Bear: Tooth Submission


Mail a Premolar to MDC

You must submit a premolar (tooth) from your harvested bear within 10 days of harvest.

  1. Extract the very small tooth found directly behind either of the upper or lower canines, keeping the root intact — do not break it at the gum line. To do so, cut the gum on both sides of the premolar with a knife. Next, insert the knife or a flat head screwdriver into the gum between the premolar and canine and gently loosen the premolar from the gum tissue. Once the premolar is loose, use pliers to remove the tooth. If you can’t easily remove the tooth with pliers, further loosen it using a knife or screwdriver. If the root of the tooth breaks, stop and extract another premolar. Generally, bears have a premolar behind each canine tooth (4 in total), however, as bears age, these premolars may fall out or may have been extracted as part of a research project. If your bear is missing all premolars, please contact your local conservation agent.
  2. Remove excess flesh, wrap the tooth in tissue paper or foil, and place it in a sealed envelope labeled with your full name, address, the date harvested, and the Telecheck confirmation number.
  3. If your tooth will be submitted through the mail or shipped, you must place your labeled envelope that contains the wrapped tooth into a separate mailing envelope. To meet federal and state laws, the mailing envelope must be labeled with:
    • Your name and address
    • Telecheck ID
    • The words: “Black bear, Ursus americanus, premolar tooth”
    • Address the envelope to: MDC Black Bear Program 3500 East Gans Road, Columbia, MO 65201
  4. You may deliver your tooth in person or by mail.
  5. It may take up to one year for age results to be shared with hunters.

Watch how to extract a bear tooth

bear tooth extraction