Attention Bear Hunters! Mandatory Tooth Submission

Graphic indicating something is new

It is now 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.

Why do I need to submit this information?

Bear hunting seasons are now established in 37 counties with Bear Hunt Zone Seasons running anywhere from 28 to 66 days. These long seasons and electronic check in make it impossible for Agency personnel to physically collect enough teeth from harvested bears to monitor population and harvest trends. Voluntary tooth submission has resulted in less than a 10% reporting rate the last 2 seasons.

Bear Skull showing tooth to be removed

How do I collect the tooth?

The upper premolar is the tooth behind the canine.  Useing a knife or screwdriver, push the gum line toward the top of the head exposing more of othe 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.  Watch the instructional video for a demonstration of how to correctly remove and submit a bear tooth.

Note: the entire tooth, roots included, is needed

Note: collect both premolars; save 1 in case your first submission is lost in the mail.


Video: How to pull the bear premolar tooth.

How do I submit 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