How old do bears get?


New member
Dec 20, 2000
Jackson, Wyoming
I am curious as to how old black bears get. I recieved a card from the Wyoming Game & Fish Department yesterday and the bear I got off my deck on June 11 was 11.3 years old. Is this very old for a bear?
That's a pretty mature black bear.
From what I've been "told" black bears can live till 20-25 years old in the wild but most don't. True maturity is reached by boars at the age of 10-12 which is right about where your booboo was.

Can't tell you about those circus bears from Russia...they tend to live a little longer and easier life. Most file workmans comp claims at a younger age due to falling of those frickin unicycles...

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 11-05-2003 08:07: Message edited by: MarvB ]</font>
Not very darn old around Moosie
I shot one once that was 22 years old also, her teeth were wore flat and she was blind with cataracts. So seems to me that 20 plus years is the top end. This was from the MT FWP lab in Bozeman MT. That's where all of the testing is done. Every bear shot in Montana has to be checked in, and part of the process is age. They take a tooth from just behind the fang and they use that to age it. No BS here it's the truth.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 11-25-2003 21:26: Message edited by: Robert M Boren Sr ]</font>
MT F&G told me the one i got this spring was 12 years old. I was suprised because she only weighed about 225lbs. I would have thought at that age she'd have weighed more.
I know a bear biologist that had collared and monitored a big 'ol sow for a number of years.

He said the last time he messed with her she was at least 22 years old. So I'd say it's possible a bear can live to be over 20.

Probably doesn't happen alot though.
You know I have no idea how old bears get.
But I would really like to know though, it would be some good information I think.
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