Bear Hunting Regulations 

Legal Hunting Equipment and Methods

  • Legal Hunting Equipment for bear is the same as legal hunting equipment for deer, except shotguns must be 20-gauge or larger and may use only rifled slugs.
  • It is illegal to kill a denned bear or one that is being pursued by dogs.
  • It is illegal to kill a bear outfitted with a radio collar.

Seasonal Bag Limit

The seasonal bear bag limit is one bear by any method.

Bear Harvest Quota

Zones 1, 5 and 5A have the following harvest quotas:

  • Zone 1 - 250 bears (205 bear quota for September and October combined, 250 bears for the entire season)
  • Zone 5 - 10 bears
  • Zone 5A - 5 bears

Bear season in these zones will close early if the quota is reached before the official closing date. Hunters in these zones must call (800) 440-1477 the evening before each hunt to learn if the quota has been reached.

Bear Checking Requirements

Step 1: Immediately upon taking a bear (before moving it), fill out the game tag provided in the guidebook in ink. You may also download the tag here. A piece of paper with the hunter's name, date and bear zone of harvest in ink may be substituted for this permit.
Step 2: Call 866-305-0808 within 24 hours of harvest to check the bear.
Step 3: Collect a premolar tooth from the bear and submit it with your name, harvest check number, county of harvest, date of harvest and sex of bear to:  
    Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
    WMD/Bear Data Collection
    2 Natural Resources Drive
    Little Rock, AR  72205

Feeding and Baiting Bears

Baiting is the direct or indirect placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of salt, grain or other feed that could serve to lure or attract wildlife to, on or over any areas where hunters are attempting to take them. Hunters may bait wildlife, except:

  • Bears may not be fed or baited for any reason (including photography or viewing) except from 30 days before bear season through the end of bear season on private land in bear zones 1, 2, 5 and 5A.