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A black bear

Hunter Education Bear Identification Program

It's important to know the difference between grizzly bears and black bears. 

Montana's Bear Identification Program is intended to prevent the killing of grizzly bears as a result of mistaken identity by hunters. Black bear hunters in Montana are required to pass the Bear Identification test (below) to obtain a black bear license.



How to Complete the Program

The test consists of 15 multiple-choice questions. You need to correctly answer 12 questions (80 percent) to obtain a certificate of completion; you may retake the test until a passing grade is obtained. You only need to pass the test once. There are two ways to complete the Bear ID program — by mail or online.



  • Pick up a mail-in test from any FWP office or license provider.

  • Study the bear identification information included with the test.

  • Fill out and return the test postcard to FWP Headquarters. If you don't pass, FWP will mail you another test. If you pass, you will receive a certificate in the mail.

  • Present your certificate to a license provider to purchase your black bear license.



  • Download the Bear Identification Tutorial

  • Take the online test (below). A passing score will immediately generate an online certificate. Present that certificate when purchasing a license.


If you have an ALS number: Click the Submit to Licensing button to attach your certificate to your ALS licensing record so you don't have to physically present your certificate to purchase a license. You can also print it out.

If you do not have an ALS number: Print out your certificate and keep this in your records. You will need to present your certificate to a license provider to purchase your black bear license.



If you are taking this test to purchase a license for the first time, when you reach the certificate you MUST either submit the certificate to licensing or print it to present at the time of purchase. There is NO WAY to go back at a later time to print your certificate!

Take the Test