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​​​Black Bear

Scientific Name: Ursus americanus

Buy Your License

Preventing Human-Bear Conflict

BearWise is a black bear program you can trust for sound information and smart solutions that help homeowners, businesses and communities coexist with bears. The Pennsylvania Game Commission is a proud BearWise partner. 

Bear Feeding Ban

It is unlawful to intentionally lay or place food, fruit, hay, grain, chemical, salt or other minerals that may cause bears to congregate or habituate an area. In addition, if nuisance bears are being attracted to an area by other wildlife feeding, game wardens can issue written notice to temporarily halt the activity.


Black Bear Age Harvest Data 

Black Bear Weight Chart (PDF)
Bear, Deer & Turkey Harvests
Harvest Maps
Pennsylvania Black Bear Harvest Certificate (PDF)
Wildlife Management Units
Highly Regulated Community Activity WPSU video (3:22)

Buy your Bear License

Online (allow 10 business days to arrive by mail; it cannot be printed)
In person at an Issuing Agent, and walk out the door with your license.

Harvest Data

Click on the map below to view information being collected at check stations.

Bear Check Station Map 


Myths and Misconceptions about PA Black Bears - WITF Smart Talk radio interview with Game Commission Bear Biologist, 2019
A February Bear Den Visit (2:20)
Summer Bear Trapping (1:20)
On the Trail of the Pennsylvania Black Bear; 1991 (1:41:48)
Springtime Ecology of Pennsylvania Black Bears - a webinar (46:29)
Why is there a bear in my yard? (1:25)
Black Bear Expansion Based on Harvest Distribution (PDF)
Mange in Black Bears brochure (PDF)


Management and Biology of Black Bears in Pennsylvania 2024-2029​ (PDF)​

Black Bear Research in Your Neighborhood (PDF)
Population Growth of Bears
Bountiful Black Bears
Bear Management Plan (PDF)
Pennsylvania Residents' Opinions On and Attitudes toward Black Bears (PDF)
Pennsylvania Residents' Opinions On and Attitudes toward black Bears - Executive Summary (PDF)

Black Bear