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.
- Black Bear Facts
- Becoming Bear Aware!
- Living with Black Bears in Virginia
- Virginia Wildlife: Virginia's First Bear Smart Community (PDF)
- Electric Fencing for Black Bears (PDF)
- Do-it-yourself instructions on how to make your trash container bear resistant (PDF)
- Watch the video of a bear at the Virginia Tech Black Bear Research Center test a modified container (video provided by VT BBRC)
- Watch the video of how to modify your trash container (filmed by Roanoke Valley Television)
- 2012–2021 Black Bear Management Plan
- 2001–2010 Black Bear Management Plan
- Bear Seasons & Bag Limits
- Kill Permits
- Black Bear Check Stations
- Harvest Summary for 2013–2014
- Harvest by County
- Bear Harvest Age Information (2012 Age Data Available)
Additional Bear Information
- George Washington & Jefferson National Forest: Safety in Bear Country
- Center for Wildlife Information: Be Bear Aware
- Get Bear Smart Society
- Recommended Reading: Living with Bears: A Practical Guide to Bear Country, by Linda Masterson. 2006.
- Techniques and Refuse Management Options for Residential Areas, Campgrounds, and Group-Use Facilities (ZIP)
- The Electric Fencing Guide contains information about a range of applications for electric fencing designs that can be used to help deter bears (ZIP)
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.