CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The first day after Labor Day is the annual beginning of the first season of black bear hunting in Massachusetts.

The first season of black bear hunting in Massachusetts begins this year on Tuesday, September 6 through Saturday, September 24. Hunting is allowed a half an hour before sunrise and ends a half an hour after sunset. Hunting is not allowed on Sundays. Only one bear per hunter is allowed each calendar year.

The first bear season allows rifle, handgun, muzzleloader, and archery for hunting. Shotguns are not allowed in the first season. Hunters are required to have a bear permit, which is $10 for both residents and non-residents. The permit can be purchases on the MassWildlife website.

MassWildlife is asking all hunters that harvest a black bear to submit a tooth and hair sample to help determine the bear’s age and to study the bear’s genetics.

Illegal hunting methods:

  • It is illegal to use dogs during bear hunting
  • Using bait for bear hunting is illegal, including use of lure, scents or any substance that may attract a bear.
  • Wanton waste: It is unlawful to intentionally leave a wounded or dead animal in the field or forest without making a reasonable effort to retrieve and use it. However, this does not apply to animals unfit for consumption use (animals that parts are damaged, destroyed, decayed, rotting, diseased, or infected.)

The second black bear hunting in Massachusetts this year begins on November 7 and ends November 26. Shotgun season is held from November 28 to December 10.