FAQ for Online BLACK BEAR Check via the MassFishHunt System

Q:        I want to check my harvested black bear online, where do I start?

To check your harvested black bear online, you must first log into the MassFishHunt system. Then click on the Buy a License or Permit Online! See below for log in instructions if necessary.See the Guide to Online Bear Check  pdf format of Guide to Online Bear Check
file size 1MB for a detailed description.

Q:        How do I log in to check my harvested game online?

You’ll need your customer ID number and your last name to log into the MassFishHunt system. Customer ID numbers are found on every hunting/sporting license and all permits, so simply look at the top left corner of your license or permit for the 6 or 7 digit number.  Enter that number and your last name to log into the MassFishHunt system.

Q:        What if I can’t write the confirmation number on my harvest tag?

Regulations require that, after checking your bear online, the unique confirmation number must be written on the harvest tag, which must remain on the bear until it is processed for food or delivered to a taxidermist. This means the harvest tag must remain in good condition during transport from the field. Without protection, wet and/or dirty conditions may cause the tag to deteriorate. Prevent this by protecting the tag (e.g., place in a sealable plastic bag or license holder). Also, plan ahead on how you will attach the tag to the bear; some options include a large safety pin, twist tie, or string. If you absolutely cannot write the confirmation number of the tag, write the confirmation number on a separate piece of paper and attach it to the original tag on the bear.

Q:        I harvested a bear with ear tags or a collar.  Why is this bear marked?

The Division marks all bears that it handles.  Most are marked as part of a long-term research project which is currently focused on studying the black bear population and black bear habitat use along a rural to suburban gradient.  It is legal to harvest marked bears; however you must turn over all collars or ear tags to the Division.  If you harvest a marked bear, contact the Bear Project Leader at 508-389-6300.

Q:        Why does the Division collect bear teeth?

The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife collects teeth from harvested bears to determine the age structure of the harvest.  If you submit a tooth for aging, we will send you a letter with the age of your harvested bear. 

Q:        How do I submit a black bear tooth for aging?

1.  The tooth you should remove is the first premolar (see photo below).  This is a very small tooth, just behind the large canine tooth.  It does not matter if you take the left or the right tooth.  However, the root is the most important part.  Do not break the tooth.

2.  Using a small sharp knife, or a sharp ¼-inch wood chisel, slide the blade down the side of the tooth and cut or separate the gum tissue where it sticks to the tooth.  Using a small needle-nose pliers or the pliers on your multi-tool, wiggle the tooth slightly until you can pull it out of the jawbone and the gum.  The tooth is only about ½-inch (or less) in length.  Go easy and do not break it.

3.  Put the tooth in the small envelope provided, or other small envelope, and mark it with your name, Customer ID number, and confirmation number.  Also include your mailing address.  Put the small envelope in a regular mailing envelope and send it to:

MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
100 Hartwell Street, Suite 200
West Boylston, MA  01583

4.  The teeth are processed by a laboratory in Montana.  The teeth are sent to the lab in January, after all teeth from both the September and November parts of the season are received.  The ages are then received by the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife in June or July, and you will be sent the age of your bear at that time.

Bear Tooth


Q:        I made a mistake upon entering my information while checking my black bear online but can’t fix the mistake because it was already submitted?

Once all the information if submitted and confirmed, hunters cannot go back and edit the information.  If you believe you made a mistake and submitted inaccurate information, please contact MassWidllife at 508-389-6300 from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Monday-Friday.

Q:        I entered all my harvest information, but did not receive a confirmation number, what now?

If you submitted your checked your game through the MassFishHunt but did not receive a confirmation number, please contact MassWidllife at 508-389-6300 from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Monday-Friday.  If it is outside of those hours, please contact the Environmental Police at 1-800-632-8075.

Q:        How long will I be able to view my submitted online reports?

Submitted reports will always be available to view in your inventory.