Black Bear

HOF WTCH Hangin' Tree Black Bear PATDc RTDsc RDg

Sire: Hangin' Tree Buddy x Dam: Zephyr Angel Blue

DOB: January 4, 1988

Color: Black-tri 

Breeder: Gary Ericsson 
AKC & ASCA Registered
OFA Hips: rated Excellent at 11 years old

Eyes: cleared for the last time at 11 years old
ASCA DNA Profiled on May 15, 2002
AKC DNA Profiled #V60073

One of, if not the most well known Australian Shepherd ever produced by Gary Ericsson is Hangin' Tree Black Bear (aka Bear).  While Bear was siring litters, he had a near constant waiting list for his puppies in the Idaho/Montana area, Pacific Northwest, and Canada.  He was especially known for his power and speed.  Both were traits coveted by Gary, especially the shear, unyielding power to work cattle.  Gary's main business was raising cattle.  He needed a dog that would handle rough an ornery cattle.  In the challenging and beautiful county of Idaho, Gary needed dogs that would stand-up to cattle and get the job done.  Bear was a dog that would go into the brush and bring the cattle home.  Bear was the dog that could load rank cattle into the trailer while Gary sat on his horse and directed the action.  As Gary would say, it is easier using a real good dog to load cattle rather than beating on them.  

Bear was born out of Hangin' Tree Buddy x Zephyr's Angel Blue.  Buddy was an ornery, tough old Australian Shepherd that Gary got from his brother David's ranch in Arizona.  Gary acquired Buddy later on in life.  A nice outcross with his current Aussie pack. Always a breeder and wanting to increase the cattle working ability of his Aussies, Gary thought the ranching virtues Buddy had would be a nice addition to his breeding program.

"Buddy was a good looking dog. He was strong and aggressive.  He was like a barroom brawler, bite everything in site if he got pissed at the cattle.  He was a fighter and would keep on fighting to a standstill or they moved off." said Con Ericsson.   

HOF Zephyr's Angel Blue RDX was a dam Gary acquired from Don Donham and Zephyr Australian Shepherds.  Angel was sired by Los Rocosa Merlin Hart (owned by Zephyr) and Zephyr's Midnight Blue.  Angel was an outstanding ranch and cattle dog in her own right.  At the time of the breeding, she was the best female Gary had.  So it was an easy choice who Gary was going to breed Buddy to.  

On a cold Idaho January day in 1988, Bear was born.  Initially, Bear was sold to a rancher friend that Gary selected as one of his pick puppies who wanted a really tough male Aussie.  Two months later the rancher friend returned and told Gary the little black puppy was a real handful and asked if Gary had another, less challenging pup he could trade.  Gary traded another pup from the same litter and got Black Bear back at about four months old.  

Upon getting Bear back, Gary took him to livestock right away.  Immediately Gary noticed Bear's remarkable talent and intensity at a young age.  From this point on, Gary had a really good feeling about Bear.  Black Bear was smart, tough minded and serious just like his sire Buddy.  Bear was stubborn and just would not back down from challenging livestock.  Many years later, Gary commented that even to that day, Black Bear was the toughest and most powerful Aussie he had ever seen.  

At a young age Bear was used regularly to gather and break tough cattle around the ranch.  He was extremely tough, and worked close and hard on deserving stock.  Gary was pleased that Bear equally hit both heads and heels, and was fast, agile, and intense.  Bear was successfully evaluated for ASCA Ranch Dog (RD) at 13 months old.  At the time, because of the RD certification, Bear did not have to run in either started or open arena trial classes.  At the one and only time that Bear trialed for his Working Trial Championship he earned it.  At a trial in Alberta Canada, Bear earned qualifying every time he trialed on sheep, cattle and ducks.  All scores were 100+ points and he earned his WTCH.  Gary and Bear also twice won the Idaho Stockdog Championships, an all-breed competition. 

