HELENA — The spring black bear hunting season starts April 15.

Here are some reminders for the 2023 season:

  • There is a 48-hour reporting requirement for all black bear harvests.
  • The mandatory inspection of black bear harvests in Region 1 changed in 2022. See page 10 of the black bear hunting regulations for more information.
  • It is 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.
  • Hunting and fishing licenses are now accessible through a secure and convenient mobile app. The Montana MyFWP app provides a digital wallet to store and display licenses and digital carcass tags, known as E-Tags, that can validate your harvest in the field. See fwp.mt.gov/myfwpapp.

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, go to fwp.mt.gov/hunt/regulations/black-bear.

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