Doug Peacock is an American naturalist, outdoorsman, and author. He is best known for his book Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness, a memoir of his experiences in the 1970s and 1980s, much of which was spent alone in the wilderness of the western United States observing grizzly bears.
Peacock was born in Alma, Michigan, and attended the University of Michigan. He served as a Green Beret combat medic during the Vietnam War and, upon returning, felt so disillusioned with human society that he sought solace in the beauty of the wilderness. Although he had little scientific background, his passion for and firsthand experience with bears soon brought him recognition as an expert in grizzly behavior. He was a friend of author Edward Abbey, and served as the model for the character George Hayduke in Abbey's famous novel The Monkey Wrench Gang.
Peacock's 2005 book, Walking it Off: A Veteran's Chronicle of War And Wilderness, continues his memoirs, in the wake of Ed Abbey's death. He ventured into the southwest deserts to walk off the scars left by his friend's death. In the process, he revisited Vietnam in flashbacks, remembering the cantankerous friendship with Abbey, and almost died in his journey to recover from "this terminal disease called life" in Nepal with his friends Alan Burgess and Dennis Sizemore.
Peacock is also friend of American Author Rick Bass. In Bass's book "The Lost Grizzlies: A Search for Survivors in the Wilderness of Colorado" Peacock is a key element in the search for evidence that there are still grizzlies in the San Juan Mountains.
Peacock was a 2007 Guggenheim fellow, and currently lives in Montana with his wife Andrea, author of Libby, Montana: Asbestos and the Deadly Silence of an American Corporation. Peacock speaks in schools about wilderness, conservation, and the need to preserve our wilderness. Doug is the chairman of the board of trustees for Round River Conservation Studies.
Doug and Andrea Peacock's new book, The Essential Grizzly: The Mingled Fates of Men and Bears was released on May 1, 2006 (Lyons Press, ISBN 1-59228-848-0). It has been reissued in paperback under a new title, "In the Presence of Grizzlies: The Ancient Bond Between Men and Bears" in March 2009. (Lyons Press, ISBN 1-59921-490-3)
- Peacock, Doug. The Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness, Henry Holt & Co., 1990. (ISBN 0-8050-0448-3)
- Peacock, Doug. Baja, Bulfinch Press, 1991 (ISBN 0821218034)
- Peacock, Doug. Walking It Off: A Veteran's Chronicle of War And Wilderness, Ewu Press, 2005. (ISBN 0-910055-99-8)
- Peacock, Doug and Edward Abbey. "The Best of Edward Abbey", Sierra Club Books, 2005 (ISBN 1578051215)
- Peacock, Doug and Andrea Peacock. The Essential Grizzly: The Mingled Fates of Men and Bears, Lyons Press, 2006. (ISBN 1-59228-848-0)
- Peacock, Doug. In the Shadow of the Sabertooth: A Renegade Naturalist Considers Global Warming, the First Americans, and the Terrible Beasts of the Pleistocene. AK Press, 2013. (ISBN 978-1-84935-140-9)
- "Q&A: Doug Peacock,Veteran of the Grizzly Wars", National Geographic Adventure Magazine, July/August 2002.UCSC Currents online
- Newman, John. "Nature writer Doug Peacock to tell of grizzlies, wilderness, and survival", UC Santa Cruz, Currents online, April 23, 2001.
- Author papers at Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University
- Works by or about Doug Peacock in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- National Geographic Adventure Questions and Answers with Doug Peacock, at National Geographic Adventure.
- Doug Peacock: The World Needs Ed Abbey Now at New West Network.
- Doug Peacock on “Walking It Off: A Veteran’s Chronicle of War and Wilderness” on Democracy Now! May 12, 2009