Grizzly Bear

The Webelos / AOL adventure, Into The Wild has us looking at an insect, reptile, bird, or other wild animal that is only found in you area in the country.

At Island Park Scout camp when I was thirteen years old I remember walking past a sign warning us that we were in Grizzly Country. Pretty sure this is the event in my childhood that made me paranoid of Grizzly Bears.

Entering Grizzly Country

Currently there are around 55,000 Grizzly Bears in the United States. Most of them can be found in Alaska with a smaller percentage found only in a few other States

Alaska: About 53,500 (97%)
Montana: About 800 (1.5%)
Wyoming: About 600 (1.1%)
Idaho: About 100 (.001% )


Grizzly Bears hibernate for 5 - 7 months out of the year. What is truly amazing is that female Grizzly Bears will give birth during hibernation. The cubs will feed enough for the remainder of the hibernation. Also during this time the bears do not go to the bathroom… talk about holding it! Males wake up around March and the Females with emerge around April - May. When it comes time to hibernate again, they will eat enough to gain around 400lbs to last them through the winter. The average life span for males is 22 years while females is around 26 years. Their main diet consists of meat.

As a young scout, during this time at Island Park Scout Camp outside of the Yellowstone area, it was once said by a ranger, “How can you tell the difference between a black bear and a grizzly bear just by looking at it’s scat?? Black bear’s scat is packed full of twigs and berries… grizzly bear’s scat is packed full of bells and whistles!” Obviously he was joking, but seriously… Grizzly Bears are pretty intimidating! Let’s just say that I’m totally fine viewing them from a distance… miles away!