What States have Good Black Bear Hunting?

What States have Good Black Bear Hunting?

Mississippi Landsource is here to give you what states have good black bear hunting. The U.S. black bear population is rising. Therefore, bear hunters now have more possibilities than in previous years. 

But it is hard to determine where to hunt bears with so many seasons. Some bear hunting spots are gradually becoming the best. These states consistently harvest huge bruins, and tags are easy and economical compared to others. 


Today we will look at the five best U.S. states for black bear hunting. These states produce enormous bruins and offer either an abundance of public land or outfitters with exclusive access to private areas, ensuring a hunt for a lifetime.

5. Wisconsin

Most people associate black bear hunting with western states. Wisconsin’s track record earned it a spot on this list. We think it is because it is a whitetail deer hotspot. Four of Pope & Young’s top 10 bruins are from Wisconsin. Duane Helland caught a 22 11/16-inch monster in Chippewa County in 2003.

Wisconsin’s drawback is that everyone wants to hunt bruins there. So, there are no over-the-counter hunting licenses, and you must apply. Only 11,520 out of 109,000 applicants in 2016 received a Wisconsin DNR permit. Last year’s odds were similar.

Apply today, even if your vacation is years away since Wisconsin uses a preference point system. Your odds will improve with time. If you are not hunting this season, apply for a preference point. It is a good way to earn points while waiting. 

Chippewa County is the best place to draw a Wisconsin bear tag, but don’t miss Jackson or Polk. Both have top-10 Pope & Young bears.

4. Alaska

The Last Frontier has one of North America’s biggest bruin populations. Alaska offers stronger permit chances than most of the lower 48, and you can buy over-the-counter bear tags in some regions. $450 is not cheap, but they are one of the more common bear tags in North America.

As negative factors, we have weather and logistics. Black bear hunting in Alaska is famously difficult owing to the continuously changing weather. This aspect can modify bear behavior and delay your flight while you wait for better landing circumstances. Thus, hunting in Alaska is expensive year-round. 

Also, many public land areas are enormous. Some locations have huge bruins, but success is low.

Last Frontier hunters must be careful. Black bears and grizzlies coexist. A qualified outfitter can help you recognize a black bear and avoid other species’ unique color phases. A skilled guide will prevent that. 

Alaska may be more difficult to fly to and organize, but it provides the most isolated hunting. It gives stunning panoramas for a lifetime hunt.

3. Arizona

Arizona’s elk population has helped keep bear hunting a secret. It’s one of the easiest states to hunt bears in. Spring bear permits are typically sold over the counter. Residents pay $25 and non-residents $125 for tags. Likewise, youth hunters must pay $10.

Arizona seems too good to be true. Why bear hunting is not more popular? The reasons are several. Hunting in mountainous areas is difficult. Besides, Arizona bans bait. Only stalk and spot are allowed, which is not easy with a bear.

Because of the temperate climate, even experienced hunters may have trouble learning bears’ habits. Still, consider this state. Large bruins inhabit Arizona. Here, hunters often bag huge game.

2. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s bruins are extraordinarily large. Tyler Wilbur’s 704-pound beast proves you are in the land of giants. Pennsylvania produced 679-, 704-, and 780-pound bears in 2018. Forest County took the last photo.

Some over-the-counter incenses are inexpensive. It is one of the cheapest bear hunts, costing residents $16.90 and non-residents $36.90. Bear hunting is becoming increasingly popular in a state known for deer hunting because it is inexpensive.

Baiting is prohibited in all public and private areas, as it is in Arizona. That’s alright because Pennsylvania hunters have quickly adapted. Most hunt bears out of a tree stand after patterning them, just like whitetails. However, some hunters plan drives for them, such as deer. Who would have guessed?

  1. Idaho 

Idaho offers several hunting chances. You can spot-and-stalk, use bait, hunt from a tree stand, or use dogs. 

Over-the-counter black bear tags are inexpensive. Non-residents pay $186. Depending on the unit you are hunting for, you may purchase a $41.75 license for that unit only. Besides, new hunters and disabled veterans can get guided hunting permits for $23.75. 

This state has vast bruin history. Tim Bartlett scored 22 1/8 inches in Management Unit 11 in 1991.

Nez Perce, Bonneville, and Caribou counties are Idaho hotspots. All these sites have produced 20-plus-inch Bruins.