Black Bears in Wyoming

Black Bears are found throughout much of Wyoming. Learn about black bear hunting regulations, how the Wyoming Game and Fish Department monitors black bear populations, how to avoid conflicts with bears and much more.


Stay safe in bear county.

Bear Wise Wyoming

Wyoming is bear country. Learn the skills necessary to avoid conflicts with bears and enjoy the outdoors. 

Bear Wise Wyoming

Know your bears

Wyoming is home to both black bears and grizzly bears.


Learn how to determine species by looking for a combination of four key characteristics that distinguish black bears from grizzly bears. Never use just color or size to identify a bear.

Grizzly ID
Black bear ID

About black bears in Wyoming

Black bears are found throughout forested areas and periphery riparian habitats of Wyoming, with local densities depending on habitat quality.  Black bears have been managed as a game species in Wyoming since the mid 1970s. Since that time, many black bear populations have increased, with some expanding their distribution. Localized management objectives to stabilize, increase or decrease populations are based on monitoring data and public input.

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Subfamily: Ursinae
Genus: Ursus
Species: americanus


Black bears are a long lived species, with both male and female black bears living to more than 20 years of age in Wyoming.

Wyoming Population

Black bears are found throughout forested areas and periphery riparian habitats of Wyoming, with local densities depending on habitat quality.

Wyoming Classification

Trophy game animals

How do we monitor black bears?

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department uses a variety of methods to monitor and understand black bear population dynamics.  A primary method of evaluating local populations is through data obtained from hunter-harvested black bears.  These data provide direct insight into local populations and allow for comparisons between and among hunt areas across the state.  In recent years, the Large Carnivore Section has implemented a non-invasive genetic based monitoring program that allows our personnel to estimate the density of black bears in a region, allowing further assessment of harvest trends. 

Annual Reports

Regulations & Hunting Information

The Wyoming Game and Fish provides hunting opportunities for black bears in both spring and fall seasons and manages harvest through a female quota system. 



Chapter 3 regulation establishes hunting seasons, dates, area mortality limits, provisions for the use of baits, special archery seasons and hunt area descriptions for black bear hunting.

Mortality Limit Hotline

Call 1-800-264-1280 to determine the status of hunt area closures. It is the hunter's responsibility to confirm the status of the hunt area. The hotline is available twenty-four hours a day.