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Bear Hunting

Bear Limit: 0ne (1) bear either sex per year.

  • The limit on bear for any person participating in statewide or WMA hunts or both shall not exceed one bear per calendar year. This bear may be either sex.
  • Cubs or female bears with cubs at side may not be taken at any time. A cub is defined as a bear weighing 75 pounds or less.
  • Bears may be whole or field dressed but must weigh 75 pounds or greater when checked in.
  • The reproductive (sex) organs must remain attached to each bear harvested until the bear has been officially checked-in at an official TWRA checking station.
  • Bear may not be checked-in via the internet.
  • Bear Dog Training Season (Private lands only)

No bears may be taken. No firearms or archery equipment may be possessed. Bear dog training is permitted one half-hour before legal sunrise to one half hour after legal sunset. For information on the bear dog training season in the Cherokees, see the WMA section.

  • Legal Hunting Equipment

See Manner and Means.



Bear Dog Training Season


Training Dates

Blount, Carter, Cocke, Greene,
Jefferson (east of 411), Johnson, Sevier,
Sullivan, Unicoi, Washington

Aug. 25–Sep.30

Monroe, Polk (east of 411 & north of 64)

Sep. 5–14


Attention Bear Hunters

Help with bear population monitoring by submitting a pre-molar tooth from your bear.

  • What is the need for submitting teeth?

Aging bears using teeth allows biologist to more accurately model bear populations. Historically, teeth were collected by Agency personnel. However, with longer seasons and higher bear harvest, it is no longer feasible for TWRA personnel to collect all the samples. So hunters can make an important contribution to bear management in Tennessee by voluntarily submitting a tooth from each bear harvested.

  • How do I collect a tooth?

The upper premolar tooth is right behind the canine (see photo). Using a knife or screwdriver, push the gum line toward the top of the bears head exposing more of the tooth. Loosen the tooth with a knife or screwdriver using the canine as leverage. Once loose, the tooth can be extracted with pliers. Note: The entire tooth, roots included, is needed. If the tooth breaks, try pulling the premolar from the other side.

  • Why submit a tooth?

In order to accurately model bear populations, teeth need to be submitted from all age classes (young and old).

  • How do I submit a tooth?

Complete data sheet and send with tooth to:


Bear Data Collection

3030 Wildlife Way

Morristown, TN 37814



Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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