Book: Great Montana Bear Stories

Like the title indicates, Kalispell’s Ben Long presents a collection of bear stories from across Montana. With grizzly bear and black bear accounts going back as far as 1830, Great Montana Bear Stories is not as graphic as Mark of the Grizzly—this book still commands a healthy amount of respect for bears, but focuses less on the attacks and more on the lessons learned from them. Here readers get to know some of the more legendary bears of Montana like Giefer, Popeye, Lenny the bulletproof bear, and the Falls Creek grizzly. Long has taken an anthropomorphic approach to describing many of the bears in his stories, and many readers will be so captivated with their unique personalities that they’ll find themselves rooting for the bears. There is a lot of practical advice to be had from this book, and the stories are more evidence that bear spray and guns can’t guarantee safety. Like Scott McMillion, Ben Long isn’t afraid to take a stance in defense of the bear population and habitat, and he persuasively argues that humans are by far the more dangerous of the two species.