The Black bear [Ursus americanus americanus] is the smallest and most common bear in North America, But Is It possible there could be Giant variations? A friend of mine Told me a few years back about seeing a Black bear on his heavily wooded KY farm that he estimated was between 6'6 and 7 feet standing upright and possibly 600 pounds. He witnessed it rear up and mark a tree with its claws. Quite Large considering The Typical black bear you will see in in the National parks Tend to be smallish .The bear in The Great Smoky mountains in TN will usually be around 200 pounds and 5- 6 feet long at the most.
Bear still aren't that common in many parts of KY and it seems they tend to not show themselves while I am Hiking or driving around at least. I have yet to see one in person but see there tracks quite a bit. September 2014, I was ''through hiking'' a leg of the Sheltowee Trace.Doing a solo Hike ,I was of course on the alert for bear even though I know that The eastern bear aren't like grizzlies and into attacking humans so much [Yes I know it does still often happen]. I camped for the night up high in the hills of the Menifee County section near Frenchburg .I Decided to scout down the trail in the dark before going to sleep. With a flashlight I wanted to do a reconnaissance of the area to see how much more hiking was ahead for the next day. As it turned out I was still in pretty deep woods and sure enough on the sandy mountain trail there was one perfect hind foot print of a bear. I could make out the claw marks and it looked to be quite freshly made. I have a 13 wide shoe size and it was every bit as long and about twice as wide as my bare foot. It looked like a big flat Pad going the same direction as I was. Soon I turned back towards camp, I did hear the ''roar'' or you might say almost a moaning sound in the darkness that very likely was the bear that made the track.