Officials Confirm Black Bear Sighting in Poweshiek County

A black bear yearling stands in a grassy area with his tongue sticking out. (Stock photo: iStock/Getty Images Plus)

POWESHIEK COUNTY, Iowa – Officials say a black bear has been spotted in the wild near Montezuma.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer John Steinbach tells Channel 13 he was among the officers called about the sighting Tuesday night.

Steinbach says a bystander called in the sighting about three or four miles north of Barnes City. He and two deputies from the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene around 6:30 p.m. and Steinbach says one of the deputies observed a juvenile black bear run across a gravel road.

Steinbach also saw the bear on the edge of a cornfield, but it quickly ran away after noticing him.

The Sheriff’s Office says the bear has shown no signs of aggressive behavior and should not be considered a threat to the public.

Steinbach says bear are not a protected species under Iowa law, but he advises against anyone attempting to “hunt” the bear.

If you see the bear, officials recommend leaving it alone and keeping your distance.

Call the Sheriff’s Office at 641-623-5679 to let them know where the bear was seen.