Cover image for True grizz : glimpses of Fernie, Stahr, Easy, Dakota, and other real bears in the modern world
True grizz : glimpses of Fernie, Stahr, Easy, Dakota, and other real bears in the modern world
Chadwick, Douglas H.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Sierra Club Books ; Berkeley, Calif. : Distributed by University of California Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
176 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL737.C27 C44 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



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. He gives a view of individual grizzlies and their complex personalities.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

How do you train a wild grizzly bear to stay away from humans and their pets, livestock, and crops? Humans have moved into the fringes of the wild countryside of Montana, and the endangered grizzlies have discovered that humans are great providers of food. Chadwick, a wildlife biologist, joined a crew of bear managers as they taught the bears about where they could and couldn't go in the Flathead region of northwestern Montana, and here he tells of the innovative techniques used to educate them. Female bears, as producers of the next generation of grizzlies, are given more chances to learn than males, so many of the stories the author relates are about females. Education mainly involves teaching the bears that it is too much trouble to come close to humans and their possessions. The author writes as much about educating humans as he does about educating bears, which makes for an enjoyable read. For most libraries. --Nancy Bent Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this well-written volume of natural history, Chadwick, a wildlife biologist and author of The Fate of the Elephant, turns his attention to the precarious future of the grizzly bear. These large mammals are on the list of endangered species in the lower 48 states. As wild land dwindles, grizzlies, who need to consume 20,000-30,000 calories daily in autumn to get them through a winter of hibernation, have encroached on human territory, helping themselves to quick meals from garbage cans, birdfeeders, bags of dog food and livestock feed. Portrayed in legend as exceptionally dangerous, grizzlies, Chadwick explains (trying to draw a more complex portrait), have had their numbers drastically reduced by hunters, frightened landowners and collisions with trains and cars. In order to discourage grizzlies from coming too close to homes in northwestern Montana, where they could endanger residents, a team of wildlife managers has been educating, capturing and moving these trespassers further into the wilderness using Karelians (bear dogs from Finland), rubber bullets, darts and chemical repellents. Chadwick traveled with the team and creatively describes the individual histories and distinctive personalities of the grizzlies he observed. While a bear named Stahr could not be dissuaded from raiding human food and will have to spend the rest of her life in captivity, Dakota and her cubs learned not to be so visible and were able to successfully hibernate. In the end, this is a fascinating look at part of the quickly disappearing natural world. B&w photos. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

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, the project team employs rubber bullets and a unique dog breed from Finland, among other things, to prod bears back into the wilderness before they become so accustomed to humans that they must be destroyed for safety reasons. Chadwick argues that grizzlies have become a nuisance because of human encroachment on their traditional habitat, not vice versa. Along with details of the project's successes and failures, the author offers glimpses of the people and the ecology of northwestern Montana. His use of humorous bear epithets, such as "welfare chiseler" or "smash and grab burglar," keeps the tone light and readable. This title is recommended for larger public libraries, but readers seeking a general and accessible introduction to grizzlies, their behavior, habitat, and biology might try Andy Russell's Grizzly Country.-Alvin Hutchinson, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prologue Vitals Seeing the Bear
Teaching Grizzlies a Thing or Two Midnight with Bear-Bear and Stahr
Ode to Fresh Sign Feeding
Fernie Neighbors and Outlaws Giants in the Earth
Interlude: Real Bear
Clawing the Backbone of the World So, What Would You Have Done?
Frame of Mind
The Grizz from Lacy Lane, Easy Street, and Dakota Avenue Ode to Babysitters