Feeding Bears is Illegal in Virginia

Wildlife Managers don't recommend feeding wildlife due to concerns surrounding disease transmission and habituation of wildlife to human foods. In Virginia, it is illegal to feed bears on both public and private lands. Bears attracted to residential areas or human dwellings due to feeding activities by people, whether deliberate or inadvertent (like bears eating from a birdfeeder or trash cans) can cause problems including the habituation of bears to people and serious property damage. Regretfully, bears that have lost their fear of people often have to be destroyed.


General Information

Bear Management

Bear Hunting

Additional Bear Information

Living With Wildlife Foundation

The Living with Wildlife Guides were compiled by the Living with Wildlife Foundation in cooperation with the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' Living with Predators Project. The guides are intended to help minimize conflicts between people and black bears, grizzly bears, wolves, coyotes and mountain lions. PLEASE NOTE: These guides were put together to include a broad range of species found in other areas of the United States including deterrents for black bears, grizzly bears, wolves, coyotes and mountain lions. The comprehensive solutions are applicable to Virginia's black bear and coyote populations, there are no wild populations of grizzly bears, wolves, or mountain lions in the Commonwealth.

Virginia Residents' Opinions on Black Bears and Black Bear Management: a Survey by Responsive Management (PDF)

Knowledge levels regarding black bears and opinions on and attitudes toward black bears and black bear management among Virginia residents were measured in a telephone survey conducted for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The survey asked about opinions on the black bear population, management of nuisance black bears, hunting black bears, and more.