black bear news

Bears on the Bayou By Hicks Wogan

Our Bears are Back

Release Date: 01/17/2014

This Curtis Darrah article appears courtesy of SLEMCO Power. "Our Bears are Back"


Snares Strongly Discouraged in Bear Areas

Release Date: 12/30/2013

Snares Strongly Discouraged in Bear Areas

Dec. 30, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists have been called upon in recent weeks to release several bears caught in coyote or hog snares.  Luckily, in all of these recent situations, the bears survived the experience.
Hog snares and some coyote snares are set with the intent to be fatal; therefore they pose a significant threat to bears.  LDWF strongly recommends that trappers of feral hogs or coyotes refrain from using snares in areas of Louisiana occupied by bears including the following parishes: Avoyelles, East and West Carroll, Catahoula, Concordia, Franklin, Iberia, Madison, Pointe Coupee, Richland, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Landry, Tensas and Vermilion.
The expanding population of feral hogs and coyotes has lead to an increase in the use of snares as a means to control these animals.  However, the typical snare sets for feral hogs or coyotes are ideal for capturing bears as well.  Land managers intending to control feral hogs in bear country are advised to use other means such as cage or corral traps with the required opening in the top.  Coyote trappers in these areas are advised to utilize leg hold traps instead of snares.
Persons using snares to trap any animal are required to have a Louisiana trapping license.   Persons using box or corral traps to capture feral hogs are required to have a basic hunting license.  Cage or corral traps are required to have an opening in the top that is at least 22 by 22 inches square or 25 inches in diameter, if round.  The opening in the top of the trap will allow non-target animals such as black bears to escape if captured.
LDWF in cooperation with the Louisiana Trappers and Alligator Hunters Association has produced a brochure that provides recommendations and additional information about use of snares in bear country.  The brochure is available at under the Wildlife tab or at
For more information, contact Maria Davidson at 225-931-3061or .


Reward Offered for Information on Dead Black Bear

Release Date: 12/23/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear that was found in Concordia Parish.

A citizen alerted authorities on Dec. 20 about a dead black bear lying in the woods in the Yancey Wildlife Management Area.  The bear was collected and sent in for a necropsy.

The necropsy revealed the bear was probably dead for about a week and that it was shot with a bullet through the ribcage.  Agents believe the bear was shot from an elevated deer stand since the bullet went through the ribcage at an angle.

LDWF’s Operation Game Thief program is offering a cash reward totaling up to $1,000 and the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust is offering up to $5,000 to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction for this illegal killing of a black bear.

Anyone with information regarding this illegal bear killing should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF's tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day.  Tipsters can also remain anonymous.

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.  Violators are subject to penalties of up to $50,000 and six months in jail.  In addition, a restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.

With the number of bear and hunter interactions on the rise within the last couple of years, LDWF encourages hunters to carry bear spray.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or

LPB Chronicles the Comeback of the Louisiana Black Bear on Dec. 9

Release Date: 12/05/2013

LPB Chronicles the Comeback of the Louisiana Black Bear on Dec. 9

Dec. 5, 2013 -- Two decades ago, the Louisiana Black Bear was on the brink of extinction, but today it is on the rebound. The latest episode of Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s six-part wildlife series Alive! In America’s Delta, Black Bear Comeback, documents efforts to save this iconic species.

LPB producers and photographers spent a year following Louisiana biologists on the forefront of the recovery effort, gaining unprecedented access to these threatened animals in the wild and capturing unique insights from those fighting to protect them. The new documentary premieres Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. on LPB-HD.

“Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists have proven time and again that species recovery is possible when staff time and resources are made available to make it happen,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “In this state that has been true for the alligator, the bald eagle, the brown pelican, white tailed-deer, wild turkey – and now the black bear.”

The Louisiana Black Bear, a subspecies of the American Black Bear, was immortalized as the inspiration for the “Teddy Bear” during an infamous bear hunt by President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt in the Mississippi River Delta in the early 1900s. Find out why this bear has captured America’s imagination and adoration for more than a century, and the lengths some will go to save them.

When the Louisiana Black Bear was listed as threatened in 1992 under the Endangered Species Act, there were estimated to be fewer than 300 of them left in the world. Today, innovative programs to reestablish these animals and restore their habitat through improved land management, high-tech monitoring and public education are enabling the recovery. And, through successful partnerships between LDWF, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Black Bear Conservation Coalition, and hundreds of private citizens, Louisiana Black Bears could soon be removed from protected status.

New studies documenting the bear population in coastal St. Mary Parish and Iberia Parish and another in Point Coupee Parish are nearly complete and will be a critical factor in making that decision. Maria Davidson, LDWF’s Large Carnivore Program manager, estimates that there are now between 500 and 1,000 bears in the state and the population is continuing to grow.

“Once that data has been interpreted, either recovery has occurred and it is a sustainable population or it hasn’t,” Davidson said. “I personally believe we have recovered the bear and that’s what the data will show.”

The results of the U.S. Geological Survey’s study are expected in early January, and once the data is analyzed, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will determine whether the Louisiana Black Bear can be removed from the federal Endangered Species List.

Black Bear Comeback was produced by LPB’s Liz Barnes, shot by Rex Q. Fortenberry and Gary Allen and edited by Fortenberry. The musical soundtrack was provided by Emmy-winner Mike Esneault. Christina Melton is the Project Director and Senior Producer of the Alive! In America’s Delta six-part series. Underwriting support for the series has been provided by LDWF.

