Black Bears in Ohio Video - Wild Ohio
Black Bear Basics
Historically, black bears roamed the Buckeye State. Unfortunately, unregulated hunting and habitat loss rendered bears extirpated from Ohio by 1850. Today, Ohio is again home to a small but growing population of black bears. Ohio’s bear population is estimated to be anywhere from 50-100 individual bears. It is important we understand a little about the biology and habits of the black bear if we are to coexist comfortably with this Ohio resident.
Most black bears range in size from 100 to 400 pounds, are 5 to 6 feet in length and average 3 feet high at the shoulder. The majority of bears in Ohio weigh between 125-250 pounds, and are juvenile male bears. Dispersing young black bears will often travel great distances in search of new habitat and are most likely to be seen by or interact with humans. These bears are extremely agile and are able to run up to 35 mph, climb trees with ease and swim long distances. Bears are omnivores, meaning they will eat a wide variety of foods. Depending on the season, their diet may include grasses, forbs, berries, mast from oak, hickory, and beech trees, carrion, and insect larvae. Bears will also consume agricultural crops, if available.
View the Species Guide for more information about black bears.