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Bear application period: May 1 - June 1
Drawing Results Available Online: July 5
Remaining Bear License Availability: N/A

Bear hunting season dates

Bear season varies greatly depending on where you are hunting. For a full description of bear hunting dates in both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, as well as a map of the bear management units, please see the Bear Hunting Digest.

Bear hunting licenses

Bear licenses are limited and only available through a drawing. You do not need a base license to apply for the drawing, but if chosen you must purchase a base license and bear license to hunt.


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Complete rules and regulations notice

Please see the Black Bear Digest for application information, and rules and regulations pertaining to bear hunting. For a full list of regulations and legal descriptions see the Wildlife Conservation Order.

Preference points explained

Hunters are selected for a bear license using a preference point drawing system. The point system is explained in detail in the  video below. You can also find detailed information on page 5 of the bear digest.

Bear harvest registration and survey

Within 72 hours of harvest, the bear head (unfrozen) and pelt, or the entire animal must be brought to a bear registration station (by the licensee that killed the bear) for examination, sealing, and registration. You must provide the identification used to acquire the license. After the pelt is sealed, the DNR reserves the right to collect additional bear parts, such as a tooth, for research or management purposes.

Bear registration stations Check age results

Bear management

Our vision for successful bear management in Michigan is to cooperatively manage bear populations at biologically and socially acceptable levels using sound science and education so current and future generations can continue to value Michigan's bears.