What Does Bear Scat Look Like?

As spring marches onward and black bears continue to emerge from their winter dens, now is a great time to review bear safety and identification tips. One way to avoid conflict with bears is being able to read the land and determine the potential for nearby bear activity, which includes the ability to identify bear scat.

Bear scat is among the largest you’ll find out in the wilderness, and is often characterized by the presence of partially digested berries and/or nuts. Black bears are omnivores that readily eat fruit and vegetation, so their dung piles are more likely to contain seeds and other plant matter than hair, which is commonly found in coyote scat.

Fresh bear scat with lots of berries!

If you’re hiking and stumble across bear scat, never fear; the bear responsible is likely long gone and minding its own business. You can keep along the marked trail, but maintain increased vigilance; remember to look big and sound loud if you ever do come across a black bear in the wild, and don’t run!

Black bears are a lot more shy and timid than they’re given credit for, but sometimes it takes analyzing an animal’s poop to help dispel misconceptions about its diet and behavior!

 

Aaron Huelsman

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