Bears are large, solitary animals found commonly near caves and forests. The event seems to have woken them from their typical hibernation. They are commonly roaming around certain areas of a region.


Bears are among the toughest and most dangerous animals in The Long Dark. Slow when walking, they sprint incredibly fast and will run down the character in seconds when they charge. However, they typically yield more than 30kg of very rich meat, and the Bear skin bedroll along with Bearskin coat can be crafted from their hides. Note that you need two bear hides to craft one item.


Bears have three paces: walking, charging, and fleeing. Typically they wander about, and their walking pace is very slow. They show little interest in all things and their paths may be random, but occasionally they can be seen standing on hind legs sniffing at the air, perhaps realizing a human is nearby.


Bears are relatively quiet themselves, but their soft-padded footsteps can be heard from a long distance away. Also, aggressive alarm calls from crows can be heard (the crows cannot be seen), even when a bear is relatively far away. As a bear gets closer, you may hear occasional grunts and snorts. When a bear is aware of your presence, it will begin making more noises with the occasional bellow. If it does charge, you will hear the "huff-huff" of its heavy breathing before it tackles you.


All bears have dens, caves or rock outcroppings that serve as their homes. They can be identified by yellowing skeletons near their entrances. Often, a bear will end his wandering and decide to return to his den. When a bear decides to return to his den, it will do so in the most direct path, even if it is kilometres away. Scaring them often also prompts them to return to their den, making tracking a scared bear easier if you first can locate its den.

  • It is not advisable to set up camp in a bear den.
  • Not all possible bear dens are inhabited on every playthrough. Where the bear was in a previous game may just be an empty cave the next. Bones/remains mark active dens.


Bears do occasionally try to go back to hibernating. They have been observed lying down for sleep in their dens. And also have been discovered already sleeping there. Waking a sleeping bear requires some stimulus, like hearing a gunshot or throwing a lit flare at it.


Bears will turn and walk toward any character they detect. If the player breaks the contact by moving away, the bear will no longer follow. If a player gets even closer, the bear will charge to attack. A threat display may be shown but the charge happens regardless. Bears will also charge if they detect that the player shot them, without a threat display.


Dropping food items while being pursued by a walking bear will distract that bear. The bear will walk to food instead. Bear does not need to see the food being dropped but only seems to be interested in food while able to see the character. Once contact with the player breaks, bears no longer seek any food. See: Baiting.

No Fear of Fire

Bears are not afraid of fire and will walk right through it. If antagonized, they will charge right through it. Campfires, flares, and torches offer no protection from bear attack.


Bears run away from the firing sound of the distress pistol and also from the landing site of flare rounds or arrows dropping near them.

The opposite is true of Hunting Rifles or Revolvers being fired, where bears will walk towards the shooter (if he/she can be detected) as long as the bear is not hit by the shot. Hitting a bear with a bullet will cause it to charge if the shooter is detected, otherwise it will flee.

Additionally, bear also charge when hit by arrows, but only if they can see who shot them, otherwise they flee. Bear hit by the flare round always run away, but likely are already running away from the sound of the shot.

Performing critical hits with bullets or arrows will cause Bears to flee if they survive the initial damage.


Bears react to being hit by stones like they do to gunfire, they immediately lock on to the thrower and walk toward him. Hitting a bear does not deal damage. Stones can also be used to distract a bear for a few seconds. Bears will investigate the sound of a nearby stone impact, giving the player time to sneak away.


Player's view of a bear mauling.

Once they charge bear will not stop unless the character cannot be reached. Bear attacks are similar to wolf attacks in that the character is pinned to the ground face-to-face with an angry animal (see: Struggle). They differ in that the character may not fight back or cause damage to the bear. The player character will eventually black out. Bears walk away after mauling the character. It is very common to survive a bear attack, but with severe damage and bleeding. The character will slowly stand back up as the bear (usually) wanders away, with a few seconds passing before the player is able to interact with the world again. Rarely, bears will turn around immediately or shortly after mauling the player due to their pathfinding mechanics and attack again. Generally, the player's first action after a bear attack should be applying a bandage in First aid, but moving a short distance away from more immediate danger may be necessary in some instances.

