The bear was seen dozens of times over the last three weeks, but it wasn't until recently that officers tracked him down.
They removed the jar after hitting the bear with a tranquilizer dart.
When it was found, the bear weighed just 115 pounds, which is about half its normal weight.
It was released into the Cherokee National Forest. Wildlife officials believe the bear got into the jar while foraging through garbage.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.