The Hunt For Old Mose! by Raymond Cook is a fiction thriller set in the Wild West era of the late 1800s and early 1900s. This book is essentially about the background, hunt, and chase of a Grizzly bear known as Old Mose, and is an account of a true story from Colorado in that period. The book starts with background about the author and the real life events that inspired this tale. The story is then told in a sequential manner from the time that Old Mose first came to the notice of the numerous homesteaders and townspeople living in Colorado at the time. Old Mose is a female Grizzly bear, one of the largest of its kind, and slowly but surely its attacks on livestock and people mount. The local people start complaining to the Sheriff and there is a bounty placed on its head. Numerous people attempt to kill the bear over the next several years. During this time, Frank and his teenage son, Wharton, decide to settle in Colorado. But when Frank is killed by the bear while protecting his son, Wharton vows revenge. What happens during the hunt for the bear forms the gist of the novel.
The Hunt For Old Mose! is written in a fast-paced style and although, at first glance, the plot might seem simple enough, Raymond Cook’s telling of it, with all of the small details of life of people in Colorado, the descriptions of the landscape and mountains, the day-to-day life of a homesteader or a prospector really add depth and richness to the novel. The actual descriptions of Old Mose, grizzly bear attacks, and of wildlife in general - such as coyotes, wolves, mountain lions - and how each of them fits into the ecosystem is very interesting and I could almost imagine myself in Colorado, living during those times. This is a great book and anyone who enjoys the Wild West genre or just novels based on true historical stories will surely enjoy this book.