Outdoor-writing vet Schullery (American Fly Fishing: A History, The Bears of Yellowstone, etc.) scouts a neglected corner of American sports history--and digs up a wry, warm, informal look at the heyday of bear hunting. Schullery's golden age starts with the most famous bear snuffer of them all, Davy Crockett, who hunted black bear at a time when most people considered them nothing but vermin. A bit later, mountain-man John ""Grizzly"" Adams tracked, tamed, and even rode the fearsome California behemoth. Wade Hampton III, by contrast, represented the aristocractic hunters of the Old South, for whom bear hunting was ""almost a religious activity."" William D. Pickett carried the bear hunt into Yellowstone, while Bob Eager Bobo (!) made his mark by slaying as many bears as possible--he once downed nine in a single day. Schullery devotes special attention to Theodore Roosevelt, a mediocre hunter but ""one of the greatest of outdoor writers."" Roosevelt's passion for conservation found an echo in the life of William Wright, a renowned hunter who lost his bloodlust and traded in his gun for a camera. All these figures, and many more, appeal for their eccentricities (more than a few were human grizzlies, ornery and solitary, who shunned the modern world), their outdatedness, and the benign light Schullery sheds on their curious passion. As Teddy himself might say, ""Bully, bully, bully!