Business: Bunker Hunt's Comstock Lode

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But Bunker Hunt, who dresses like a hay dealer and has been described as resembling "Burl Ives in a Tennessee Williams play," was never much for the international horsy set. He neither smokes nor drinks. Last year he spent $3 million bankrolling the new Warner Bros, film Jesus, and he heads the billion-dollar fund-raising drive for the fundamentalist Christian Campus Crusade.

In Dallas, Bunker Hunt is known as a mercurial businessman. Says one former associate: "He can spend several hours dealing with something like the menus at Shakey's and then make a multimillion-dollar decision in five minutes with only one-third of the facts and his prejudice." He once objected to hiring a pizza chain executive because he drove a red Jaguar XKE.

Hunt likes to slip away to his 3,000-acre Circle T Ranch, about 20 miles outside Dallas. There he surveys his horses and plots business deals. Selling off silver, though, is not one of his plans. Last October he told the president of the Chicago Board of Trade that he had no intention of unloading the family silver. Hunt explains that because of prodigious profits, "if you sell, you get into a tax problem." Some problem.

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