An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide –

Black Bear Yearlings Soon To Be On Their Own

5-19-15  black bears 067Female Black Bears become sexually mature at three-and-a-half years of age. They breed in June and give birth in January or February (delayed implantation). Black Bears have a 2-year reproduction cycle: the cubs remain in the custody of their mother for roughly a year and a half, during which time the mother doesn’t mate. In May or June of the year following their birth, when they are 16 or 17 months old, the yearlings become independent and go off on their own — – just prior to black bear mating season. (Thanks to Jill and Bryan Marquard for photo op.)

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12 responses

  1. We watched a Barren Grounds grizzly chasing her kids away in late July. It wasn’t easy; they were the size of VW Beetles and were crying like babies. But Mother prevailed. They disappeared in opposite directions, still crying.

    May 18, 2015 at 7:48 am

  2. Cecelia Blair

    My feeling about the black bear yearlings is–Aren’t they beautiful! It is a poignant moment in their lives.

    May 18, 2015 at 8:35 am

  3. Susan Harvey

    Date: Mon, 18 May 2015 11:33:30 +0000 To:

    May 18, 2015 at 12:37 pm

  4. karen

    Hi Mary,
    I have a photo taken by my sister-in-law of an animal we are unable to identify and wonder if you can help. Is there a way to forward the photo to you?
    Karen H

    May 18, 2015 at 8:07 pm

  5. johannah Powell

    could you tell us what to do if we come upon a black bear whne in the woods? is ist different if we are alone ? or with a group?

    May 18, 2015 at 9:53 pm

  6. I categorize these guys under: Not to be Messed With! I make as much noise as I can to discourage them, but I never would like to see a contest of wills!

    May 19, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    • Eliza,
      Please know that I love all of your comments, and read them religiously, just don’t have the time to respond! My apologies.

      May 20, 2015 at 6:57 am

    • p.s. Your comments add a tremendous amount to my blog!

      May 20, 2015 at 6:58 am

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