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.

Overview Edit

Bears are 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 its hide. 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 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, crows, which are quite loud, can be heard circling the bear from very far away. However, the crows cannot be seen. Getting closer, you may hear occasional grunts and/or 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.

Interaction Edit

Bears will turn and walk toward any character they detect. If the player breaks the contact by moving far enough away, the bear will no longer pursue. If a player gets even closer, the bear will charge to attack. Bears will also charge if they detect that the player shot them.

Baiting Edit

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.

Fear of Fire Edit

Bears are afraid of fire and run away if they get close to an active campfire. They also may run from brandished torches and flares. However, once a bear has started a charge, no flame can scare him off.

  • Note: the round fired from the Distress pistol is visually similar to the flare while it burns, but is not treated as a flame in-game.

Gunshots/Hits Edit

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

Bears do not run from the sound of the hunting rifle being fired. Instead they move directly towards the shooter if he/she can be seen. As long as they are not hit by the bullet that was fired, they will walk. But hitting a Bear will instead cause it to charge.

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 run away as well, but likely are already running away from the sound of the shot.

Stones Edit

Bears can be distracted by throwing stones next to them, effectively distracting their attention from the player, giving enough time to move.

Mauling Edit

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 5.47.12 pm

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. 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. Character will slowly stand back up before being able to interact again (first action should be apply bandage in First aid).

  • 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 makes one immune to bear attack. Safety can also be found inside vehicles and on some elevated platforms like hunting blinds or porches.
  • Bear attacks typically do not kill but do leave the character severely wounded and bleeding. Approximately 90% of your previous condition will be lost (if you started with 72% condition, after mauling you will have about 7%, etc.) with one blood loss affliction infection risk attached.
  • Some random items 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.

Hunting Edit

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 hitsEdit

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 woundsEdit

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 outEdit

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


  • Bizarre: The distress pistol round causes extreme bleeding if it attaches to an animal. Bears always run away from the distress pistol whether they get hit or do not. "Hunting" bear with the distress pistol can be a safe way to encounter these beasts.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Carcass Edit

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

Population Edit

Certain regions have limited population of bears. Some regions have more than three bears while some less than three bears. The following list is unconfirmed but speculated by the players at best.

Special bear Edit

The Old Bear is the only bear who has unique characteristics from the other bears. The Old Bear makes appearance only in Episode 2 as primarily antagonist and in Challenges as well (The Hunted, Part One and Part Two).

In 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.

Gallery Edit

Terrestrial animals BearCrowDeerMooseRabbitWolf
Smallmouth bassCoho salmonLake whitefishRainbow trout
Interactions FishingTrappingBaitingHuntingStruggle

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