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Black Bear Tracking Dog License

This license authorizes an individual to train dogs of select breeds to track, trail, pursue, and tree black bear for training purposes only.

License Details

Fees & License Duration

  • $25 fee: 1-year license
  • $100 fee: 5-year license

Age Requirement

18-years of age or older

What This License Allows:

  • Using "certified black bear tracking dogs" (defined below) to track, trail, pursue, and tree black bear for training purposes only.
  • Placing bait to attract black bear.

What This License Does Not Allow:

  • Taking or harvesting of black bear(s). (Exception: certified dogs may be used to aid in the take of bear causing destruction to private property. An additional nuisance permit is needed by the landowner in this instance.)
  • Using firearms, crossbow or bows while training or tracking is being conducted.
  • Training dogs when temperatures are 85 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
  • Pursuing black bear or placing bait on private or public property without permission.

Other Pertinent Information

Training Hours and Dates
Training may occur a half hour before sunrise to sunset from July 1st until 9 days before the beginning of the black bear hunting season.

Certified Dogs and Breeds
A certified dog must be licensed, collared, identified and vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the NYS Agriculture and Markets Law (Article 7) (External Link).

Acceptable breeds - Must be either a purebred or crossbreed of one or more of the following:

  • Airedale
  • American Black & Tan Coonhound
  • Bluetick Coonhound
  • Redbone Coonhound
  • English Coonhound
  • Karelian Bear Dog
  • Majestic Tree Hound
  • Plott Hound
  • Mountain Cur
  • Leopard Cur
  • Black Mouth Yellow Cur
  • Treeing Walker

How to Apply

  1. Have a current year NYS hunting license.
  2. Complete and submit the Black Bear Tracking Dog License Application (PDF).

Other Licenses or Documents You May Need

  • Designated Agents - a licensee can designate other individuals (residents - any age; nonresidents 18 years or older) to place bait as an attractant for bear as long they are listed on a written list maintained by the licensee. The designated agent must possess a copy of the licensees Black Bear Tracking Dog License, signed by the agent, while setting bait.
  • Temporary Revocable Permit - If a field trial is conducted on New York State lands or conservation easement lands, a Temporary Revocable Permit is needed.
  • Landowner Permission: If training or baiting is conducted on private land other than the licensee's own property, permission from the landowner is needed.

Renewing & Reporting

License Renewal

A renewal form will be sent by mail prior to the license expiration date noted on the license. If a license renewal form is not received at least 2-weeks prior to the expiration date, please contact us.

Annual Reporting

Complete the Training of Dogs on Black Bear in NYS Survey Report (PDF) and submit by December 31 each year. Required for all 1-year and 5-year license holders.

Laws & Regulations

New York Codes Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)

Environmental Conservation Law (ECL)

Contact Information

DEC Special Licenses Unit
Address: 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233
E-mail: SpecialLicenses@dec.ny.gov
Phone: 518-402-8985

Other Related or Similar Licenses

DEC also issues the following licenses for permitting the use of tracking or hunting dogs on wildlife or game:

  • Field Trial License: authorizes release of wild and captive-bred game for competitive events to evaluate a hunting dog's performance.
  • Leashed Tracking Dog License: authorizes use of certified trained dog to located wounded or injured white-tailed deer or black bear.
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-8985.
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC
    Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4752
    518-402-8985
    Send us an email
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