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Bear hunting

Season information

Bear application period: May 1 - June 1
Drawing Results Available Online: June 24

Bear hunting season dates
2024 application info
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 regulations summary.

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.

Buy an application, license or check points

Hunting regulations

Wildlife Conservation Order Thumbnail

Wildlife conservation order

The general hunting regulations are a condensed summary of the full regulations and legal descriptions found in this wildlife conservation order, issued by the Natural Resources Commission.

A promotional poster for the hunt fish app with a nature scene.

Hunt fish app

Download the Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app today! With it, you can store and access regulations, report your harvests, purchase applications, licenses and permits, check drawing results and much more.

Black Bear Digest

Bear hunting regulations

This brochure is not a legal notice or a complete collection of hunting regulations and laws. It is a condensed summary of the wildlife conservation order issued for hunters’ convenience.

Preference points explained


Hunters are selected for a bear license using a preference point drawing system. The point system is explained in detail in this video. 

Drawing statistics

After you get a bear

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.