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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 Cycle

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.

How To Observe

Explore more Oklahoma Mammals

Gray Bat
Photo by: Ann Froschauer/USFWS
Roosting bat in cave.
Photo by: ODWC
Swift Fox
Photo by: Larry D. Brown/RPS 2020

Hunting Seasons