Books About Bears
Many books have been written about bears, including some books by Canadian Rockies authors and experts. Here are our recommendations for the best books about bears.
Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance (2018, ISBN: 9781493029419) is authored by Calgarian Stephen Herrero, the leading scientific authority in the field. Bear Attacks is generally regarded as the most comprehensive book on the relationship between bears and humans. Now in its 3rd edition, this has been the go-to book for the study of attacks made on humans by grizzly and black bears, including stories from the Canadian Rockies. It’s for all outdoor enthusiasts who hike, camp or visit bear country.
Mark of the Grizzly (2020; ISBN: 9781493049608) by Scott McMillion is also in its 3rd edition. McMillion is a well-regarded outdoor writer from Montana. Like Bear Attacks, Mark of the Grizzly is filled with bear attack stories from throughout North America, and for each attack, the author has interviewed survivors, witnesses, and investigators.
Bears of the North: A World Inside Their Worlds (2021; ISBN: 9781421439419) is a magnificent large-format hardcover book by Wayne Lynch, one of Canada’s preeminent wildlife photographers. Lynch follows polar bears, brown bears, and black bears through the seasons, allowing an insider’s view of hibernation, the birth of cubs, mating rituals, and feeding habits.
Wayne Lynch is also the author of Canadian Rockies Wildlife Photography. As well as being a resource for wildlife photographers, Lynch includes lots of information about bears in the Canadian Rockies.
The Black Grizzly of Whiskey Creek (2008; ISBN: 9780771056987) is the true story of a grizzly bear that went on a terrifying rampage near the town of Banff in 1980. With much of the action taking place from the perspective of the bear, renowned Albertan author Sid Marty describes Banff portrayed by the media as a town under siege by a killer bear.
Kevin Van Tighem, a former superintendent of Banff National Park, calls on decades of experience and knowledge in Bears Without Fear (2013; ISBN: 9781927330319) which helps readers understand our relationship with and attitude toward bears.
In 1983, Van Tighem’s sister, Patricia, and her husband were attacked by a grizzly bear on the Crypt Lake Trail in Waterton Lakes National Park. The Bear’s Embrace (2001; ISBN: 9781550548754) is a memoir about surviving the attack, and just as importantly for the story, the ensuing recovery process.
One of the best-known bear stories is that of Timothy Treadwell, a grizzly bear advocate who lived and interacted with the grizzly bears of Katmai National Park in Alaska. Treadwell authored Among Grizzlies: Living with Wild Bears in Alaska (1999; ISBN: 9780345426055). After being killed in 2003 by the bears he was trying to protect, the story caught the world’s media attention, resulting in the documentary Grizzly Man (2005). His story and tragic death are also described in Death in the Grizzly Maze: The Timothy Treadwell Story (2005; ISBN: 978-0762736775) by Mike Lapinski.