The Largest Black Bear Ever Caught in Oklahoma

Written by Alanna Davis
Published: March 14, 2024
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Hunting is a sport that divides the masses. Many people either love it with their whole heart or don’t understand the appeal at all. However, many residents of the state of Oklahoma take it seriously. In fact, hunting big game is far from uncommon, and participants and bystanders alike have found themselves enraptured by the thrill it provides. Let’s dive into the story of the largest black bear ever caught in Oklahoma and recount the details of this impressive catch.

Black Bears in Oklahoma: A Brief Overview

Wild black bear cub on the Rouge River, Oregon, USA

On average, black bears live for roughly 30 years.

©christiannafzger/iStock via Getty Images

Even though many people might picture back bears as vicious animals who only eat red meat, that is simply not the case. They are omnivores and their diet consists of a variety of food. In fact, in many cases, their diet is rich in a variety of plant matter. Compared to other bears, black bears are less likely to attack if encountered. Despite this, they are still somewhat dangerous to be around. Residents should take all reasonable measures to protect themselves against bear attacks and educate themselves on the risks. Black bears are found in Oklahoma, but their populations are somewhat limited to the eastern portion of the state. 

Although it might be shocking to hear, locals are often accepting of these animals. In fact, even with black bear populations in the thousands, many residents say that they don’t mind them at all, and their presence would only become a problem if their population increased significantly. For the most part, Oklahomans have learned to coexist with these creatures. In some cases, people feel as though the black bears are a benefit to the community. Black bears are a part of life in Oklahoma, and for many, they’re an important part of life.

How Large Was the Biggest Black Bear Ever Caught in Oklahoma?

Black bear

Black bears can be found all across North America.

©Menno Schaefer/

Throughout the years, hunters have caught many impressively large black bears in the state of Oklahoma. However, one stands out among the rest. Jeremy DeFrange is the hunter responsible for catching the largest black bear in Oklahoma, which weighed in at 675 pounds. He caught this behemoth at Lake Sardis on October 6th, 2012. According to McAlester News, there was no prior record before Jeremy made this impressive catch as bear hunting in this state started just a few years prior. 

Despite what you may think, this catch was planned meticulously by DeFrange for months prior to firing the killing shot. He initially saw this black bear nearly a year prior, but hunting season would draw to a close just a few short days later before he would be able to capture it. Jeremy had to wait until 2012, and his patience would pay off. Since this record was set, several other hunters have come close to breaking it. Despite their attempts, Jeremy has held this title for over a decade now.

Black Bear Hunting Requirements in Oklahoma

Individuals who would like to begin hunting these animals for themselves can do so with relative ease. There are certain time restrictions, and hunters must possess a license in order to catch these animals legally. For more information about hunting legally in Oklahoma, you can visit the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s website

The photo featured at the top of this post is © wirestock/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

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About the Author

Alanna is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering insects, animals, and travel. In addition to writing, she spends her time tutoring English and exploring the east end of Long Island. Prior to receiving her Bachelor's in Economics from Stony Brook University, Alanna spent much of her time studying entomology and insect biology.

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