Black Bear

Cub Tracks

Ursus americanus

  Black bears give birth to their cubs in late
January and early February each year.  The
cubs leave the den and grow quickly. Read
this page to learn about their tracks.


Black bear cub track in mud
Black bear cub track in mud

Black bear cub track in mud
Black bear cub track in mud

left front cub track in sand

The palm of this left front track made by a black bear cub is less than three inches wide. This photo was taken in the fall, when the cubs weigh no more than 50 pounds or so. This is the left front track, which you can tell by looking at the shape of the metacarpal (palm) pad. The narrower end is toward the left, or in inside of the direction of travel.

barely visible track in dust

This cub track was barely visible in the fine dust on this dirt road. It looks like the right foot due to the shape of the pad, but it's hard to tell much more. Since cubs do not weigh much, it can be difficult to find their tracks. You need really good substrate to see some of these signs.

left front track in dust

Tiny left front track left by a bear cub. The toes seem smaller and not as thick as those you find in the tracks of older bears. Perhaps walking helps spread the toes out wider and makes them appear larger in relation to the rest of the track.

right hind track in dust

A very nice, clear right hind bear cub track in fine dust. This was found along the edge of a dirt road. The detailed track shows some fine marks from fur and the line that cuts across the metatarsal (heel) pad. All five toes are visible, but no claw marks.

right hind track
Nice right hind track on a dusty dirt road.
perfect left hind bear cub track

This left hind track is beautifully detailed. The toes are visible, but just barely. No claw marks are evident. The perfect shape of the metatarsal (heel) pad allows identification of this track as a left hind.

left hind bear cub track
Another fine left hind track in dust
right front bear cub track

This right front track on a dirt road shows no claws, which is typical for bear tracks. Sometimes you see claw marks, and other times they are not there.

right hind bear cub track
Nice right hind track in dust.
beautiful left bear yearling track in mud
This beautiful cub track was in mud. Claw marks can be seen on some of the toes.
                    cub examining a mark tree used by other bears

A cub examines a tree used by other bears to mark and rub their backs. There is a lot of fur snagged in the bark of this tree because it is a regularly used mark tree.

                    bear and cub image from my trail camera

Mother and cub examining a black bear marking tree. Still image from video taken by my trail camera.

To see black bears in action, marking on trees in their territory, visit my YouTube channel:

The videos on my YouTube channel come from trail cameras I have set up in the woods to show black bears in their natural habitat, doing what they do when no one is watching. Enjoy!
Other Black Bear Pages on this site:
Go to the Black Bear Scat Page
or Black Bear Scat Page II
Go to the Black Bear Feeding Signs Page
or Black Bear Main Page

More Black Bear Tracks and Signs
Black Bear Dens and Beds
Black Bear Trails and Stomp Marking
Black Bear Tracking Videos
Beartracker highly recommends this educational site:
Not hosted on this site, but great black bear page
from the North American Bear Center:
Lily the Black Bear
Jewel the Black Bear
Opens in a new window. Follow along as Lily and Jewel raise cubs!
These web cams provide a look inside a wild bear's den, LIVE!
Watch cubs being raised and cared for in real time and learn more
about bears than ever possible before.
Rare glimpses into the lives of wild black bears.



prints prints

Got a bear story? E-mail me and tell me about it.

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Copyright 2018. Text, photos, videos, and drawings by Kim A. Cabrera - Desert Moon Design

Page updated: March 21, 2018

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