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Be Bear Aware

MarkOfTheGrizzly_lgMark of the Grizzly

Mark of the Grizzly: Revised and Updated with More Stories  of Recent Bear Attacks and the Hard Lessons Learned

by Scott McMillion
ISBN: 978-0-7627-7325-1
2nd Edition, Paperback

“Mark of the Grizzly”  immediately became a regional bestseller upon its release in 1998 and was described by reviewers as “an instant classic.” That description made me a little nervous at the time, but I’m proud to say the book is now in its 13th printing. [UPDATE: The book has just been released in a second revised and updated edition with new chapters, a new introduction, and an index.]

“Mark of the Grizzly” outlines what can happen when people run into grizzlies on the bear’s  turf, which can happen in lots of places scattered from Yellowstone National Park to Alaska. But the book also examines why encounters happen and the aftermath for the survivors, plus it outlines how to behave in grizzly country to keep both humans and the great bears alive.

When I set out to write the book, I wanted to avoid demonizing grizzlies, creatures that have been eliminated from most of their native turf. I admire and respect bears, mostly because traveling among them forces us to open our eyes, our ears and our minds. In a world where our cars tell us when to turn and our cell phones remember all our numbers for us, few things can make you pay close attention like the prospect of a grizzly bear just over the rise. And if you’re paying attention, you’re learning something, even if you never see a bear.

But I admire and respect people, too, and I firmly believe that both man and bear can inhabit the same places, but only if people learn a few simple tools and perhaps alter a few old habits. We’ve taken so much from the bear. Now it’s time to give something back.

I think it’s worth it.

Scott McMillion

Here are a few reviewers’ comments about “Mark of the Grizzly.”

The new addition of Scott McMillion’s Mark of the Grizzly is much-needed. His first edition was excellent. He has been improved upon the first edition by the additional information about the common causes of bear attacks. This book has the potential to inform both the public and bear biologists that the cause of most conflicts is due to human error. Bears, especially grizzlies, have been inappropriately used by some in order to become the center of attention (by standing next to, petting, kissing, swimming with, and of course feeding them). Bears clearly show they have a tremendous amount of tolerance and forgiveness in regard to the inappropriate actions of people. If we would leave bears alone, follow basic safety precautions, and not go hiking and camping with a false sense of security, we could probably eliminate almost 100% of all bear maulings and fatalities. Remember: Wildlife + Distance = Safety for both people and wildlife, especially bears.

Please take the time to read this book and share the stories and information with others. I highly recommend that youth group leaders, school teachers, and camp counselors read and share this book with their groups.

Chuck Bartlebaugh

If-You-Were-a-Bear-1If You Were A Bear
by Rachel Mazur

When it comes to educating the public about enjoying bears safely and responsibly the basics start with the youngest generations; grade school kids, Cub Scouts, Brownies, etc. One of the best books I have read is called If You Were A Bear. This book draws both adults and youngsters into the world of bears step by step. It covers both the importance of a bear’s habitat and the important role the public must play by being responsible hikers and campers and not enticing bears with improperly stored human foods, messy campsites, or pet food. As Cheryl Carrothers states, “it provides a clear message about keeping bears wild.”

This book was written by Rachel Mazur, a biologist on the Humboldt-Toiyabe Forest who has years of bear management experience. The colorful illustrations were done by Sarina Jepsen. We give this book out to youth group leaders and teachers when we do bear educational programs. It is available online at and local book stores.

This book won the 2010 National Association for Interpretation (NAI) Media Award in the children’s book category (1st place).

LivingWithBearsLiving With Bears: A Practical Guide to Bear Country
From the Publisher:
With over 900,000 black bears roaming North America today, people from Florida to British Columbia are encountering bears more often, and as a result, human-bear conflicts are on the rise. Colorado author Linda Masterson dispels myths, replaces fear with respect, and lays the foundation for improving human-black bear relations with an inside look at the fascinating world of these highly intelligent, adaptable and resourceful animals.

  • Understanding Black Bears and Their Behavior
  • Bear-Proofing Your Home
  • Safe Trash Stashing
  • Hiking, Camping & Playing in Bear Country
  • Bird feeding, Bee-Keeping in Bear Country
  • Gardening, Orchards & Farming in Bear Country
  • Bear Behavior Modification
  • Avoiding Encounters & Attacks
  • Appendix: bear organizations, volunteer groups, state agencies, resources and index
  • Case Studies from national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and communities in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida, Tennessee, Washington, Nevada, California, Minnesota and Canada.

This 256-page book ($20.00) is available at bookstores and gift shops. Autographed copies are available online at

summer-cover-webGlacier Park Magazine
From the Publisher: is the quarterly journal of Glacier National Park and surrounding Montana wildlands. Showcasing the fauna and flora of the Park, the editors, writers and photographers strive to show readers the unique and wonderful world of the region known as the Crown of the Continent.

