Be Bear Aware
Today, bears share space with a rapidly growing human population. Black bears are curious, intelligent, and very resourceful; they will explore all possible food sources. If they find food near homes, campgrounds, vehicles, or communities, they’ll come back for more.
Bears will work hard to get the calories they need, and can easily damage property, vehicles, and homes. Bears that become aggressive in their pursuit of an easy meal must often be destroyed.
Every time we’re forced to destroy a bear, it’s not just the bear that loses. We all lose a little piece of the wildness that makes Colorado so special.
So please, learn to protect bears by being "Bear Aware", and share this information with your friends, neighbors, and community. We’re here to help!
Please do your part to keep bears wild.
Black Bears at a Glance
- Black is a species, not a color. In Colorado, many black bears are blonde, cinnamon, or brown.
- With their bulky fur coats, bears can look bigger than they are. Males average 275 lbs.; females average 175 lbs.
- Over 90% of a bear’s natural diet is grasses, berries, fruits, nuts and plants. The rest is primarily insects and scavenged carcasses.
- Black bears are very wary of people and other unfamiliar things. Their normal response to any perceived danger is to run away or climb a tree.
- Most Colorado bears are active from mid-March through early November. When food sources dwindle they head for winter dens.
- With a nose that’s 100 times more sensitive than ours, a bear can literally smell food five miles away.
- Bears are very smart, and have great memories - once they find food, they come back for more.
- During late summer and early fall bears need 20,000 calories a day to gain enough fat to survive the winter without eating or drinking.
- Bears are not naturally nocturnal, but sometimes travel at night in hopes of avoiding humans.
Living with Bears Resources
Living with Bears: A Practical Guide to Bear Country
Colorado is fortunate to have Linda Masterson, author of Living with Bears: A Practical Guide to Bear Country as one of our Bear Aware team volunteers. Please visit site for more information about this book and how to live responsibly in bear country.
For Parents and Kids
Bear Aware Volunteer Program
Bear Aware is a network of trained Colorado Parks and Wildlife volunteers throughout the state who help their neighbors and communities prevent problems for themselves and for bears.
Bear Aware volunteers can answer questions, offer practical advice and even make house calls. They also do educational programs and staff informational booths at events.
there are over 220 volunteers
dedicated to helping people coexist with bears. To find a Bear Aware volunteer in your area or join or to form a Bear Aware team, call your
local CPW office. The application program for
Bear Aware volunteers is generally in the spring.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Offices
Offices are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For after-hours emergencies, call 911 to contact the Colorado State Patrol or your local Sheriff's Department.
CPW Contact Page for region and area office contact information.