CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Black bear hunting season begins Tuesday across the Commonwealth.

The first season of black bear hunting always begins the day after Labor Day to the third Saturday thereafter. This year, the season begins on Tuesday, September 5, and goes through Saturday, September 23.

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 rifles, handguns, muzzleloaders, and archery for hunting. Shotguns are not allowed in the first season. Hunters are required to have a bear permit, which is $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents. The permit can be purchased on the MassWildlife website.

Just like last year, MassWildlife is asking all hunters who 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 the use of lures, 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 whose parts are damaged, destroyed, decayed, rotting, diseased, or infected.)

The second black bear hunting in Massachusetts this year begins on November 6 and ends on November 25. Shotgun season is held from November 27 to December 9.

Local News

WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in March 1953 providing local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Follow 22News on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.