Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness
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Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness

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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  502 ratings  ·  28 reviews
For nearly twenty years, alone and unarmed, author Doug Peacock traversed the rugged mountains of Montana and Wyoming tracking the magnificent grizzly. His thrilling narrative takes us into the bear's habitat, where we observe directly this majestic animal's behavior, from hunting strategies, mating patterns, and denning habits to social hierarchy and methods of communicat...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Holt Paperbacks (first published 1987)
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Charles
It's too bad that when you mention the book about Grizzly Bears, everyone says "you mean the guy who got eaten?" because Doug Peacock is the real Grizzly expert, and he knows better than to get all buddy buddy with Ursis Horribilis. This book is an account of decades worth of time spent deep in the backcountry of the Northern Rockies learning about the Grizz in all seasons, and sharing that hard earned, firsthand knowledge with us, the lucky readers. He's clawed his way up and down the Montana R...more
Annette
This was a thoroughly enjoyable book combining Peacock's decades long study and filming of grizzlies in their natural habitats with his personal journey of healing and self-understanding - - a have to read that brought greater understanding of our (Annette's and my) encounter with a grizzly while hiking in Glacier National Park in Montana. Learn more about the author in an July/August 2002 article, Q&A Grizzlies http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adv... by T. Chamberlain, from National Geogra...more
Jimmy
Doug Peacock, the model for the George Hayduke of Edward Abbey's novels The Monkey Wrench Gang and Hayduke Lives!, served two tours of duty in Vietnam as a Green Beret medic, ministering to the Montagnard and Hre peoples of the highlands. Exploring the wilderness and studying grizzly bears was his way of forgetting some of his experiences in Vietnam.

There are many vignettes in the book that I loved. Here is one of my favorites. While house sitting, a Navajo knocks on the door looking for safety...more
Summer
Doug Peacock was a troubled man, healed by the power of nature.
Marlène
Doug Peacock mon héros. Doug Peacock, ours, colosse. Doug Peacock qui se retrouva en 1980 à prendre Arnie "The Barbarian" Schwarzenegger par la paluche pour un week-end camping viril à Yellowstone et accessoirement montrer de plus près (tout est relatif) un grizzli pour une émission des années 70-80, qui, en passant, était une émission "sportive" chasse et pêche avec des guest stars populaires comme victimes. Ne me demandez pas comment je suis tombée sur cette vidéo...
Doug Peacock? Mais comment...more
Andy Miller
This is a memoir of sorts, of the author's adventures in observing and photographing Grizzly Bears in Montana with flashbacks to his combat experiences in Vietnam. The broken narrative works well, Peacock describes his need for isolation and restoration after his Vietnam experiences--he was a Green Beret who spent most of his tour with small companies in isolated jungles of Vietnam. The Vietnam passages are intense and I found myself appreciating the narrative's return to his Grizzly adventures

