Mark 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
2nd Edition, Paperback
“Mark of the Grizzly” immediately became a regional bestseller upon its release in 1998 and some reviewers quickly called it “an instant classic.” That praise made me a little nervous at the time, but I’m proud to say the book stayed on the shelf through 16 printings.
Now, as of November, 2011, a new edition is available, the cover of which you see on this page. But the book includes a lot more than just a new cover: I’ve written four completely new chapters and updated the existing ones. The new chapters include:
- An examination of an incredibly rare attack on sleeping campers near Yellowstone National Park in 2010, and the way people around the world reacted to it. (You can read an excerpt from that chapter by clicking here.)
- An unprecedented type of bear attack: a man was killed in Wyoming in 2010 when he approached a “research” grizzly still recovering from a drug-induced stupor, a daze that had been administered by researchers who had captured the bear.
- The increasing number of “bear whisperers” like Timothy Treadwell.
- Mountain biking in grizzly country. Is it really a good idea to move quickly and quietly in places where the grizzly walks? Some people have learned hard lessons about it.
I’ve also greatly expanded existing chapters about trail running in grizzly country, the increasing phenomenon of “dinner bell” grizzlies attracted to the bones and gut piles that hunters leave behind, the latest data on bear pepper spray (it still works), updates about expanding grizzly populations, exciting new science and postscripts to most of the original chapters.
When I first set out to write this book, I wanted to avoid demonizing grizzlies, creatures that have been eliminated from most of their native turf. And I didn’t veer from that attitude in the new edition. I admire and respect grizzly 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.
Here is what newspapers and magazines in grizzly country, where the great bear is not just an abstraction, are saying about the new edition.
“If nature is our classroom, then McMillion’s recently updated book, “Mark of the Grizzly,” should be on the syllabus as required reading.”
“It’s a page-turner from the first sentence of the first chapter.”
Helena Independent Record
“McMillion has revisited his book to update some of the chapters and add some new ones. The result is an even more gripping Mark or the Grizzly.”
Great Falls Tribune
“McMillion has updated the book to include new hair-raising stories of bear attacks, why they happen, why some people survive to tell the tale and others don’t.”
Bozeman Daily Chronicle
“It’s a powerful book if you’re trying to better understand how attacks happen, and what safeguards you can take to protect yourself against bear attacks.”
National Parks Traveler
“Livingston author Scott McMillion practically caught lightning in a bottle when he decided to update his book, Mark of the Grizzly.”
Here are a few reviewers’ comments about the original edition of Mark of the Grizzly.
“Written with the knowing precision of a good Robin Cook mystery.”
The Denver Post
“Planning a vacation trip to Yellowstone or to wilderness sites in Canada or Alaska? Better read this first.”
The Los Angeles Times
“A set of well-written, fast-moving stories that engage and inform.”
The Saint Louis Post Dispatch
“The only thing more frightening than stumbling upon a hungry 100-pound mountain lion may be staring down an ornery 350-pound grizzly bear. If you have any doubt, read Scott McMillion’s Mark of the Grizzly.”
“Anybody who’s planning on going to Yellowstone this summer should definitely have this along.”
“Talk of the Nation,” National Public Radio
“Mark of the Grizzly is at its heart a gripping adventure.”
The High Country News
“When I stopped reading, my son and my buddy’s son begged me to continue. The dangers of dealing with the bears had them hooked. Actually, Scott McMillion had them hooked with his book Mark of the Grizzly.”
Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune
“It’s a book I read until I was finished. I couldn’t put it down. You probably won’t, either.”
“Stories told in riveting detail.”
“’Mark of the Grizzly is a superb treatment. I was especially impressed with the gentle but insistent theme of grizzly conservation.”
Secretary, Wildlife Management Institute
“A riveting book that could very well save your life someday. Most highly recommended.”
Wildlife Activist Magazine
“Aside from being a nail-biter of a horror story, the book offers some priceless insight on what to do – and not do – in the event of a bear encounter, not through a neat list of tips, but through the memorable stories of victims of bear attacks.”
Boulder Daily Camera
“The book is not simply ‘here are the details, aren’t they morbid?’ This is a thoughtful investigation of what might have caused the bear to attack and what might have made it turn out differently. The book makes the point that human-grizzly encounters often mean the end for the bear and the loss of a grizzly bear is a loss for us all.”
Great Falls (Montana) Tribune
“They are, by design, stories of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.”
“It’s the raw power of the stories — the interplay of the wildness of bears and the humanness of the victims — that drives this book.”
Helena, Montana, Independent-Record
“If it were fiction, McMillion’s book would be a ripping good read, but what makes it so riveting is the fact that these are true stories from real people.”
Twin Falls (Idaho) Times News
“When you put it all together, McMillion has crafted a classic book about bears.”
The Billings (Montana) Gazette