View Full Version : Bear books

steve hiker
2004-06-12, 03:33
Three excellent bear books I've recently read. Got them from the library no less (mostly thru ILL), so you don't need to spend a dime. I highly recommend them. Changed my thinking about bears.

Grizzly Seasons: Life with the Brown Bears of Kamchatka, by Charles Russell and Maureen Enns


Spirit Bear: Encounters with the White Bear of the Western Rainforest, Charles Russell


Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness, Doug Peacock


2004-06-12, 16:43
None of these authors was that dork and his girlfriend who got ate last year in Alaska, was it?
A good bear book is "Bear Attacks their causes and avoidance" by Stephen Herrero. Maybe a little dated from 1985, but bears don't know that.


2004-06-13, 21:42
Originally posted by Mutinousdoug
None of these authors was that dork and his girlfriend who got ate last year in Alaska, was it?

No. That was Tim Treadwell, the "bear whisperer." Here's a link to a news story on his death:


Jim Henderson
2004-06-14, 12:16
Yah know, as horrific as this type of story can be, I always get a kick when nature shows her teeth.

I especially love it when a treehugger gets eaten. A sick thrill I know, but have always been of the opinion that nature is not kind and gentle, but more red of fang and claw.

Ah well, maybe if more tree huggers get eaten, this foolishness of gentle beasts will get dropped.

Mean time... "I don't have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you, or maybe trip you".

Jim Henderson

steve hiker
2004-09-09, 23:02
None of these authors was that dork and his girlfriend who got ate last year in Alaska, was it?

Having read all the other books, out of boredom, I picked up Timothy Treadwell's book Among Grizzlies from the library. He's the 'bear whisperer' who was eaten last year in Alaska. Here's a gem of a quote:

"Thirty feet up the river, a golden-brown ball of fluff sprang from the brush and started moseying in my direction. I could tell this animal wasn't very old. It was the most beautiful bear I'd ever seen, alive or in photographs. I wasn't afraid, only worried that my presence might spook the bear. I was melting with love for this perfect animal."

"'Good day, beautiful bear! Please don't be afraid. I would never harm you. You look like an angel,'" I said, overcome with emotion.

"Suddenly, a name for the bear came to me. 'You're just a little Booble, aren't you?' I said to the golden bear. 'I love you, Booble.'"

steve hiker
2004-09-09, 23:17
More on Treadwell. I read another book that commented on last year's mauling death of him and his girlfriend. He had invited her to come to Alaska, and they went hiking overnight. Apparently, it was her first time in the Alaskan backcountry. By this time, Treadwell had been in Alaska for several summers.

The author visited the spot where Treadwell and his girlfriend were killed. It was in a heavily brushy area, and Treadwell decided to set up their tent right in the middle of the trail -- a well used bear path. The author commented that it gave him serious creeps when he saw where Treadwell decided to spend the night.

My guess is, a grizz noticed the stupidity of this decision too, and reacted somewhat like a meter maid when seeing an SUV or wide truck double parked in the street, blocking all traffic. The bear gave them a ticket.

steve hiker
2004-09-12, 23:49
Details on his death:

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Maul Story 4 (Not for the Squeamish): Turns out there is an audiotape of the last three minutes of Timothy Treadwell's life, which captures his mauling by a bear in the Katmai National Park and Preserve. Police speculate that he might have been wearing a sound-activated mike when he was attacked. "Get out of here. I'm getting killed," Treadwell yelled to his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard. Huguenard can be heard yelling, amid the scuffling and screaming, "play dead," which is the recommended initial response to a bear attack. When the bear keeps laying into Treadwell, she yells "fight back," which is a not very attractive Option 2. Shortly thereafter, Treadwell pleads "hit him with a pan." Then the tape goes dead. The Anchorage Daily News has the full story, plus a lot more background on Treadwell's apparent compulsion to get really, really close to bears. He claimed he could calm them with his sing-song voice, and tell from their body language whether they were about to get aggressive. Apparently not.

SGT Rock
2004-09-13, 05:03
I hope they let the bear live. Wasn't his fault his food kept singing to him.

2004-09-15, 12:30
I hope they let the bear live. Wasn't his fault his food kept singing to him.

When park rangers and state troopers arrived at the scene, they killed two bears that they say charged them.

2004-11-24, 12:47
"Mark of the Grizzly", by Scott McMillion. It covers grizzly attacks in both Alaska and the lower 48. Some of his main points are:

1) Dummies are the main ones who get mauled, but it can happen to anyone outdoors in regions grizzlies live.

2) Hunters are at considerably more risk than are everyone else (i.e., hikers). This is probably due to the smell from game hunters down, although there is some belief that some bears learn to associate gunshots with available food.

3) The larger # of people in a group, the lower the probability of a mauling. Five people = very unlikely; nine = basically unheard of.

4) Bears, even grizzlies, generally seek to avoid contact with humans the vast majority of the time.

5) Bears generally hear you long before you hear them. Over 95% of bear encounters occur without the human(s) ever knowing about it.

6) Bears vary in their aggressiveness with the time of the year and whether or not they have health/injury issues that keep them in a bad mood all the time.

7) The vast majority of bear maulings do not result in human death. As the bears could easily have killed the humans had they wanted to, obviously bears do not generally intend to kill, but to chastise, humans they maul.

8) Bear sprays work best on bears that have not yet firmly decided to attack. They can further enrage bears that have decided to attack, possibly increasing the chances of a mauling being fatal. When bear spray has been spilt on the ground, bears have been seen to intentionally roll in it.

9) Grizzly brains go "tilt" at the sight of a human on a horse, and are not known to have EVER attacked one.

10) About one person a year is killed by a bear in all of North America. In Alaska, almost twice as many people have been killed by dogs since records started being kept in 1939. Thus, the risk of bear attacks should NOT keep people from enjoying the outdoors.

11) It takes a serious gun to kill a grizzly. In one case in this book, a hunter put a .30-30 rifle round and SIX .44-magnum rounds into a grizzly without killing it (then or subsequently). Good shot placement helps a LOT. A 12-gauge shotgun with rifled slugs is probably the cheapest remotely effective weapon for this purpose. .338 magnum rifles are the weapon of choice to many. When rangers have to kill a bear, the preferred method appears to be for multiple shooters to catch it unawares and fire simultaneously with well-placed shots.

Good link (see right sidebar) on grizzly loads: http://www.huntingmag.com/big_game/fiercest_game/

12) Bears have absolutely incredible pain tolerance. They are known to repeatedly dig up yellow jacket nests to eat the larvae, getting hundreds of stings in the process.

13) Grizzlies move so fast in the attack that people often have no time to use bear sprays or guns held at the ready. Sprays MAY be quicker to use. Repeatedly, guys with good guns get off one shot that misses, then the bear is on them. It would be necessary to shoot grizzlies on sight to be halfway sure via the use of firearms to not get mauled.