P...more
Mark Bailey
Convincing tour of recovery from Vietnam through the balms of the U.S.'s wildest places and beasts. Just enough personal to fully engage. Hints of his expertise as a naturalist and paleontologist. My book was a lousy copy printed POD. Is there another full life memoir in the man?
Griggette
"Grizzly Years" is Doug Peacock's memoir of returning home from his stint as a Green Beret medic in Vietnam and seeking out "the blank spots on the map" in the American West, primarily in Glacier National Park. Peacock spends the next 20 years in the backcountry, following grizzly bears in Yellowstone and Glacier, initially out of his own curiousity, and eventually, with cameras as a wildlife cinematographer/photographer. War stories from his time in 'Nam are interwoven with his ursine experienc...more
Ilsa Bick
Anyone interested in conservation knows Peacock’s story. Fresh from the Vietnam War where he served two tours as a Green Beret medic, Doug Peacock is a young man with more than his share of spiritual wounds. Like so many others, his life became a boozy, self-destructive downward spiral. What saved him was the wilderness and, more specifically, grizzlies. This book follows his spiritual rebirth–the bears he studied and filmed, the ones he didn’t kill, the trauma he finally vanquished, the life pa...more
Jackson
incredible book by ed abbey's protege, doug peacock. discusses environmental topics close to my heart, and also is an autobiographical account of a man who has led an incredible life of extreme lows and highs. free of obnoxious neo-hippy earth first crap, and an enjoyable read for anyone who's never even stepped foot in the desert or a forest. the back and forth narratives between his life in the wilderness and his time as a medic in vietnam provides an incredible contrast of human experience an...more
Chefwood
Okay. I know. A book about bears? What the heh? But it's a really fascinating read. Not for the information about bears, but because of the authors social beliefs and how he presents his information. He was a medic in Vietnam, two tours I think, and is now horrified by humanity. To him, bears are simple. Bears make sense. Its an interesting read to say the least. By the by, he has come to accept humanity a little more and does not spend all of his time with bears anymore.
Jake
Outstanding! Peacock is the real person that the character Hayduke is based on (Monkey Wrench Gang). Peacock was a Green Beret medic in Vietnam. Now, he is a thoughtful, I would say, profound, naturalist. His experiences with grizzlies and the way in which these are theraputic for him are fascinating to read about.
w
Peacock, the infamous amalgamation of Hayduke that Abbey wrote about in The Monkey Wrench gang. His story is of returning from Vietnam, a depressed ex-Green Beret medic searching for humanity away from humanity in Grizzly country.
Tomek
For a book by the person who inspired Heyduke in the Monkeywrench gang, I found Peacock's writing to be dry. Part zoology part personal memoir, his prose rapidly becomes repetitive and flat.
Patagonia  Books
For nearly twenty years, alone and unarmed, author Doug Peacock traversed the rugged mountains of Montana and Wyoming tracking the magnificent grizzly. An educational read.
Tattered Cover Book Store
Author Rick Bass recomended this book as part of the Rocky Mountain Land Library's "A Reading List For the President Elect: A Western Primer for the Next Administration."
Sunni
Too much detail in the second half of the book. I guess I'm not enthralled with grizzlies enough to get a scrutinizing account of their every move.
Daniel Brink
One of my most favorite books. Vietnam vet finding hisself in the wild and becomes fascinated with the grizzlies that live there.
Kent
Ostensibly about Doug studying bears, but actually, sub-surface, it's about him coming to terms with his bruises from Vietnam.
Brooke
This is a powerful book with an important message. It validates the love of nature and wild things without romanticizing them.
Jean
Well written, insightful. I'm enjoying and wilderness accounts and dreading the retelling of his time spent in Vietnam.
John
A little long on the Vietnam war stuff and the last chapter is out of place, but otherwise, I enjoyed this book.
Daniel
I really enjoyed this. Just the right amount of philosophy mixed with the naturalism.
Jace Stansbury
If you are inrested in bear this is a must read. Peacock is an excellent writer.
jack
really freakin good. almost brought me to tears in a few spots
Valley Knapp
this was for lit class spring 2013. liked the book!
Sam
I want the wildness.
Jennifer Nelson
Aug 23, 2013 Jennifer Nelson marked it as the-book-dump  ·  review of another edition
Too much foul language.
Meg
Meg marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2014
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Author, Vietnam veteran, filmmaker and naturalist Doug Peacock has published widely on wilderness issues: from grizzly bears to buffalo, from the Sierra Madres of the Sonoran desert to the fjords of British Columbia, from the tigers of Siberia to the blue sheep of Nepal. Doug Peacock was a Green Beret medic and the real-life model for Edward Abbey’s George Washington Hayduke in The Monkey Wrench G...more
More about Doug Peacock...
Walking It Off: A Veteran's Chronicle of War and Wilderness The Essential Grizzly: The Mingled Fates of Men and Bears In the Shadow of the Sabertooth: Global Warming, the Origins of the First Americans, and the Terrible Beasts of the Pleistocene In the Presence of Grizzlies: The Ancient Bond Between Men and Bears Baja!

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“I have spent too much time with my eye glued to the viewfinder and ended up missing both the image of the mind and that on film.” 2 likes
“The dangerous temptation of wildlife films is that they can lull us into thinking we can get by without the original models -- that we might not need animals in the flesh.” 2 likes
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