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Spring Black Bear Hunting Season Opens April 15

The spring black bear hunting season starts April 15.

There are several changes to the black bear hunting regulations in 2022, including

  • A new 48-hour reporting requirement for all black bear harvests

  • A new black bear season in Region 6 (northeast Montana)

  • In Region 1 (northwest Montana), successful hunters are required to submit one premolar tooth from any black bear harvested within 10 days of harvest. They are not required to have a harvested bear inspected and tagged by FWP staff. Teeth can be submitted in person or by mail (post-marked within 10 days) with a submission form that’s available at FWP offices or online at See page 10 of the Black Bear Hunting Regulations for more information.

  • It is now lawful to use hounds to train and/or hunt for spring black bears in some areas. See page 4 of the Black Bear Hunting Regulations for more information.

It is unlawful to harvest/take black bear cubs. Cubs are defined as bears less than one year old. It also is unlawful to harvest/take a female black bear with cubs.

It's important to know the difference between grizzly bears and black bears. Black bear hunters in Montana are required to pass the Bear Identification test to obtain a black bear license. Montana's Bear Identification Program is intended to prevent the killing of grizzly bears as a result of mistaken identity by hunters.

For more information on black bear hunting, visit

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