BearWise helps people live responsibly with black bears

BearWise® is the black bear program you can trust for sound information and smart solutions that help homeowners, businesses and communities coexist with bears.

From the BearWise Article Bank

Why early summer brings more bear sightings

If you think bears have been in the news more than usual lately, you're right. Early summer usually brings a bumper crop of news stories about bears appearing in places they're not typically seen, from backyards and suburban streets to residential communities. Here's why. There are more people in bear ...

black bear by tent (Pat Gaines photo)

Camping in Bear Country? What to Know Before You Go

Black bears live in at least 40 states and are seen in several more. If you’re heading out to get away from it all, chances are good you’re heading into bear country. Teaching bears to associate cars, trails, campsites and people with food doesn’t just put a damper on your ...

What bears do in July

July at a Glance: By July, cubs born this year have grown to the size of a raccoon or a small dog with big ears. Yearling bears now on their own can be the size of medium dogs. Bears of both sexes mark trees and adult bears mate. Cubs smell ...

Six At-Home BearWise Basics

Never Feed or Approach Bears

Intentionally feeding bears or allowing them to find anything that smells or tastes like food teaches bears to approach homes and people looking for more. Learn More

Secure food, garbage and recycling

Food and food odors attract bears, so don’t reward them with easily available food, liquids or garbage. Learn More

Remove bird feeders when bears are active

Birdseed and grains have lots of calories, so they’re very attractive to bears. Removing feeders is the best way to avoid creating conflicts with bears. Learn More

Never Leave Pet Food Outdoors

Feed pets indoors when possible. If you must feed pets outside, feed in single portions and remove bowls afterwards. Store pet food where bears can’t see or smell it. Learn More

Clean and Store Grills, Smokers

Clean grills after each use and make sure that all grease, fat and food particles are removed. Store clean grills and smokers in a secure area that keeps bears out. Learn More

Alert Neighbors to Bear Activity

See bears in the area or evidence of bear activity? Tell your neighbors and share info on how to avoid bear conflicts. Learn More

Not all black bears are black. Black bear is a species; common colors include black, brown and cinnamon.

Do you spend time outdoors…

…hiking, walking, cycling, jogging, camping?

Read how to Be BearWise Outdoors.

A black bear sow and her two cubs stand in a forest clearing - Ontario, Canada

New BearWise Educational Materials

The Black Bear Comeback

Black bears once roamed over all of America’s forested lands. But after European settlement, their numbers and habitat dwindled. Thanks to new attitudes and enlightened conservation and management efforts, black bears are making a dramatic comeback over much of their historic home range. Now that bears are returning to areas they used to call home, it’s up to people and communities to learn how to peacefully coexist with these amazing animals.

BearWise shares ways to prevent conflicts, provides resources to resolve problems, and encourages community initiatives to keep bears wild.

BearWise AFWA logo

BearWise® is a program of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. Read more About BearWise.

The BearWise® name and logos are registered trademarks of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies.
Top photo courtesy of Pat Gaines