Bears I Have Known A Park Ranger's True Tales from Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks

ByBob Murphy


In this very entertaining book, retired National Park Service ranger Bob Murphy recounts his most memorable experiences with bears in Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. Go behind the scenes as Murphy deals with grizzly and black bears in all situations—good, bad, tragic, humorous, and odd—from the 1940s through the 1980s. These are unforgettable bear tales.


Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1-931832-64-1
Author: Bob Murphy
Pages: 112

Robert (Bob) Murphy had a long and distinguished career in the National Park Service. Born in Montana in 1918, Murphy worked in Yellowstone National Park while attending Montana State University. He became a seasonal ranger in Yellowstone in 1941 and became a permanent ranger in 1942. He served in Yellowstone until 1957, when he became a district park ranger in Glacier National Park, Montana, until 1960.

His career also included positions as chief ranger at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, a management position at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, chief ranger at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota, and Superintendent at Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. In 1964 he was assigned to the National Parks Service director’s office in Washington, D.C. In 1968 he became superintendent of Death Valley National Park in southern California, and in 1972 he was assigned as superintendent of Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California.

He retired in 1974. Upon his retirement, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Award by the Secretary of Interior and also received a Distinguished Service Award by the Director of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs for his participation in their international training programs, and an Award of Appreciation from the President of the Death Valley 49ers. Murphy and his wife lived on a ranch not far from Yellowstone until his death in 2008. “Bears I Have Known” was his second book. His first, “Desert Shadows” is about the arrest and investigation of the Mansion Family in Death Valley, which took place during his tenure there.

Book by retired ranger delights with humorous and unusual true tales of bears

After spending forty years as a park ranger, Bob Murphy of Livingston, Montana, has many interesting tales to tell. But his favorite memories and his best stories are always about bears.

Murphy has collected a remarkable series of anecdotes and recollections in his new book, “Bears I Have Known: A Park Ranger’s True Tales from Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.” Published by Riverbend Publishing of Helena, the book chronicles four decades of close encounters, close calls, and close-up views of grizzly and black bears. From the story of the boy and the bear who ended up in the same tree, to the grizzly in a boat, and the black bear in the lobby of a lodge, this book is a must-read for anyone who loves bears.

“Nothing gets your heart pumping like meeting a bear,” Murphy said, “and I met more than my share. Encountering a bear is never an ordinary experience.” Murphy was determined to share his love of bruins with others. “Bears are a precious natural resource and we need to give them their due,” he said. His stories are at once entertaining and enlightening, shedding light on bear behavior and showing both the good and the bad of bears – and people. “I wish all my bear stories had a happy ending, but I’ve seen my share of tragedy in the field too.”

Murphy’s long career with the National Park Service led him all over the country. “Bears I Have Known” recounts his years in Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. The paperback book is only $10.95 and is available at local bookstores or by calling Riverbend Publishing toll-free at 1-866-787-2363.

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