Doug Peacock, ex-Green Beret, Vietnam vet, friend to Ed Abbey, and the inspiration for Abbey’s character George Hayduke in “The Monkeywrench Gang,” buoyed himself through hard times in Southeast Asian jungles with an old map he brought with him of Wyoming and Montana. He knew that he needed hope to make it out of Vietnam alive and with his wits intact. So he’d pull out the map and pore over it, imagining himself hiking mountain passes, cooling his heels in ice-fed streams, watching the sun rise over emerald lakes—anything to take his mind off the mortar fire exploding all around him.
When he returned to the States, Peacock sought refuge in those blank spots on his map, the zones without people. Without roads, without buildings. With trees, rivers, and lakes. With grizzly bears.
Peacock has spent the past 50 years in awe of grizzlies. He spent years filming them, learning their behavior, becoming an amateur expert on the animals. He’s gone on to found an organization devoted to protecting the grizzly called Save the Yellowstone Grizzly and a conservation research and education group called Round River.
In a new film from director Ben Moon, called “Grizzly Country,” Peacock’s love of grizzlies and their habitat shines through. This 11-minute short film debuted as a 2019 Banff Mountain Film Selection and as a selection for the 2019 Wild & Scenic Film Festival. The film in its entirety can be viewed below.
Photo top: Ben Moon