The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is reaching out to bear hunters to help them gain more information on Vermont’s bear population. The teeth can be used to determine the sex and age of the bears, in addition to providing a good insight on their health. They have provided envelopes at big game check stations for hunters to submit their teeth.
“The premolar tooth we’re asking hunters to extract is actually quite small and easy to loosen with a knife,” said bear project leader for the Fish & Wildlife Department, Forrest Hammond. “Directions for removing the tooth are on the back of the envelope provided by the check station and are also on our website, including a short YouTube video.
Preliminary reports show that common bear foods like acorns, berries, apples and beech nuts are plentiful this year, allowing hunters plenty of opportunities to go find their reward. They will have to go out to find them in the ridgelines though, as that is where they are looking for food. In previous years where bear food was readily available, the September bear harvest was low compared to the November harvest when hunters are out scouring the forest for deer.
There are two bear hunting seasons; the early season that requires a special bear tag runs September first through November fifteenth, and the late season that runs from the sixteenth to the twenty-fourth of November. Hunters should also remember that hunting is limited to one bear per calendar year.
The bear tag that hunters get with a regular hunting license is only good for the 10-day late season, extended four days into deer season. This change has been implemented to help control the black bear population in Vermont, which is currently estimated at right around 6,000.