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Down from the Mountain: The Life and Death of a Grizzly Bear

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  87 ratings  ·  24 reviews
The story of a grizzly bear named Millie: her life, death, and cubs, and what they reveal about the changing character of the American West.
The grizzly is one of North America’s last large predators. Their range is diminished, but they’re spreading into the West again, where once they were king. The challenge: humans rule the roost now, and most are wary, at best, as g
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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4.33  · 
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 ·  87 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019, lor-2019
Mission Hills, Montana, a place that has long harbored and protected grizzlies. Millie's Woods, named after a grizzly who has roamed the woods theere, giving birth to several cubs. As more and more people move into the area, farmers, survivalists, people who just want to be alone, and of course those with no good intention, the grizzlies territory is shrinking. Now they are running into man and what man thinks is his. When the grizzlies discover corn fields, they decide to stay within the protec ...more
Erin McCarthy Greene
Read this book!

I happened upon this book as a new acquisition at my public library. I have an interest in wildlife conservation, especially the management of large predators in close proximity to populated areas. I was intrigued by the concept of a book about the life and death of a grizzly, a sort of wildlife conservation who-dunnit. I picked up the book on a Saturday and finished it on Sunday.....feeling cheated when I had to leave the book to do other things. Bryce Andrews weaves the story of
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature
This is a heartfelt account of Millie, a grizzly sow with two cubs in tow, who is enticed down the mountain by a farmers corn crop. I loved the feeling the author conveys when he knows he is in bear country as I could relate because I was in Montana and Canada when I read this one. Nothing quite like being miles from your car, passing several signs about bear country, and then hearing a noise in the woods. It makes you hyper aware of your surroundings.
The tragedy that happens, and how unnecessa
Vishal Katariya
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Learnt a lot about bears. Note to whoever is reading this: please don't plant corn next to hills and forests where grizzly bears are known to live. You might think it'll kill you, but it actually kills the bears.
Shaun Jones
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Told with compassion and understanding of both nature and man, this book provides a viable perspective on the tragedies that can occur when the two intersect.
Susan Kendrick
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great nonfiction examining the interaction between man and large predator in Montana. The author does a good job of presenting the problems and potential solutions without showing bias or passing undue judgment on any of the players involved. His writing style was a little on the poetic side, but not overly floral. I’d recommend this book.
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
What American Wolf did for the wolves, so Down From The Mountain does for grizzlies. A beautifully written narrative that follows the life and death of one of the majestic grizzlies of Montana and shows us just what extraordinary creatures the bears are. The perfect book for your animal and nature reader!
Carla (Carla's Book Bits)
Wonderful and absolutely beautiful. I read a copy pre-publication for free from NetGalley in exchange for a review, but despite that, I want to go and buy my own copy full price to read and treasure over and over again.

More thoughts to come!
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
Thanks to Edelweiss and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for sharing the advance copy of this book. I’m not sure what possessed me to request this, as I don’t usually read books about animals or nature. But I’m so glad I did. The author’s descriptions of the cornfield struck a visceral reaction within me (fear I think) and his empathy for the bears was touching and very moving. A worthwhile read for all.
Janette Mcmahon
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well written, highly readable book on Western conservation of grizzly bears and the changing environment due to climate and human behavior. Beautiful descriptions of the area, of both the different types of people as well as the landscape. Highly recommend to anyone interested in nature and conservation.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Andrews does a magnificent, if thorough, job describing the Montana environment -- especially that of Schlock's field and Millie's Woods -- as well as his fears, hopes, and apprehensions with the conservationist work he was doing in trying to balance the collision of man and wilderness; civilization and the feral.

The only reason I go 4 stars rather than a perfect 4 (despite hating rating systems) is that Andrews strays at the end of the book, tacking on a needless 20-30 pages to "neatly" wrap up
Jun 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
I genuinely do not understand the positive reviews of this book. It is 98% diatribe about building an electric fence. Coming off the high of reading the phenomenal American Wolf book, I thought I would foray into a grizzly book and Amazon suggested this one. The great bulk of this book is devoted to the testing an electrical fence around a corn field to prevent crop loss by consuming grizzlies. To call this the “life and death” of a grizzly is entirely misleading. You learn nothing of the sow Mi ...more
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I gobbled up this book like a grizzly bear in two evenings. Couldn't put it down. Andrews weaves together the story of a particular bear, the story of his work helping reduce human-carnivore conflicts in Montana, and the culture, science and terrain of the region. It's great "new journalism" and quite beautifully written. I especially valued the portrait of complex relationships among native and non-native communities, as well as the ingenuity of the solutions being tried by Andrews and others h ...more
Dick Whittington
Enjoyed the story of Millie and her cubs...but hated what happened to them (and all of wildlife) as man invades their world and how this affects their lives and future. Will we ever learn?
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is story about the shooting of a bear,in Montana .its sad and also true. There are feeling in the writing of this story
Jeanne Cumby
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well written, compelling and fascinating on so many levels. Read it!
Gaby Chapman
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Andrews nails the dilemma of the nexus of wilderness and human civilization in this personal story tracing the tragedy of one grizzly bear.
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very well-written. Enjoyed his style of writing.
Gina Gray
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Confession: I flat-out misread the description of this book, and thought it was a novelization of the life of a bear. Nope. It's a memoir of a rancher/conservationist, about the inevitable conflict between grizzlies and ever increasing numbers of humans in the wilds of Montana. It includes the story of the life of a bear who dies after being shot, but that is more a cautionary tale than a biography. So I was the victim of my own mistaken expectations. That said, this was still worth reading. The ...more
Elvie Mae
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Apr 22, 2019
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“On such mornings, I came to understand how the proximity of grizzlies changes a person. I tasted fear, which burns the tongue’s tip like copper, and felt my body knot.” 0 likes
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