Utah's mountains and forests are home to thousands of black bears.

Black bears often live in the same places we camp, hike and build our houses. This poses a safety concern for both humans and bears. If a bear obtains food from a home or campsite — even once — it may become aggressive in future attempts. This almost guarantees the bear will have to be destroyed. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect both you and the bear.

Camp and hike responsibly

Sloppy campers and hikers don't just endanger themselves, but also future visitors. Bears have amazing memories; they will return to a site repeatedly if they ate there at some point in the past. When in bear country, you should:

Maintain a black bear-safe campsite
Take precautions while hiking

Protect your home and property

If a bear enters your yard, give it an obvious escape route — do not corner it. Black bears can quickly inflict thousands of dollars in property damage. You can reduce or eliminate visits from bears if you:

Dispose of trash carefully
Use deterrents

If you encounter a black bear

If a black bear attacks

Report a nuisance black bear

If you see a bear in a residential area or you encounter an aggressive bear, please contact the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources immediately. We have offices in:

We will notify a conservation officer or transfer you directly to law enforcement personnel. If your encounter or sighting occurs after business hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday through Friday), please call the police. They will contact a conservation officer to handle the situation.