  • Since bears require physical contact to injure the player, attacks can be escaped using terrain blocking, doors, and game path-finding errors to avoid possibility of the bear touching the character.
    • Standing halfway down a ledge or crouched under a terrain object may make one immune to bear attack, although bears and wolves can sometimes clip through or seemingly teleport through terrain obstacles. Safety can also be found inside vehicles (although, again, clipping may occur) and on some elevated platforms such as hunting blinds or some porches.
  • Bear attacks typically do not kill but do leave the character severely wounded and bleeding. Approximately 90% (reduced by clothing protection) of your previous condition will be lost (if you started with 72% condition, after mauling you will have about 7%, assuming no protective clothing is worn, etc.) with one blood loss affliction and infection risk attached.
  • Some random items (usually items the player is holding or that have been recently picked up) from player's inventory may be thrown on the ground near the mauling. If a ranged weapon was equipped when attacked, it will also be transferred to the ground.
  • Significant damage may be inflicted on some of the clothing items that are being worn at the time of attack.
  • Nothing you try to do during a struggle with a bear makes any difference.
  • In story mode, you can fight back the bears if you have the bear spear.


While it is possible to kill even a bear with one shot, this is a function of scoring a "critical hit". Most likely, the bear will survive the first shot and begin bleeding. The bear will then charge the player, or run away depending if it was shot while sleeping or with a bow from out of his sight/smell range.

Critical hits

Critical hits are random occurrences, but are more likely in designated critical areas. Bears seem to have four areas, the head and neck, the front shoulder and chest, the hindquarters, and their feet. Shots to the head and neck seem to have the best chance to cause a critical hit (~30%), with shots to the front shoulder and chest being second. Shots to the feet seem to be immune to critical hits.

Bleeding wounds

All shots cause bleeding wounds. Bears will bleed out according to which area they were shot in. Bleeding wounds do not stack. That is, multiple shots to the same area will not make it bleed out any faster. Shooting a bear in an area that bleeds faster than a previous wound will cause it to bleed out as if the faster wound were caused first.

Time to bleed out

Zone Hit w/ Rifle w/ Bow
Head 1 hr 45 min
Chest 4 hr 2 hr
Hind 6 hr 4 hr
Foot 8 hr 4 hr


  • Bull-Fight: Shoot from close to a position that bears cannot attack, perhaps luring or baiting the bear into range first. Shoot the bear, enter cover. Let it charge and fail. Follow until it bleeds out.
  • Hunter's Blinds: Some bears wander around areas with hunter's blinds, like Unnamed Pond in Mystery Lake. It provides cover against predators while players are still able to attack them using ranged weapons.
  • Stealth: Shoot bear from its blind spot with the bow so he runs away rather than charging. Track until dead.
  • Unwise: Shoot repeatedly as it charges hoping for first or second shot critical hit to drop him before it gets you.
  • Decoys: Drop decoys to get the bear distracted, it will go forwards to the decoy, so use your bow on his left eye while he`s distracted.
  • In previous patches the Distress Pistol would cause causes extreme bleeding it struck (and attached to) an animal. Since Bears always run away from the distress pistol whether they get hit or do not, this used to be an effective and safe "Hunting" technique.


Fresh carcass contains around 30kg of meat, 10 units of fresh guts, and one uncured black bear hide.


Bear spawns vary by region. In regions such as Coastal Highway and Desolation Point, bears will always spawn in the same location. In other regions such as Mystery Lake and Pleasant Valley, bears have multiple possible spawning locations, only some of which will be occupied. The following list is based on sightings; spawn locations and numbers are not confirmed.

Mystery Lake: 1-2 bears

Coastal Highway: 2-3 bears

Pleasant Valley: 4-5 bears

Desolation Point: 1 bear

Timberwolf Mountain: 3 bears

Forlorn Muskeg: 2 bears

Broken Railroad: 1 bear

Mountain Town: 1 bear

Bleak Inlet: 1 bear

Special bear

The Old Bear is the only bear who has unique characteristics from the other bears.

The Old Bear appears in two Challenge modes: The Hunted, Part One and Part Two and in Episode 2 of Wintermute.

In the Hunted Challenges, The Old Bear is immune to any damages by the player and will stalk the player from very long distances until they have completed their objectives.


Fish Smallmouth bassCoho salmonLake whitefishRainbow trout
Animals BearCrowDeerMooseRabbitTimberwolfWolf
Interactions FishingTrappingBaitingHuntingStruggle
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