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Black Bear

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Permit required. 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 tag bear immediately (with tag attached to permit) and must check in their bear within 48 hours. Limit 1 bear per year.

If you harvest a bear and would like to know the age of your bear, please follow the instructions below.

    Bear Tooth.tif 

  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 the fish-scale envelope provided, or other 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, 1 Rabbit Hill Rd., Westboro, MA 01581. Be sure that you enclose your name and mailing address.
  4. All bear teeth are sent for processing in January, after all teeth from both the September and November parts of the season are received. The ages are then received by the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife in May or June, and you will be sent the age of your bear at that time.

Open Season
(All Dates Inclusive)

Daily Bag Limit

Possession Limit

Season Limit

Zones 1-9

Sept. 6 – Sept. 24
Nov. 7 – Nov. 26

See above.


Bear hunting closed during shotgun deer season.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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