The LPB network includes KLPA-DT in Alexandria, WLPB-DT in Baton Rouge, KLPB-DT in Lafayette, KLTL-DT in Lake Charles, KLTS-DT in Shreveport and KLTM-DT in Monroe.

There will be an encore showing of the first episode in the series, Whooping Cranes Majestic Return, on Dec. 9 immediately following the Black Bear episode. Both shows will re-air on Sunday, Dec. 15 starting at 5 p.m. on LPB. Live streaming access to the programs will be available on on Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m., and both programs will then be available on-line through the end of December at

Black Bear Comeback will air in New Orleans on WLAE- TV32 on Jan. 3 at 8:30 p.m. Whooping Cranes Majestic Return will air Jan.17 at 8:30 p.m. on WLAE.

For more information, contact Bob Neese at LPB, ph. 1-800-272-8161 or, or Bo Boehringer at LDWF, ph. 225-765-5115 or .

Aug. 5-6 Public Meetings to Provide Update on Black Bear Research

Release Date: 07/26/2013

July 26, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the University of Tennessee (UT) will hold public meetings in Morganza on Monday, Aug. 5 at 6:30 p.m. and in Franklin on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 6:30 p.m. to present information about black bear population research.

The Aug. 5 meeting will be held at the Pointe Coupee Communication Center, 7011 Mitchell Lane, Morganza and the Aug. 6 meeting is scheduled for the Franklin courthouse in the St. Mary Parish Council meeting room at 500 Main Street, Franklin. 

UT graduate students will present an update on the recently completed population research, including population estimates and density of bears in the area.  The future goals of LDWF bear management and the necessary steps to reach those goals will be discussed.

Following the presentation there will be a question and answer period to allow for general discussion about bears in Louisiana and living with bears.  There will also be examples of various bear deterrent devices on display. For more information contact:  Maria Davidson at 337-948-0255 or .

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at, on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.


Black Bear Kills Calf in West Carroll Parish

Release Date: 05/02/2013

May 2, 2013 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is investigating the killing of a calf by a black bear in West Carroll Parish. The incident occurred on private property near Epps between sunset Wednesday, April 24 and sunrise Thursday, April 25.
LDWF Wildlife Division staff responded to the reported incident, performing a necropsy to determine the cause of the calf’s death. LDWF staff have worked to remove the bear by trapping and to monitor the site in the event the bear returns to feed on the calf carcass. The bear has not yet been trapped, nor has it returned to the site.
This is the first confirmed incident of a bear killing livestock since the department’s black bear program was created to restore the threatened species population in Louisiana. “It is unusual for black bears in Louisiana to exhibit predatory behavior.  They are primarily opportunistic omnivores, feeding on fruits, nuts, grains, carrion and when available, garbage,” said Maria Davidson, LDWF Large Carnivore Program Manager.
The Tensas River basin in the northeast corner of the state is one of three black bear population centers that also include the lower Atchafalaya Basin and Pointe Coupee Parish. 
LDWF advises the public that black bear activity begins to increase as warm spring temperatures increase their movement as they search for food sources.  Encounters with bears can be minimized by securing all garbage and pet and livestock feed.  For more information on avoiding bear encounters and what to do if you encounter a bear go to .
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at, on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For more information, contact Maria Davidson, ph. 225-931-3061 or .


LDWF Presenting Black Bear Workshop in Rapides Parish on May 7

Release Date: 04/12/2013

April 12, 2013 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will present an educational workshop on Louisiana black bears on Tuesday, May 7 at 6:30 p.m. in Rapides Parish.

The workshop will be held at the Deville Fire District 6 Training Center, also known as the Deville Community Multi-Use Building, located at 1244 Hwy.115 Deville, LA 71328. This is a free, wildlife education event that is open to the public. 

Black bears are becoming increasingly common in central Louisiana and this workshop will present information about living near and hunting within habitat that includes black bears. Topics will include bear biology/ecology, current and future management plans, how to avoid a bear encounter, and what to do if you encounter a black bear.

Speakers will include Maria Davidson, LDWF Large Carnivore Program manager, and other regional Wildlife Division biologists.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at, on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact David Hayden at 318-487-5885 or


LDWF Advisory on Black Bears in St. Mary Parish

Release Date: 03/11/2013

March 11, 2013 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is again advising St. Mary Parish residents to take precautions to minimize encounters with black bears. Today’s advisory follows the recent injury of a dog that chased a bear in a Patterson neighborhood.

Bears are seeking food sources in and around neighborhoods throughout the parish. This can include plentiful live oak acorns in people’s yards and unsecured garbage containers. Pet food containers left outdoors will also attract black bears.

LDWF has partnered with St. Mary Parish to provide homeowners bear-proof garbage containers to control this easy-access food source problem. Homeowners who already have bear-proof garbage containers are advised to make sure the cans are locked and not overfilled.

During this peak time of higher than normal bear activity, residents are advised to secure their dogs.  Bears are normally shy and non-confrontational, but will protect themselves and their cubs when chased by dogs.

LDWF will continue to set traps in neighborhoods where nuisance bears re-appear and work with the parish to ensure compliance with bear-proof garbage container instructions.  Intentional feeding of bears is against state law and violators are subject to citations.  Patrols in this area will increase during this time to help minimize problems.  Residents should report broken garbage containers to the St. Mary Parish bear conflict officer at 337-828-4100.  To report problems with bears call 1-800-442-2511.  

For more information, contact Maria Davidson, LDWF Wildlife Division, ph. 225-931-3061.



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