Attention Bear Hunters! Mandatory Tooth Submission

It is MANDATORY that a tooth sample from harvested bears be submitted.

Deadline: All tooth samples must be submitted or postmarked by February 15 after the harvest of the bear.

Why submit this information?

Bear hunting seasons, running anywhere from 28-66 days, are now established in 37 counties with Bear Hunt Zone (BHZ). These long seasons and electronic check-in options make it impossible for Agency personnel to physically collect enough teeth from harvested bears to monitor population and harvest trends. 

Video: How to pull the bear premolar tooth.

Bear Skull showing tooth to be removed

How do you collect the teeth?

The upper premolar is the tooth behind the canine. 

Using a knife or screwdriver, push the gum line toward the top of the head exposing more of the tooth. 

Loosen the tooth with the knife or screwdriver using the canine for leverage.  This is an important step as trying to immediately pull with pliers usually results in a broken tooth.  Once loose use pliers to finish the job.  

Note: the entire tooth, roots included, is needed, collect both premolars; save 1 in case your first submission is lost in the mail.

Submitting the tooth.

Once you have collected the tooth, fill out the form here and attach it and the tooth to an index card (or similar) exactly as shown in the photo here.  Note: taping the tooth down is an important step that reduces the number of teeth that are lost in the mail during sorting. Drop it in an envelope and mail to: 

TWRA Bear Data Collection
3030 Wildlife Way
Morristown, TN 37814