I talked to Con Ericsson (Gary's youngest son) about his thoughts on Black Bear.  Here is what he had to say.  "Bear had unusual drive and technical ability.  His ability far surpassed the other Aussies we had (and remember they had many outstanding, well accomplished, futurity winning Aussies).  He was by far better than any other Aussie.  When I was in high school, mom and dad would be gone for a couple weeks at a time traveling around the country.  I had to tend to the livestock and cattle.  I could have used my dog Red (Aussie - Hangin' Tree Red) but the chore dog I used was Bear because of how good he was."  Hands down, Bear was the toughest dog on cattle.  He would hang in there against any cattle.  To Bear, a fight with cattle was just business.  His ability, discipline made it just business.  When the cattle went the direction Bear wanted, he would stop and calmly let the cattle move."

I also asked Con why Black Bear was the sole contributing Aussie to the Hangin' Tree Cowdog breed.  "Conformationally Bear was correct.  This correctness allowed him to work like a stockdog should and to perform in situations like they should.  His mental ability, natural stock ability, and mental outlook made him so much better than the others.  He was a throwback to what they were supposed to be...what they were meant to be.  He was a working dog for a working man."

Bear contributed 25% of the DNA in the making of the Hangin' Tree Cowdog.  This is a high honor for Black Bear and demonstrates the level of admiration and respect Gary had for him.  

Black Bear Progeny


Below is a list of the ASCA registered progeny for Black Bear.  It is well known that many of his offspring were on working ranches and never registered.  He sired 46 litters with 191 puppies being registered.  His offspring include 4 HOF dogs and 11 WTCH.  

