Youngman: Black bear spotted locally shows no signs of danger; DCSO offers safety tips

June 24, 2024 | 10:50 am

Updated June 24, 2024 | 10:50 am

Black bear spotted in Utica | Photo courtesy of Kalib Selby

The Daviess County Sheriff’s Office has been in contact with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife (KYDFW) regarding black bear sightings locally, and authorities say there are no plans to interfere with the bear at this time.

DCSO has received multiple reports of a black bear sighting in southern Daviess County over the past few days, and several residents have posted about sightings on social media. 

“The bear appears to be passing through the area and has not caused any problems,” Sheriff Brad Youngman said. “While certainly unusual, this is not the first time this has happened in our county, and as the bear population rebounds this may become more common.”

Black bears are native to Kentucky and common in many parts of the Commonwealth. 

“While not usually seen in this area, our wooded areas, sources of fresh water, and other terrain are all a supportive habitat for black bears,” Youngman said. “Therefore, removing the bear is not considered appropriate unless it becomes a nuisance.”

To keep everyone safe, including the bear, DCSO asks everyone to keep the following in mind:

  • Do not feed the bear nor leave trash and other sources of food out for bears to find. Most of the time the bear is moving around, it is looking for food. Keep trash bins covered and dispose of garbage quickly.
  • Drive safely in case the bear is crossing the roadway. In this regard just observe as you already should be doing for deer and other animals that cross our roads. 
  • Reports of a bear harming a human in Kentucky are very rare. Venomous snakes such as western cottonmouth, copperhead, timber rattlesnake — which are common in Kentucky — account for dozens of injury reports annually, but bears do not. When people are harmed by a bear it is almost always due to the human getting too close and acting irresponsibly. If you see the bear, stay back. 
  • There is no reason to call 911 unless you feel that you are in danger or if the bear has damaged your property. 
  • It is illegal to shoot, trap, or harm bears. Black bears in Kentucky may only be hunted during certain approved seasons by licensed hunters in designated counties. Like all hunting seasons, bear season is heavily regulated, and violations carry severe penalties. It is not currently bear hunting season and Daviess County is not an approved location. Please leave the bear alone if you see it.

DCSO will continue to monitor and communicate with KYDFW regarding the bear’s progress. Please visit Click here for additional information on Kentucky bears.

June 24, 2024 | 10:50 am

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