the loop comes tight he jerks it off, and charges his tormentor. With 600 pounds of claws and fangs headed straight at him, the young hand finds himself in what cowboys might call a quandary. If he turns to run, as his horse is requestin’ permission to do, the grizzly can catch him in the first 30 yards or so. His only chance is for one of the other cowboys to take a long throw at a now very hostile bear which, in reality will only reverse their fortunes. But hey, any cowboy will take those odds.

As with most of my pieces I like to create the story, but just to the point where it could go either way, then it’s for you to finish the tellin’. As cowboys are fond of saying, “It’s your story!”

— Each original sculpture - like the the Bear & Cowboys sculpture - is composed using Montana Silversmiths proprietary process, "Montana Bronze", using blends of fine resins with the addition of pure pewter and bronze. The beautiful finish is the result of hand-applied patinas and metallic paint, carefully matched to accent all of the subtle detail of the artwork.

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