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Bear in the Back Seat I: Adventures of a Wildlife Ranger in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  442 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Wall Street Journal Best Seller! This is the first volume in a series of true stories from “[a]n extraordinary landscape populated with befuddled bears, hormonally-crazed elk, homicidal wild boars, hopelessly timid wolves, and nine million tourists, some of whom are clueless."

In Kim DeLozier’s world, when sedated wild black bears wake up unexpectedly in the back seat of a
Kindle Edition, 1, 165 pages
Published August 30th 2013 by Zo'o Media (first published August 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

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I listened to this on audiobook.
I enjoyed reading this book - mostly. There were stories of hunting animals, feral or otherwise, that didn't sit well with me, and the author states that he is a hunter, himself. His care and respect for bears, however, is obvious, however. As the title of the book suggests, a big portion of this book is about bears, however, there are stories about other animals such as skunks, peregrine falcons, etc.
Some of the stories are funny, some sad, some provoke anger (e
“Bear in the Back Seat” by Kim DeLozier and Carolyn Jourdan is a wonderfully entertaining collection of various experiences Kim enjoyed during his 30+ year career as a Wildlife Ranger for the National Park Service at Smoky Mountain National Park. Tasked with managing both wildlife and tourists for the mutual safety of all parties, many of Kim’s stories concern bear/tourist interaction, which is sometimes hilarious and sometimes tragic.

I myself am a retired Wildlife Biologist, so these tales rea
Jen K.
OK, first off... let me qualify my five star rating by disclosing that I have been a sucker for this kind of book ever since I purchased and loved True Bear Tales: True Stories from Michigan's Upper Peninsula after a backpacking trip at Porcupine Mountains State Park in Michigan. Both books share the same "regular guy wrote this" vibe that give you the feel of hearing these engaging, sometimes hilarious, and often very touching stories about the daily work of managing wild animals in America's p ...more
Steve Doyal
Growing up in East Tennessee, I have always loved my visits to the Smoky Mountains National Park. I sometimes wondered what it would be like to be a Park Ranger. I was able to get a glimpse into that life and enjoy Kim's stories about his adventures and misadventures. Now I am content that the profession is better left to guys like him! This is a good book that also has good advice for anyone going to spend any time in the park and around some of its natural inhabitants.
Susan Visser
I enjoyed the stories and can imagine how much fun it would be to sit and hear the stories directly from the ranger! I'm sure that's how this book came to be. Ranger was telling everyone his great stories and likely most people say... you should write a book!

The stories are good, but rather lightweight. Nothing too scary or troublesome. The part I disliked most about the book was how preachy it got in parts: "don't feed the bears!". I'm sure with 9m visitors a year, he's run into too many idiots
Michele Peacher
Anyone who enjoys wildlife and/or the Smoky Mountains is sure to enjoy this book. It is an easy book to read when you are expecting some interruptions because it is divided into many different chapters with each chapter being an entirely new adventure with some wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I downloaded this book to my kindle from
Anyone who lives in this area or just visits the area should take the time to read this fantastic book, I truly enjoyed every page.

Not only do we have to worry about ignorant visitors that feed the bears, now we have the same visitors doing the same thing to the elk.

"A fed bear is a dead bear"
Joy Wilson
This is a wonderful little book about the life of a ranger in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It relates the ups and downs of being a park ranger with some extraordinary interactions between people and animals. The book is written as a series of short stories in which Kim explains how animals are handled, or mishandled, and how people are the most ill behaved animals of all. I laughed out loud a few times and was saddened at others. I can see why it was on the NY Times best seller list f ...more
Interesting memoir from a wildlife ranger working in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The writing style is enjoyable and easy to read. His 40+ year career certainly provides many entertaining antidotes of life on the trails in the world's most heavily-visited National Park. The overriding message of the book is don't feed the bears! Over and over, he shows us through example of how human ignorance involving bears always results in a negative outcome for both humans and bears. Another int ...more
Ronnie Beck
Enjoyable and interesting

This book was educational as well as fun to read. I thought from the title it would be more humorous than it was. Yet, the stories told are fun and engaging while also being educational. I enjoyed the inside view of the ranger and recommend this book to anyone who likes the outdoors and bears. Each story is a stand alone chapter allowing the reader to break between stories and come back to the book at their leisure without missing the flow of the book.
Carl Nelson
An engaging, interesting read starring the beautiful Smoky Mountains and the wildlife that lives there, frequently disrupted by foibles of humankind. Skunks, deer, chipmunks, falcons, and especially bear stride through the landscape, and the rangers of our most popular National Park do their best to do what's right for both visitors and animals. The results are entertaining, informative, and sometimes heartbreaking--especially when an animal must be put down because of the carelessness, negligen ...more
I love personal experience stories like this. I like nature, but I don't want to get any on me, so it was fun to read about hikes in the backwoods and crazy bear incidents without having to get too close. There's a great section in the back about what to do if you encounter a black bear in the wild and there is a lot of evidence in here that feeding bears is just plain cruel. Unfortunately I think some people are just too dim to ever get it, but I appreciate the effort.
Miriam Schneider
I highly recommend this book! It is a great book to read out loud to others because it is easy to follow along, keeps your attention, and is broken up into many different short stories.

