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bear

Some simple recommendations to avoid problem bears [PDF]. Photo courtesy of Emery Orlikowski of Green Bay

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Bear registration

Please familiarize yourself with any changes prior to the start of the season. Carcass tag requirements are explained below. In addition, resources can be found on this page that details these changes and the steps needed to successfully register your bear and submit a tooth to the department. Successful hunters should have received a letter containing the necessary materials prior to the start of the season. Bear registration remains mandatory in Wisconsin and is the responsibility of the individual hunter. It is not optional.

What is electronic registration?

Electronic registration allows hunters to fulfill the requirements of registering their bear using the phone or Internet, making this task fast, easy and convenient for hunters while providing the department with timely access to valuable harvest data. Wisconsin has already successfully implemented electronic registration for turkey and goose hunters, and has now moved to accomplish the same for the big game hunting seasons.

How to electronically register a bear

After immediately validating your harvest, hunters will have several options for registering their bear.

  • Online (easiest and fastest): On a computer or mobile device, go to gamereg.wi.gov and enter your harvest information.
  • Phone: Dial 1-844-426-3734 (1-844-GAME-REG) and follow the prompts to provide harvest information.
  • In person: Visit a designated in-person station that offers a phone or computer to hunters for the purpose of registering your bear. Search businesses offering in-person registration options.

Information required to register a bear

The following information will be required to register your bear.

  • 10-digit bear carcass tag number (printed on the carcass tag)
  • Date of kill
  • Did you harvest this animal with an agricultural damage or nuisance pemrit (Yes or no)
  • County of kill
  • Bear zone and game management unit of harvest [PDF]
  • Type of animal harvested (Male or female)
  • Harvest method (Bait/scent only, dogs and bait and scent, dogs only or other method)
  • Weapon (Gun, vertical bow or crossbow)

Bear registration confirmation number and *NEW* carcass tag regulations

  • Hunters will receive a 10-character confirmation number at the conclusion of registration. This will indicate to a conservation warden, wildlife biologist or meat processor that the animal has been properly registered. Carcass tags only have to be attached to the animal IF you leave it. If you do not leave the animal, the carcass tag can remain in your possession. If you leave it, tag it!
    • To prevent destruction of the paper carcass tag, place it in a plastic bag.
  • The carcass tag must be retained by the hunter until the meat is consumed.
  • All bear must be registered by 5 p.m. the day after the animal was recovered and tagged.
  • Although all registration is electronic, the department still requires the submission of a bear tooth.

Bear tooth collection instructions

The collection of bear teeth is a critical part of the DNR bear management program. Each successful hunter is required to extract one upper premolar tooth and submit it to the DNR (NR 10.106(2)(e)2) [exit DNR]. Hunters will be notified of their bear's age by mail. Analysis of all samples will take 12-14 months following the end of the bear season.

To collect the tooth:

  • Remove the tooth by cutting the gum tissue around the 1st premolar behind the upper canine, and then use a small screwdriver to loosen the tooth and pliers to gently pry the tooth out, root intact.
  • If you break the root remove the other upper premolar.
  • Fill in all of the information including the registration confirmation number, DNR customer ID number, hunter first and last name and bear management zone on the front of the manila envelope marked "Bear Tooth Envelope."
  • Put the tooth into the manila "Bear Tooth Envelope" and tape or staple the envelope closed.
  • Put the manila "Bear Tooth Envelope"in the white pre-paid return envelope and mail to the DNR by October 15.
  • To allow the sample to dry, do not store the tooth or "Bear Tooth Envelope" in any type of plastic.
bear tooth removal

Instructions for removing a bear tooth

Submitting a tooth directly to the department

Hunters who successfully drew a Class A bear harvest permit should have received the materials required to submit a tooth to the department prior to the bear season. If you did not receive these materials you may submit a tooth directly to the department by placing the tooth in a paper envelope and mailing directly to the department. If mailing directly to the department include the 10-digit registration confirmation number, DNR customer ID number, hunter first and last name and bear management zone of harvest with the tooth. Do not store or mail the tooth in plastic as this prohibits it from drying.

Attn: Bear Tooth
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
107 Sutliff Avenue
Rhinelander WI, 54501

Contact information
For information on bear registration, contact:
David MacFarland
Carnivore Specialist
Bureau of Wildlife Management
If you are experiencing problems with bears and are located in northern Wisconsin, please contact USDA Wildlife Services at 800-228-1368 (in-state) or 715-369-5221. In southern Wisconsin call 800-433-0663 (in-state) or 920-324-4514.
Last revised: 8/12/15 Wednesday September 06 2017