David, you were correct in thinking that your article should have been a sort of basic primer, and not pretend to be any sort of definitive treatise on grizzly safety. There are several excellent books, notably Herrero's, that go into myriad aspects of griz behavior, and you simply didn't have the time or space to get into all of that. Your article was intended to get people to think about what they should learn, and that came through nicely.
Many hikers go to Yellowstone, the Tetons, and Glacier thinking that "the ranger will tell me everything I need to know about grizzlies." This is unfortunate, because those rangers don't have the time to give everyone a solid understanding of the various aspects of how bears operate. They have the people watch a short video on bear safety, discuss food hanging and cooking, and general hiking habits.
My buddy Jim Williams, who is YNP's head backcountry ranger, has a tough job. He issues the backpacking permits, and he has scant time to educate every single hiker that steps into his office. I have sat in that office several times, listening to him go through his orientation spiel. I am astounded at the general lack of knowledge that many backpackers have regarding grizzly safety (most come from out of state, so that's understandable). There's no way that Jim can get people truly educated in a matter of just a few minutes. Most hikers seem to ask the right questions, listen carefully to Jim's answers, then go to the store and buy extra pepper spray, and maybe Herrero's book to read the night before they start their hikes. A few others come in rather arrogant, acting like they already know everything about bears.
My favorite Jim Williams story involved a cocky guy from California (no offence, people). Jim asked him how he planned to care for his food. The guy said, "I know all about bears, I've seen all the safety videos, and I always use a bear canister in Yosemite." Jim mentioned that the preferred YNP way was to hang the food on the provided poles. The guy seemed astounded, and he said he would use his canister, thank you. Jim, a bit tired at the end of a long day, simply shrugged and asked the guy, "Well, would you rather have the bear look up and think, 'darn, the food is hung up high again,' or would you rather have him play soccer with your canister outside your tent all night long?"
And, as long as the subject of learning more about animal habits and behavior is being discussed, I would suggest for people to also learn a bit about moose--those are the critters that seem to cause me the most anxiety out there.
Thanks for a well written piece, Dave. It's a nice contribution.
(Edited for spelling)