The black bear hunting season reopens for the fall on September 15 in most areas of Montana and regulations require successful hunters to utilize the meat from bears they harvest. Like the meat from elk, deer and most other big game animals, bear meat cannot be wasted, thrown away or left in the field.
Specifically, the regulation prohibits hunters from wasting black bear meat unless the meat is determined to contain trichinella. Trichinella is a parasitic disease found in 15 percent of Montana's black bears. An optional free-of-charge testing service for trichinella is offered through Montana State University and FWP. Information on trichinella and instructions on how to submit samples for testing are available at all FWP offices.
Bear meat must be kept in an edible condition until test results are obtained. Hunters will be notified of the results by mail.