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Black Bear

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Open season
(All Dates Inclusive)

Daily BAG limit

possession limit

season limit

Black Bear

Zones 1-9

Sept. 3 – Sept. 21
Nov. 4 – Nov. 23

See “Black Bear,” below.


Bear hunting closed during shotgun deer season.


13MAAB_Bear-Pic.jpgPermit required. Limit one bear per year. Hunting allowed in Zones 1–9 ONLY. Hunting only with rifle .23 caliber or larger, muzzleloader .44–.775 caliber, bows with 40 lb. pull or greater, or revolvers .357 Magnum or .40 caliber or larger. Revolvers permitted during September season only. Use of shotguns and use of dogs for training or hunting is prohibited (see Hunting Dogs). Baiting of bears is prohibited. Hunting hours close ½ hour after sunset except as noted in WMA Reg. #10. Successful hunters must fill out tag (attached to permit/license) and immediately (prior to moving) attach tag to bear, and then must check/report their harvest within 48 hours by EITHER 1) bringing the bear to an official check station where an official metal seal will be affixed, or 2) reporting online and writing the assigned confirmation number on tag attached to the bear (see Online Game Checking). Bear can only be field dressed, must not be concealed (bear or part of bear must remain open to view during transport), and must remain intact or whole (do not skin, butcher, or take to a taxidermist for mounting) until it has been checked/reported.

How Old is That Bear?

13MAAB-Bear-Age.jpgIf you harvest a bear the DFW requests that you submit a tooth for aging. Please follow the instructions below.

  1. Remove the first premolar (see photo), or ask a DFW staff member to collect the tooth. This is a very small tooth, just behind the large canine tooth. It does not matter if you take the left or the right tooth. However, the root is the most important part. Do not break the tooth.
  2. Using a small sharp knife, or a sharp ¼-inch wood chisel, slide the blade down the side of the tooth and cut or separate the gum tissue where it sticks to the tooth. Using a small needle-nose pliers or the pliers on your multi-tool, wiggle the tooth slightly until you can pull it out of the jawbone and the gum. The tooth is only about ½-inch (or less) in length. Go easy and do not break it.
  3. Put the tooth in a small envelope, and mark it with your name and the seal number of your bear. Put the small envelope in a regular mailing envelope and send it to: Bear Project, Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, 100 Hartwell St., Suite 230, West Boylston, MA 01583. Be sure that you enclose your name and mailing address.
  4. All bear teeth from both segments of the season are sent out for processing in January. The ages are then received by the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife in May or June, and you will be notified of the age of your bear at that time.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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