A Shape in the Dark by Bjorn Dihle


This title is part of BHA's Jim Posewitz Digital Library: Required Reading for Conservationists


Author Bjorn Dihle is, among many other things, a BHA member, Backcountry Journal contributor and an ardent defender of wild places – especially the Tongass National Forest surrounding his Southeast Alaska home.

A Shape in the Dark is a look at the long and complex relationship between humans and brown bears ranging from the journals of Lewis and Clark and accounts of Indigenous peoples all the way to the perspectives of bear attack victims, hunters, guides and eco-tourists.

Woven masterfully among them are the author’s accounts of his own interactions with bears, where he gives a window into not only his life spent among them but also the complex emotions they stir up, ranging from absolute terror to pure joy and seemingly always accompanied by a healthy dose of respect.

All throughout, Dihle provides a strong call to action for the protection of the wild backcountry where bears reside (such as the Tongass) and reminds us that our own future is also very much tied to the healthy existence of these lands and waters – a message that is sure to resonate strongly with all hunter/angler/conservationists.

A Shape in the Dark is a quick read, guaranteed to have you fascinated all the way through and leave you with new perspectives on one of North America’s most captivating wild creatures.

-ZACK WILLIAMS, Backcountry Journal editor


Purchase A Shape in the Dark on Amazon Smile, and register Backcountry Hunters & Anglers as your preferred nonprofit to give back to your wild public lands, waters and wildlife. 

About Zack Williams

Backcountry Journal editor

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