March 29, 2011
MADISON - People who are new to hunting or who are looking for an experience involving the state's second largest mammal, can apply to participate in a Learn to Hunt Bear outing featuring classroom and field instruction capped with a real hunt with skilled mentors.
"The Learn to Hunt Bear program represents an opportunity of a lifetime for a novice hunter," said Keith Warnke, hunting and shooting sport coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources. "Working in partnership with many dedicated bear hunters and local conservation organizations, wardens and wildlife managers, successful Learn to Hunt Bear events have been held across northern Wisconsin during the last several years."
The application period to be a novice hunter participant opens April 1. A novice hunter is anyone age 10 and older who has not participated in a Learn to Hunt Bear event or has not previously purchased a Class A or Class B bear license. Applicants who meet the qualifications will be entered into a June 10 random drawing to select who participates in these limited events.
In 2005, the DNR began the Learn to Hunt Bear program as another outreach program for novice hunters of all ages. Other Wisconsin wildlife featured in the Learn to Hunt program includes turkey, deer, pheasant, upland game and waterfowl.
Warnke says the program has guidelines that must be followed to ensure a safe and enjoyable event for all. "It is well worth the time to study and to know these guidelines. These were created to enhance the safety and enjoyment of the experience."
CONTACTS: Keith Warnke, Hunting and Shooting Sport Coordinator, 608-576-5243 or Joanne M. Haas, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 608-267-0798