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Bear Hunting

Hunting Regulations Icon New York Hunting

Bag Limits

Resident and non-resident hunters may take one bear by gun or bow each license year. In the Southern Zone, you may not shoot a cub or a bear that should be known to be a cub, shoot any bear from a group of bears, or shoot or take a bear from its den.

Northern zone bear

Hunters who harvest a bear in the Northern Zone will be asked to submit part of the lower jaw or a tooth of the bear to determine the age of the bear. A collection packet including a postage-paid return jaw envelope and information explaining collection will be mailed to each hunter that reports a bear. There are many cooperating taxidermists within New York that can remove and submit teeth, so check with your taxidermist. Generally, taxidermists do not use teeth or the lower jaw for their mounts.

Southern zone bear

DEC wildlife staff would like to examine bears harvested in the Southern Zone before they are skinned or butchered and will make every attempt to contact hunters to check their bear. When reporting a bear, hunters will be asked to provide name, phone number, and location or address where the bear can be examined. If wildlife staff are not available, bears can be examined by cooperating taxidermists and meat cutters.

Know of Any Active Bear Dens?

DEC wants to know about occupied dens. Please call the nearest wildlife office.

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Changes in Bear Hunting Regulations

At the time of publication, regulations were still pending that would affect bear hunting. Be sure to check DEC’s website for the latest regulation changes before heading afield this fall.

Attention Bear Hunters and Taxidermists

Bear gallbladders and bile shall not be possessed or sold unless a valid bear tag (original or copy of bear carcass tag) is attached. A new law now also requires taxidermists to keep records of all bear gallbladders and bile received or sold.