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Black Bear

Black Bear.  Photo by Desiree Branson Cline/RPS 2021
Desiree Branson Cline/RPS 2021



Black bears are found generally in eastern Oklahoma as well as in parts of the Panhandle.



Black bears stand 2 to 3 feet at the shoulder and reach lengths of 4 to 6 feet. Adults bears weigh between 150 and 400 pounds. Although they are called black bears, these animals can range from blackish to chocolate brown to a pale cinnamon color.

Life History

During winter, black bears hibernate in dens and can be quickly awakened. Breeding season is in late June and July. One to three cubs will be born between January and March in the winter den. They commonly den in caves, hollow logs, large trees and even under boulders.

Black bears are omnivores. They eat nuts, berries, grasses, insects, eggs, honey and small mammals.

Interesting Fact

Unregulated hunting before statehood caused a drastic decline in the bear population. But since the late 1900s, the black bear population in Oklahoma has grown. Limited hunting has been allowed since 2009.

Wildlife Watching Tips

Explore more Oklahoma Mammals

Northern long-eared bat
Photo by: USFWS
Black Bear.  Photo by Desiree Branson Cline/RPS 2021
Photo by: Desiree Branson Cline/RPS 2021
Roosting bat in cave.
Photo by: ODWC

Hunting Seasons