This book is funny, tender hearted, and educational. There are many people who do not understand the importance of not feeding wildlife. This book provides many reasons without being offensive.

It is enjoyed by most ages and you won't want it to end.
Delightful and interesting book written by a GSMNP ranger who specialized in wildlife control. A lot of the book is about black bears and the many encounters park visitors have with bears. The book emphasizes that people's ignorance along with unsecured food cause most of the bear euthanasia that occurs. This book covers non-native hogs imported for hunting and the reintroduction of the peregrine falcon to the park.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park covers 521,085.66 acres, and is home to 1,600 black bears. That’s 100 times as many black bears than live at Yosemite. The Park also has more than 9 million visitors per year…so it’s no wonder that sometimes visitors and wildlife collide.

Park Ranger Kim DeLozier loves his job, and his decades in the Park have spawned a collection of sometimes amazing -- and always amusing stories. DeLozier wavers between being extremely adept at his job to being the Nation
Sue Eckel
Interesting, lots to learn

This is an interesting collection of stories from a parkranger who shares many tales of black bears, peregrine falcons, skunks,velk, deer, and other wildlife in the Appalachians. Lots to learn as he shares his stories of an amazing, often dangerous, but rewarding and respected career! Well-written!
Hiking in the Smokys is one of my favorite things. That's probably the biggest reason I enjoyed reading this book. The writing was meh, but I forgave it because I loved the anecdotes. I loved learning more about the wildlife in the park, the kinds of things rangers do, and helpful bear advice.
I very much enjoyed reading this collection of bear stories from the Smoky Mountain National Park. The Smoky Mountains are by far, my favorite place on this planet and so getting to enjoy a collection of stories all based around my favorite location was just a joy.
Shane Grier
Great and informative

Outstanding tales of life inside the nation's most popular national park. Short, funny and always interesting stories about bears, falcon, hikers and wild hogs. Recommend to the adventurous outdoor type or a fan of the Smokies.
The stories were entertaining and often times quite funny. However, I found the book to be a little bit repetitive: DON'T FEED THE BEARS. From the first or second story involving bears, people, and food, the reader gets the message. It doesn't need to be restated over and over and over and over again. Otherwise, an enjoyable and educational book.
Kim Hammond-beyer

Enjoyable. But as someone who has spent time in backcountry and was a bio major and live in the south, was a little boring. My husband who is also a biologist loved it. Fun stories from ranger life but a little disjointed.
r. markham
Great read. Immensely entertaining. I almost never comment on the appendix but loved this one.

I can not say more than I have. I not only enjoyed the book but grew to respect the author. Have already begun the second book.
Keith Gibson
Must read for animal and nature lovers.

Must read for animal and nature lovers.

all visitors to the Great Smokey Mtn. should read this and give the wildlife and rangers their support and respect.
Barbara B. Rabek
Great Recollections

It was interesting reading about the bears and changing their circumstances to live a wild life. I am familiar with many of the locations mentioned as I have visited the cove many times.
Heidi Busch
This book was fun because I knew of the places in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. I've never encountered a bear there after reading this book, I think that's a good thing. The authors do a good job of just telling me the stories without a lot of extra fluff.
Deb Threadgill
Loved this book. Love going to the Smokies almost every summer. Very thankful for all the the Wildlife Rangers do. Some of this stories will make you laugh out loud and if you are like me some of them will make you cry.
This was an unexpected quick fun interesting read. I picked it up because it was a free borrow on my kindle. What a pleasant surprise! I enjoyed reading about Kim DeLozier and his experience as a wildlife ranger.
I am currently working my way through this book. So far, not too impressed with the writing; lot of repeating himself. I was hoping for some entertainment. I will have to finish before I have a final conclusion.
Christy Olesen
An easy book to pick up and read a odd moments. Each anecdote is complete. A very enlightening book to the life of a Wildlife Ranger and all the animals he is responsible for, especially the black bears.
Interesting and entertaining

Great book. Loved the short stories about experiences with animals in the Smokies. Almost makes me want to be a park ranger.
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3-Time national best selling Author of Memoir and Mystery
#5 Wall Street Journal Best Seller #9 Wall Street Journal Best Seller #7 Wall Street Journal Best Seller
Bear in the Back Seat - Adventures of a Wildlife Ranger in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the first volume in a series of true stories from “[a]n extraordinary landscape populated with befuddled bears, hormonally-crazed elk, h
More about Carolyn Jourdan...
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“A fed bear is a dead bear. Remember when you’re in the Park, it’s their home. We are only visitors.” 0 likes
“The technical term for a gang of skunks is a surfeit.” 0 likes
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