North Dakota is the least forested state in the United States.

According to World Population Review, North Dakota only has 1.72% of its land forested.  That is by far the least amount of forests in the United States.  Even the state with the next fewest amount of forests (Nebraska) has nearly double what North Dakota has for woods at 3.2%.

Our neighbor to the south, South Dakota has the 3rd least amount of forests with only 3.9% of its land covered in woods.  A good share of that is in the Black Hills region.

Yep, we are tree challenged in North Dakota.

That's probably why we don't have a whole lot of Bigfoot sightings in our state or why we don't see a whole lot of bears either.

According to the North Dakota Game and Fish, North Dakota does not have a known breeding population of Black Bears in the state.

Even with that being said, bear sightings in North Dakota are on the increase.  

Most of those sightings are on the eastern side of the state and are bears crossing the Red River from Minnesota, where there is an established population in northwest Minnesota.  Sightings are also more common in our northern-tier counties in North Dakota that border Manitoba and Saskatchewan where bears are also settled.

With that being said, a Black Bear sighting is possible anywhere in our state.

In fact, a dead Black Bear was found in 2006 not too far from Bismarck near Hebron, North Dakota.

The North Dakota Game and Fish says we average about 5 to 8 sightings a year.  Did you know historically, North Dakota actually had more Prairie Grizzly Bears sightings than Black Bears?  That's according to an article in the Grand Forks Herald.

When Lewis and Clark first explored North Dakota they even shot a Grizzly Bear in what is now known as Kimbal Bottoms.  That's according to Burleigh County.

Grizzly's have long since moved out of North Dakota into Montana but it is still possible to have a run-in with a Black Bear in North Dakota.  Keep your eyes open, and the camera on your phone ready.  You would be surprised how fast Black Bears move.

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