How high can a black bear reach?

bear_standing_reaching_for_backpack.jpgThe bear on the left is a medium-sized male reaching for the backpack is taller than most female black bears.  He stands about 6 feet to the tip of his up-stretched nose and is reaching to maybe 7 feet.  Adult bears are not good at vertical jumping, so anything above 7 ½ feet would be out of reach for this bear and most bears.

lynn_and_duffy_looking_up_tree_1-6-07.jpgThe huge wild male on the right with the 6-foot researcher is about as large a black bear as a person could hope to see.  At 876 pounds, he is only 4 pounds short of the world record for a wild bear.  He could not reach above 9 feet.  The U.S. Forest Service recommends hanging food above 10 feet, which undoubtedly will put food beyond the reach of any black bear.