True grizz: glimpses of Fernie, Stahr, Easy, Dakota, and other real bears in the modern world

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Sierra Club Books, Sep 2, 2003 - Science - 176 pages
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On the outskirts of a Montana town, a female grizzly and her cubs catch the scent of a bag of dog food left out on a porch. It has been a poor autumn for berries in the backcountry, and the temptation to snatch an easy meal from human territory is strong. If the bears succeed often enough, they will be more likely to go into their winter den with the fat reserves needed for survival. But with each such raid, the bears' chances of getting caught or killed increase dramatically.
In True Grizz, author Douglas Chadwick joins a crew of dedicated wildlife managers working to educate grizzlies about where they should and shouldn't go in the populated areas of northwestern Montana. With "schooling" methods that range from shooting the bears with rubber bullets to charging at them with teams of specially trained Karelian dogs, these people are doing everything they can to save a threatened species. This challenge grows increasingly difficult as human development encroaches upon the bears' habitat, leaving grizz little choice but to share landscapes with us.
Breaking with the tradition of tales that depict bears as either ferocious monsters or icons of pure wilderness, Chadwick gives us a refreshingly clear-eyed view of individual grizzlies and their complex personalities. As he chronicles the lives of Fernie, Stahr, Easy, Dakota, and other "problem" bears--and shares his personal insights about free-roaming grizzlies gained through close observation for more than three decades--Chadwick offers a realistic yet poignant picture of grizz as big, strong, bright, adaptable omnivores trying to get by in the modern world any way they can. On the outskirts of a Montana town, a female grizzly and her cubs catch the scent of a bag of dog food left out on a porch. It has been a poor autumn for berries in the backcountry, and the temptation to snatch an easy meal from human territory is strong. If the bears succeed often enough, they will be more likely to go into their winter den with the fat reserves needed for survival. But with each such raid, the bears' chances of getting caught or killed increase dramatically.
In True Grizz, author Douglas Chadwick joins a crew of dedicated wildlife managers working to educate grizzlies about where they should and shouldn't go in the populated areas of northwestern Montana. With "schooling" methods that range from shooting the bears with rubber bullets to charging at them with teams of specially trained Karelian dogs, these people are doing everything they can to save a threatened species. This challenge grows increasingly difficult as human development encroaches upon the bears' habitat, leaving grizz little choice but to share landscapes with us.
Breaking with the tradition of tales that depict bears as either ferocious monsters or icons of pure wilderness, Chadwick gives us a refreshingly clear-eyed view of individual grizzlies and their complex personalities. As he chronicles the lives of Fernie, Stahr, Easy, Dakota, and other "problem" bears--and shares his personal insights about free-roaming grizzlies gained through close observation for more than three decades--Chadwick offers a realistic yet poignant picture of grizz as big, strong, bright, adaptable omnivores trying to get by in the modern world any way they can.

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True grizz: glimpses of Fernie, Stahr, Easy, Dakota, and other real bears in the modern world

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A wildlife biologist and science writer, Chadwick (The Fate of the Elephant) describes a project in Montana to train grizzly bears to avoid foraging in populated areas. Using negative reinforcement ... Read full review

Contents

Seeing th Bear
17
Midnight with Beafyear and Stahr
38
Ode to Fresh Sign
56
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Photographer Amy Shapira returned to the same remote cove in the Alaskan wilderness for six consecutive summers amassing over 7,500 images for this book. Several of her photographs have been featured on a PBS documentary and many have been published in magazines and newspapers. Amy is deeply dedicated to the protection, restoration and conservation of North Americas grizzly bear habitat. She resides in Carbondale, Colorado with her husband Israel and their 3 dogs.
Douglas H. Chadwick is a biologist who has studied animals around the world. He has written nine books and hundreds of articles about nature for popular magazines such as "National Geographic," Fascinated by grizzly bears for most of his grown-up life, Douglas and his wife reared two children in a remote cabin on the edge of Glacier Park, and had grizzlies for close neighbors for years. Today Doug still lives close to bears in Whitefish, MT.

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