American Black Bear


  • bills_island_black_bear

    Habituated black bear lethally removed from Island Park area in Eastern Idaho

    Idaho Fish and Game officials lethally removed a black bear on Aug. 9 at Bill’s Island in Island Park. The bear had been spotted by residents for at least two weeks and could not be safely relocated because it had become habituated to searching for food at residences. It was also comfortable near people and was spotted sleeping under porches, walking on decks, and was active day and night.

  • Black bear captured at Pocatello Zoo 2018

    Black bear breaks into zoo, gets a Fish and Game escort back to the wild

    Bear breaks into zoo: it sounds like the punchline of a joke, but it recently happened at Zoo Idaho in Pocatello, and Fish and Game conservation officers had a unique situation on their hands. 

    Early morning on July 3, a wild black bear was discovered inside the zoo perimeter by zoo staff conducting the morning rounds. The 120-pound, 3-year old black bear quickly climbed a large tree in front of the black bear exhibit.

  • deer with velvet on it's antlers July 2007

    2018 deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, and turkey controlled hunt drawing results available

    Hunters can check to see if they drew controlled hunt tags for deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, and turkey. Results are posted through Fish and Game's licensing system at for those who already have an account.

    Those without an online license system account can get step-by-step instructions on the Controlled Hunt Results web page.  

  • Yellowstone elk

    June 5 is deadline to apply for big game controlled hunts

    Hunters have until midnight Monday, June 5 to apply for this fall's deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear and turkey controlled hunts.

  • black bear sitting in brush September 2008

    Spring bear hunters reminded of baiting rules

    With Idaho’s spring black bear hunting season underway, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game reminds hunters that there are specialized regulations that they have the responsibility to follow.

    Hunters are encouraged to carefully review a copy of the 2017-2018 Big Game Seasons and Rules brochure. Black bear information can be found on pages 67-72. Rule brochures are available at license vendors, online, as well as your local Fish and Game office. Don’t hesitate to contact your local Fish and Game office if you have any questions.

  • Black bear, Dean Johnson, archery harvest, controllec hunt, Unit 32A

    Spring black bear season opens April 15 in many hunting units

    Hunters can get a chance to hunt big game in the spring with the opener of black bear hunting season on April 15 (some hunting units opened April 1). 

    Many parts of the state offer general hunting seasons for black bears, but hunters can not take any female bear with young. Here are the black bear seasons and rules.

    Hunters typically spot-and-stalk, bait or use hounds for black bears. For hunters using bait, a baiting permit is required, and other rules apply. 

  • Fire Icon

    Spring bear hunters may be affected by prescribed fires near Gibbonsville

    Bear hunters planning to hunt in the Gibbonsville area this spring should beware of prescribed fire activities that may occur on both sides of Highway 93 from Hughes Creek north to Lost Trail Pass.

    Salmon-Challis National Forest expects to use several methods of prescribed fire including tree well burning, broadcast and pile burning. Areas impacted may include the Lick, Hughes, Ditch, Twin, Vine, State, Moose and Pierce Creek drainages, as well as areas east of Highway 93 from Gibbonsville north.

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    Second controlled hunt draw results now online

    Hunters who applied in the second controlled hunt drawing for elk, deer, pronghorn, and fall black bear can check online to see whether they were successful in the recent computerized drawing.

    Results are available on Fish and Game’s website at

    Applicants can enter their hunting license number and follow simple steps to find out instantly if they were successful or not in the drawing. Traffic on the website may be heavy at times, so please be patient.

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    This Summer, Be ‘Bear Aware’

    During dry summers such as this, the black bear’s natural food supplies may be scarce, driving them to travel great distances to find food. Improperly stored human foods in campgrounds, backcountry camps, or rural residences become all too tempting for the hungry bruins.

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    Enter now in second controlled hunt drawing

    Didn't draw a tag in the first round? It's not too late to apply for the second controlled hunt drawing for over 3,300 unclaimed tags.

    The application period for the second drawing for deer, elk, pronghorn and black bear controlled hunt tags runs from August 5 through August 15.

    A list of available tags by hunt number is available on Fish and Game’s website under the “In the Spotlight” section at

American Black Bear

Ursus americanus

IDAPA Classification: Big Game
View Species Profile

Health Issues Which May Affect This Animal

What Causes This Disease?

Trichinosis is a disease caused by a nematode parasite, Trichinella spiralis.

Where Is The Disease Found?

Trichinosis occurs throughout North American and can be found in grizzly bears, polar bears, black bears, feral swine, mountain lions, wolverines, wolves, coyotes, and foxes. Trichinosis has been documented in black bears and mountain lions in Idaho. Trichinosis has been documented in humans associated with consuming home-made jerky made from a cougar and a black bear in Idaho.

Signs of Disease

Animals infected with trichinosis generally appear healthy. Trichinosis is hard to detect when butchering because there are few lesions and the cysts are very small. The cysts are most common in the muscles of the jaw, tongue, and diaphragm. Animals that are infected with adult worms may have swollen intestines with small bruises on the intestinal wall. Affected muscles and associated lymph nodes may be soft and swollen.

Read More About Trichinosis