2020 Statewide Bear Season (See WMA Section for WMA Bear Seasons)
Five (5) bear hunt zones (BHZ’s) have been established, as follows:
Carter, Cocke (North of I-40), Greene, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, & Washington Counties.
Blount, Cocke (South of I-40), Jefferson (East of Hwy 411), Sevier Counties.
McMinn (East of Hwy 411), Monroe, Polk (East of Hwy 411 & North of Hwy 64) Counties, excluding South Cherokee WMA.
Cumberland (North of I-40), Fentress, Morgan, Pickett (East of Hwy 111), & Scott (West of Hwy 27) Counties.
Bradley, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Grainger, Jefferson (west of Hwy 411), Knox, Loudon, McMinn (West of Hwy 411), & Polk Counties (West of Hwy 411).
Bear Reserves, Catoosa WMA, Mt. Roosevelt WMA, State Parks, Scott State Forest, National Parks and Recreation Areas are closed to bear hunting.
Bear Hunt Zone (BHZ)
|Young Sportsman* G/M/A (No Dogs Permitted)||Oct. 31 – Nov. 1||Oct. 31 – Nov. 1||Oct. 31 – Nov. 1||Closed|
|Gun/Muzzleloader/ Archery (Dogs Allowed)||Segment 1||Oct. 3 – 5 |
Oct. 10 – 11
|Oct. 10 – 13 |
Oct. 16 – 18
|Oct. 3 – 4 |
Oct. 10 – 16
|Segment 2||Nov. 9 – 16||Nov. 2 – 6||Nov. 2 – 6|
|Segment 3||Nov. 30 – Dec. 16||Nov. 30 – Dec. 24||Nov. 30 – Dec. 13|
|Segment 4||Closed||Closed||Dec. 31 – Jan. 3||Closed||Closed|
|Archery (No Dogs Permitted)||Sept. 26 – Oct. 23||Sept. 26 – Oct. 23||Sept. 26 – Oct. 23||Sept. 26 – Oct. 23||Sept. 26 – Oct. 23|
|Gun/Muzzleloader/ Archery (No Dogs Permitted)||Nov. 21-24||Nov. 21-24||Nov. 21-24||Closed|
|* Youths 6-16 years of age may participate. Young sportsmen must be accompanied by a non-hunting, adult, 21 years of age or older, who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device and who must also comply with fluorescent orange regulations, as specified for legal hunters. Multiple youths may be accompanied by a single qualifying adult. |
** The following areas within BHZ4 are closed to bear hunting: Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Obed Wild and Scenic River Corridor, Scott State Forest, Catoosa WMA, Mt Roosevelt WMA.
Bear Season Regulations
- Bear limit: One (1) bear either sex per license year.
- The bear bag limit for any person participating in the statewide or Bear Party-Dog hunt or both shall not exceed one bear per license 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.
- If bears are quartered or boned out, the total of the meat, hide, etc. must equal or exceed 75 pounds.
Legal Hunting Equipment
See Manner & Means.
Taking Wild Hogs During Bear Dog Hunts: Individuals licensed to hunt bears may take wild hogs during any proclaimed bear dog hunt.
Bear Dog Training Season
The following bear hunt zones (BHZ’s) are open for a bear dog training season during daylight hours only. No bears may be taken and no weapons may be possessed. (Bear reserves closed to dog training, refer to Regions III & IV):
- BHZ1 and BHZ2: Aug. 22 – Sept. 27;
- BHZ3: Sept. 9 – 18;
- BHZ 4 and Transitional: Closed.
- North Cherokee: Sept. 8 – Oct. 3
- South Cherokee: Sept. 9 – 18
Restricted Bear Reserve Hunt
Open area: Private property located within the proclaimed boundaries of the Kettlefoot and Laurel Fork Bear Reserves.