For Bear Biologists

Living With People Made Easier

Living with Bears Handbook puts a wealth of easy to reference, up-to-date and scientifically sound information at your fingertips, along with plenty of tools you can use to motivate, inspire and effectively communicate with homo sapiens, a species that’s much more challenging to manage.


LWB2-CVR-crpd300pxRGB“The best single source of information and inspiration on how to understand and live compatibly with bears. Masterson writes with understanding, authority and wit, and shares her encyclopedic knowledge of bears and how to reduce human-bear conflicts.”

Stephen Herrero, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science, University of Calgary, Canada and
author of
Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance

Contents - Living With Bears Handbook


The Bear Facts
1 - What's the Problem?
2 - Where the Bears Are
3 - Understanding Black Bears
4 - Grizzly Bears in Brief

Managing Bears, Motivating People
5 - A Look at Bear Management
6 - Relocation: "Come Get Your Bear"
7 - Other Non-Lethal Tactics
8 - Laying Down the Law
9 - Out of Options: When Bears Are Killed

At Home in Bear Country
10 - Living in the Bears' Backyard
11 - Tackling Trash: The Number One Problem
12 - Home Bear-Smart Home
13 - The Birds and the Bears
14 - Protecting Gardens, Orchards and Livestock
15 - Bear Barriers and Deterrents

Playing Smart in Bear Country
16 - On the Trail
17 - Camping, Backpacking and Fishing in Bear Country

On the Road in Bear Country
18 - Driving Bear Aware
19 - Viewing and Photographing Bears

Crossing Paths with Bears
20 - Bear Signs and Sounds
21 - Encounters with Bears
22 - When Black Bears Attack
23 - Ready, Aim, Bear Spray

Making a Difference in Your Community
24 - Volunteers for Bears
25 - Partnering Up for Bears

Beary-Smart Solutions
The Last Black Bear in Florida
Taking Back the City Streets; Boulder, Colorado
Two Decades of Bear Smart Success; Get Bear Smart Society
Kicking the Curbside Habit; Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Community Coexistence at Hemlock Farms; Pennsylvania
Common Problems, Uncommon Solutions; Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Journey Back to Wild; Yosemite National Park
Signs of Change at Crystal Lakes, Colorado
Evolution of a Bear Smart Community; Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Black Bear Populations by State / Province
Where to See Bears
Bear Organizations
Wildlife Information & Organizations
Bear-Resistant Product Testing
Sample Community Ordinances
Books, DVDs, Guides, Curriculums
Government Agencies
Glossary of Bear Terms

Technical Advisor Rich Beausoleil
Author Linda Masterson


Completely updated and expanded

Order Books


  • Black bear biology & behavior
  • Grizzly bears in brief
  • Black bear population charts
  • Glossary of Bear Terms
  • Urban bears
  • Causes of human-bear conflicts
  • Bear management overview and options
  • When bears are killed
  • Bear proofing homes & communities
  • Being bear smart outdoors
  • Trash solutions that work
  • The best bear deterrents
  • Handling attacks and encounters
  • Tools to help communicate and motivate
  • Legislation & ordinances
  • Working with non-profits and volunteers
  • Case studies and success stories
  • Extensive resources and references

Put the Book to Work

  • Dog ear, post-it-note and highlight
  • Use in student, officer and intern training
  • Recommend to libraries, parks and community centers, and the media
  • Recommend for staff reference and training
  • Loan out to those in need

Case Studies

Living with Bears Handbook features nine in-depth case histories, along with advice from experts all over North America and and many examples of how real people and communities are learning to respect, appreciate and coexist with bears.

Read More

Bears Belong to Everyone


Virginia DGIF often deals with people who are truly afraid of bears. The Black Bear team thinks it's important to spend time talking with people and explaining bears don't want to eat them, just the stuff they leave outside. They also provide loaner bear-resistant garbage containers and electric fences, provide fence-making instructions and direct people to vendors. They do many educational programs and have found their DVD and Living with Bears important tools. One message consistently hammered home is that bears belong to everyone in the Commonwealth, not the DGIF, and that it is everyone's responsibility to prevent problems.

"Conversations about bear management with the public are a different animal. It’s easy to forget that the person you’re talking to may have little or no knowledge about bears. I couldn’t ask for a better reference than Living with Bears Handbook. It covers everything people need to know in an interesting, motivating, easy-to understand way leaves people with an appreciation of how amazing bears are. That’s why I feel it is so important for both the public and our staff who deals with these issues on a regular basis to have this handbook.”

Jaime L. Sajecki, Black Bear Project Leader, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

VDGIF Video: Living With Black Bears