1989 (5 Litters Sired)
4/28/1989 HOF WTCH HANGIN' TREE WORKIN' CLASS CDX PATDs RTDs DNA-CP F
HANGIN' TREE COLA BEAR F
7/29/1989 HAGIN'S TREE MIKE M
FOX'S HANGIN' TREE BUDDY M
HANGIN' TREE AMBER F
HANGIN' TREE KATE F
10/12/1989 KRICKET OF LAZY Y F
KELLY OF LAZY Y F
PONY CREEK JETTA BEAR F
WHEELERS BESS F
10/24/1989 MISSI CISSI ROSE F
ROSES BLACK BUD M
12/22/1989 HANGING TREE TUFF M
HANGIN' TREE BEARY CHERRY F
HANGIN TREE GAUCHO M
HANGIN' TREE BLACK TROUBLE F
PONY CREEK STRYKER M
KOLA BEAR HOF WTCH RD RTDc F
1990 (3 Litters Sired)
3/27/1990 HANGIN' TREE MANCHITA BLANCA F
PETERSEN'S SCOT-HANGIN' TREE M
5/15/1990 COUNTRY BANDIT M
AUSSIE MATE M
HANGIN' TREE SIS MOORE F
PETERS RANCH BATMAN M
HANGIN TREES BLACK ANNIE F
WORKIN' COWBOY BLUES M
BLUE VALLEY HANGIN TREE PATCH M
HANGIN TREE RUNNING BEAR M
7/8/1990 HANGIN' TREE LAST DANCE BA M
HANGIN' TREE OKANOGAN QUEEN F
HANGIN' TREE TETON SKY M
1991 (3 Litters Sired)
4/13/1991 HAT SLASH SPUD M
7/6/1991 LEARY'S CHACO F
8/14/1991 HOF WTCH HANGIN' TREE BLUE BEAR CD PATDcs RD M
1992 (14 Litters Sired)
1/30/1992 HANGIN' TREE BLUE EYES M
HAT SLASH DOC M
2/15/1992 HANGIN' TREE'S BLACK BEAR BUFF F
3/2/1992 O'SAGE JESSE F
3/6/1992 HANGIN TREE JAKEAWITZ M
HANGIN' TREE MISS BLUE BELLE DNA-CP F
POOH HANGIN TREE MC/ F
HANGIN' TREE GEORGETOWN REBEL M
4/3/1992 KUNZES HANGIN' LUCKY STRIKE F
4/10/1992 PETERSRANCH STUBBIE M
PETERSRANCH ROCKY M
WTCH PETERSRANCH BEAR'S BLUE PEPPER PATDcs RTDcs F
PETERSRANCH SHEILA F
5/19/1992 HANGIN'TREE RICINDA'S WHIP F
HANGIN' TREE RICINDA'S NICKI F
GIBSON'S BOB M
KATIE'S PET ROCK F
7/15/1992 W TOO COPPER F
W TOO POSSUM M
W TOO SPIKE M
W TOO B J OTDd STDcs M
8/1/1992 ROSES BLACK BEN M
HANGIN' TREES BLACK JEANNIE F
STARBUCK SUMMER MEGAN F
STARBUCK SWINGING SAMSON M
9/5/1992 C HANGIN' 5 LICORICE STICK M
WTCH C HANGIN' 5 BEN M
HANGIN TREE BLACK BEAR COOKIE F
11/25/1992 MUNDELL OUTLAW JESSE JAMES M
ALEXANDERS HANGIN'TREE SPOOK F
BEAR'S PRIMERO KID STDcs M
12/7/1992 HIDE THE BEAR M
LUKE'S COOL BLUE BEAR OTDs STDcd M
12/12/1992 PETERS RANCH PISTOL M
PETERS RANCH PAIGE F
PETERS RANCH ROWDI BLACK BEAR M
PETERSRANCH MISSY STDd OTDc F
12/30/1992 PETERS RANCH ARROW B STORY F
PETERS RANCH ROWDY CHIVERS M
PETERS RANCH MACY F
PETER'S RANCH JET M
PETERS RANCH COWBOY BO M
1993 (7 Litters Sired)
3/24/1993 PETERS RANCH BLUE BEAR M
PETERSRANCH OBE STDc F
COOKS 96 RANCH IMA BEAR M
7/6/1993 WTCH PETERS RANCH TEAL SYDNEY BEAR RD RTDcs F
HOF WTCH PETERS RANCH BLACKBEAR TEAL M
PETERS RANCH HAND WRANGLER ZAK M
PETERS RANCH MONTANA SKY M
9/2/1993 VB RAINMAKER BLUE TESS F
HANGIN TREE WORKING JILL F
PETERSRANCH JAC OTDd RTDs STDcs M
9/29/1993 TB&W'S BLU IRISH MIST M
PETERS RANCH LUCKY LUKE M
10/3/1993 WTCH C HANGIN' 5 BLUE MERL STREPE RTDcs DNA-CP F
C HANGIN' 5 MR. DEXTER BLUE STDs M
WTCH C HANGIN' 5 KATE F
C HANGIN' 5 MONTANA JAKE OTDc STDds M
10/9/1993 PETERS RANCH ANNIE BELLE F
PETERS RANCH BARNEY M
PETERS RANCH WILD BEAR M
PETERS RANCH BLUE DEMON STDd OTDcs M
PETERS RANCH BETSY GILTNER F
