Bear was born in Roslyn, SD in 1916. He was orphaned at an early age and
adopted by Walter Bear family of Mission Ridge, SD. Growing up on the
Mission River area near where the famed Tibbs rodeo family lived. He left
home at seventeen to find a buckarooing job in Nevada. He rode a freight
train to Elko, NV where he thought the winter would be warmer. He started
out working for Louie Dressie and then landed a job at the YP working
for Garates who had impressed him with their fine bridle horses. After
that he rode the rough string at the Spanish Ranch in northern Elko Co.
for Stanley Ellison at $5.00 per month, and then went to the PX ranch
on the North Fork, Humboldt River for Angus Maxwell as the cow boss.