The magazine is also advertising free.
Its success is based solely on subscriptions and we have subscribers in almost every state in the union as well as Canada and Europe.
Printed on high-quality heavy gloss paper, it has more of a book feel than a magazine. The magazine also does something other publications do not — it gives back to the Park through donations to the Glacier National Park Fund. We are not, however, affiliated with Glacier National Park or the National Park Service.

BearCover-082207THE BEAR BOOK
A Bear Trust International Conservation Publication
274 pages, softcover, $25
Falcon Books, 2007
ISBN# 9780979864506

From the Publisher:
This is an anthology of stories, essays, reminiscences, advice, photographs, and facts about all eight species of bears, told by bear biologists, wildlife writers and photographers, conservationists, children, and others passionate about bears.  All of the proceeds from the book go directly to wild bear conservation. for information on ordering the book

Food, Stories, and History Serve up Memorable Feast in Unique Cookbook

ynp-cookbooFrom the Publisher:
Yellowstone National Park is no ordinary place, and The Yellowstone National Park Cookbook is no ordinary cookbook. Author Durrae Johanek, driven by her twin loves of cooking and the park, serves up a unique gastronomical delight in this exceptional collection of recipes, all of which have unusual connections to the park. The recipes are interspersed with personal tales, park history, and profiles of those sharing their recipes. From favorite backpacking snacks offered by backcountry rangers to gourmet entrees from the park’s notable lodges, this book runs the gustatorial gamut from wolf project leader Doug Smith’s Lentil Soup to park biologist Cheryl Jaworowski’s Nut Mix. Park superintendent Suzanne Lewis takes time out of her busy schedule to share some of her best recipes, and park historian Lee Whittlesey remembers his Mother’s Chicken. Tour leaders, bear watchers, and geyser gazers offer park anecdotes along with their special recipes. Open the pages of this book and dig into Norris Egg Salad Sandwiches, Upper Geyser Basin Pot Roast, and Old Faithful Inn Delight Cake.

In all, The Yellowstone National Park Cookbook contains 125 unforgettable recipes, each one flavored by the wonder of Yellowstone.

The paperback book with a lay-flat binding is only $19.95 and can be found at most area bookstores or by calling Riverbend Publishing toll-free at 1-866-787-2363.

yellowstone-bears-cover-JPGJames Halfpenny's new book
"Yellowstone Bears in the Wild"

From the Publisher:
Book reveals the secrets of Yellowstone’s bears

Grizzly bears love to play, sleep, and eat small bugs, according to a new book about the bears of Yellowstone National Park.

Based on the park’s latest scientific research, “Yellowstone Bears in the Wild” by Dr. Jim Halfpenny provides an intriguing portrait of Yellowstone’s grizzly and black bears. From hibernation to hyperphagia, the book describes everything about the bears: how they live and what they eat, where they go and what they do, how they raise their cubs and how they interact with wolves and other animals, including people.

Like he did in his highly acclaimed “Yellowstone Wolves in the Wild,” Halfpenny brings the science to life with remarkable personal stories by bear biologists and bear watchers. In one story about curiosity and play, Kerry Gunther, the park’s bear management biologist and author of the book’s foreword, tells how a grizzly bear came out of the forest to play with a beach ball it had spotted in Gunther’s back yard. Gunther also provides a startling series of photographs of an adult grizzly bear climbing a tree, proving false the old adage that grizzlies can’t climb trees.

Most of the photographs are by Michael H. Francis, a professional wildlife photographer. Some of his images are quite unusual, such as a series showing a grizzly bear lying on its back and juggling a large bone with its upraised feet, and a black bear digging into a tree trunk so rapidly that wood chips fly as if from a chain saw. In a testament to the greater visibility of bears in Yellowstone today, all of the photos show wild bears in the park; there are no photos of captive bears.

In recent years thousands of Yellowstone visitors came to know female grizzly bear number 264. The book has a chapter on her life and she is featured in several photos. In a clever innovation that makes the book a memorable keepsake, 264’s actual footprints are imprinted on the book’s front and back covers.

  The book provides fascinating new information on many subjects, including bear sizes, predation, scavenging, hibernation, and eating ants, moths, worms, and other unusual foods. It explains “bear art,” a bear’s “personal space,” and bear “thinking.” The book also examines how bears are reacting to critical ecological changes taking place in Yellowstone, such as the precipitous decline of cutthroat trout and whitebark pine trees.

From claws and cubs to foods and fur, “Yellowstone Bears in the Wild” vividly presents the lives of grizzly and black bears in the world’s first national park. Anyone interested in bears or in Yellowstone will enjoy this remarkably entertaining and educational book.

        The 128-page hardcover sells for $29.95 and is available at bookstores and at Yellowstone gift shops and visitor centers, or by calling Riverbend Publishing toll-free 1-866-787-2363.

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Chuck Bartlebaugh

PO Box 7487, Missoula MT 59807

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