More than 8,500 Bear Permits Available for 2013 Season

By KBJR News 1

The MN DNR is reminding hunters to avoid shooting collared bears during the bear season.

January 23, 2013 Updated Jan 23, 2013 at 6:21 PM CDT

Madison, WI (NNCNOW.com) -- The state Natural Resources Board approved the Department of Natural Resources’ recommendation to offer just over 8,500 bear harvest permits for the 2013 Wisconsin black bear season.

“We will issue 8,560 permits for the upcoming season with a harvest goal of 4,000 bears,” said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist. “These numbers are slightly reduced compared to 2012, but will offer above average harvest opportunities.”

According to Wallenfang, four years of increased permit levels was successful in reducing bear numbers in the north, but populations remain high in other parts of the state.

Therefore zones A and B will see a reduction of permits, but there will be an increase of permits in zones C and D.

The permit breakdown by zone for 2013 is : Zone A – 2,130 permits; Zone B – 690 permits: Zone C – 4,110 permits; and Zone D – 1,630 permits.

A bear population study started in 2011 estimates Wisconsin’s current bear population to be approximately 18,500.

More than 4,600 bears were harvested in 2012 according to preliminary counts.

In 2006, a mark-recapture population study was put in motion that estimated bear numbers to be higher than previously estimated. As a result, harvest increased to record highs from 2009 to 2012.

The annual drawing for black bear harvest permits will take place in February and successful permit applicants will receive notification by mail by March 1.

The 2013 bear hunting season runs Sept. 4 through Oct. 8.

Posted to the web by Jenna Vogt