Bruce Smith is a wildlife biologist and science writer. He spent most of his 30-year federal career managing wildlife populations on the Wind River Indian Reservation and the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming. His research has produced over 40 technical and popular papers and book chapters focused primarily on large mammal population ecology, diseases, migratory behavior, and predator-prey relationships.
After a combat tour with the US Marines in Vietnam, Bruce earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Montana. His Master’s research focused on winter ecology of mountain goats in Montana’s Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area. Half-way through his government career, he investigated population regulation of the Jackson elk herd in Wyoming for his doctorate degree from the University of Wyoming.
His first book, Imperfect Pasture (2004), records changes in the ecology of the National Elk Refuge during its 100-year history. Wildlife on the Wind (2010) is based on his four years working with the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Indian tribes. At their request, he catalogued the status of the reservation’s diverse wildlife and helped foster a landmark recovery of elk, deer, moose, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope. Where Elk Roam (2011) chronicles his 22 years studying and managing Jackson Hole’s famous migratory elk herd. Life on the Rocks (2014) portrays in words and photographs the natural history and conservation challenges of the mountain goat throughout its North American range. His new book, Stories from Afield, is a collection of outdoor adventure stories.
After leaving the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 2004, Bruce and his wife Diana moved to southwest Montana where he continues his conservation work and writing.