PETERS RANCH HOOCH M
12/20/1993 PETERS RANCH TAZZ M
MONTY BEAR M
BOATWRIGHTS BANDIT BEAR M
PETERS RANCH RL HANGIN'TRE MAC M
1994 (8 Litters Sired)
1/6/1994 PETERS RANCH JILL F
PETERS RANCH BLUE ICE BEAR M
PETERSRANCH HANGIN'TREE SAM F
PETERSRANCH F8 BLACK BEARCAT M
PETERSRANCH BLACK BEARS' SIOUX STDd OTDcs F
4/27/1994 C HANGIN'S NIKKI F
C HANGIN' 5 MIDNIGHT TAZZ STDcds F
WTCH C HANGIN'5 JENSENS WORKIN BEAR RTDs M
5/12/1994 PETERS RANCH BEARCAT F
PETERS RANCH BUG TUSSLE RD ATDs OTDcd F
PETERS RANCH KODIAK BEAR M
PETERS RANCH BABE'S BEAR M
PETERS RANCH PATSY CLINE F
5/21/1994 PETERS RANCH CHUNKK OF COAL M
PETERS RANCH WILD RUE RIDGE M
PETERS RANCH T BUENO STDcs F
PETERS RANCH CEASAR M
PETERS RANCH MAUREEN O'BEARA F
6/1/1994 PETERS RANCH ASIABELLE F
PETERS RANCH CAJUN BEAR M
PETERS RANCH LEXI BEAR F
9/10/1994 PETERS RANCH BO M
PETERS RANCH CHANCE M
10/9/1994 PETERS RANCH RUSTY BERET M
PETERS RANCH BLACK STRIKER RTDc M
PETERS RANCH GLENNE M
PETERS RANCH JACK THE GRIPPER STDs OTDcd M
11/9/1994 BLACK BEAR'S TAMMY F
BEAR'S ANGEL F
CROSS SIX BEAR CUB M
COULEE F
BADGER SUZIE F
RIO CHICK F
1995 (8 Litters Sired)
1/6/1995 PETERS RANCH KATIE F
PETERS RANCH PEPPER ANNIE STDcds F
PETERS RANCH MILA MANNET F
PETERS RANCH TAZZETTE F
PETERS RANCH RIO BABE F
PETERS RANCH DAISYDUKE BLKBEAR F
PETERS RANCH LIL BLACK SAMBO F
3/3/1995 PETERS RANCH BEARS FANCY F
BAILEY YOGI BEAR M
BEAR'S BLACK BUDDY M
HANGIN TREE CORDON NEGRO M
HANGIN TREE PACO M
HANGIN TREE PORKY OF ALBERTA M
3/7/1995 PETERS RANCH BULL M
PETERS RANCH LASS F
PETERS RANCH BEARS BLUE BULL M
PETERS RANCH BEAR'S CISCO KID M
HANGIN TREE PORKY OF ALBERTA M
4/10/1995 RAFTER P LIZZIE F
RAFTER P MEGEAN F
4/19/1995 CAJUN BLUE BOUDREAU M
6/9/1995 HANGIN TREE BIG T M
9/17/1995 PETERS RANCH KEASHA MANNETTE F
12/28/1995 BULLOCKS BEAR CUB F
FOUR BAR X BLACKBEARY PATCH STDcs F
FOUR BAR X COLA OF PETERSRANCH RD STDcds DNA-CP F
FOUR BAR X CATTLE KATE F
FOUR BAR X BUFFY F
FOUR BAR X NO FEAR CHEYENNE F
FOUR BAR X GRIZ PETERS RANCH M
1996 (1 Litter Sired)
7/17/1996 HANGIN TREE GUS M 7/17/1996
PETERS RANCH BLACK JAZ F 7/17/1996
HANGIN TREE LUCKY BEAR F 7/17/1996
HANGIN TREE MIDKNIGHT DNA-CP M 7/17/1996
1997 (1 Litter Sired)
12/14/1997 HANGINVIEW BEAR CLAW M
1999 (2 Litters Sired)
3/23/1999 BEAR'S STORY TIME OF WINDSOR ATCH STDcds CDX F
GINGER BEAR OF WINDSOR F
BLACK BEAR'S KATE OF WINDSOR F
PROUD MARY OF WINDSOR DNA-VP F
MICKI BEAR OF WINDSOR F
4/2/1999 WTCH MY JASMINE BREEZE OF WINDSOR RTDs DNA-VP F
DANCING PANDA OF WINDSOR GS-E JS-O RS-E F
WTCH BEAR'S AURORA OF WINDSOR RTDcs GS-N JS-E RS-O F
BEAR IN MIND OF WINDSOR M
TILTED BEAR OF WINDSOR M
SIR MAVERICK OF WINDSOR M
2000 (1 Litter Sired)
7/20/2000 BOBBY BEAR OF WINDSOR M
SPLITFIRE OF WINDSOR STDs DNA-VP F
WALTZING MATILDA OF WINDSOR F
PAINT IT BLACK OF WINDSOR STDcs ATDd GS-N JS-N M
HOF WINDSOR'S BAD BOY OTDs ATDd DNA-VP M
2003 (1 Litter Sired)
12/5/2003 OSO'S BELLA BLEU OF WINDSOR STDds F
THE ENFORCER OF WINDSOR STDcd M
WINDSOR'S HANGIN' DESIGN ECHO DNA-VP F