Wild and Wonderful Wildlife: Black Bear

Image Credit: West Virginia Rivers

Black Bear

West Virginia has so many species of wildlife that identify with our state, itself. A couple of these majestic animals include the northern cardinal, brook trout, and black bear. We would love to shed some light and help others to appreciate the natural wonders of West Virginia. West Virginians love hunting and seeing wildlife where it should be, in nature. One of the best memories of growing up in West Virginia is seeing your first wild black bear. You might see it on the side of the road, in the woods, or walking through town. We can't wait to share the black bear with you. 

Scientific Name: 

Ursus americanus


According to the WV Encyclopedia, "Black bears are generally less than six feet long and stand two to three feet high at the shoulder. Adult males ordinarily weigh from 150 to 450 pounds, but some West Virginia records exceed 600 pounds. Adult females vary from 100 to 300 pounds, depending upon nutrition during their early years of rapid growth. Here in West Virginia, the blond and cinnamon color phases found in western states are absent. Our bears are uniformly black, with brown muzzles. About five percent to 10 percent have white markings on their brisket, varying from a few flecks to distinct V’s."




4.5 ft. (Adult)
Male: 130 – 660 lbs (Adult), Female: 90 – 180 lbs (Adult)

Where to Find

Black bears have been seen all over the state. We recommend just heading into the woods during the spring, summer, and fall or, just keep an eye out and you'll be sure to see one.

We would love to see pictures of you with a black bear or black bears in West Virginia. Tag us in your photos on Instagram and Facebook or send them to us directly! We can't wait to see what you catch.