Bear hunting season explained

Black bears are native to Massachusetts and were common here until the early 1800s, when much of their forest habitat was felled for farming. In the past few decades, though, the population has bounced back—there are now about 4,000 in the state. And come September 2, a handful of intrepid Bay Staters will be doing its part to bring down that number, stalking the big game for that perfect shot.

By Elizabeth Gehrman

Photographs: Bear by getty images; Others by Istockphoto