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August 30, 2011

MADISON - Prospects are good for the 2011 Wisconsin black bear hunting season that opens September 7, according to state wildlife biologists who say bears are thriving and continuing to explore new territories in Wisconsin.

A total of 9,005 permits were issued for the 2011, which runs through October 11, and the statewide harvest quota is 5,235 bear, the same as in 2010.

This year hunters using dogs will have the first week of the bear season to themselves in management zones that allow the use of dogs for hunting bear (Zones A, B, and D). In Zone C, where dogs are not permitted for bear hunting, all legal bear hunting methods not utilizing dogs may be used throughout the entire bear season.

Successful hunters will be required to submit a bear tooth and a 2-inch piece of bear rib at the time of registration as part of an on-going two-year bear population study. The results of this study will add to the results of a similar study conducted from 2006-2008 that provided the scientific basis required to increase bear harvest permits. Scientific bear population studies help to ensure we are establishing an appropriate harvest quota and managing the bear.

"Excitement is high among the bear hunters I have spoken with," said Linda Olver, bear biologist with the Department of Natural Resources. "Many have submitted trail camera photos of bear visiting their baiting sites and there are some pretty impressive bear out there. Whether or not we have a season like 2010 when a new bear harvest record was set and at least three 700 pound bears were registered remains to be seen but the potential is there.

"Most of all, I want to wish hunters good luck, good hunting and remember to be safe."

Additional information including district and bear zone forecasts can be found in the 2011 Fall Hunting Forecast (PDF, 6.5 MB, 48 pages). The 2011 Wisconsin Bear Hunting Regulations are available on the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Linda Olver - (608) 261-7588

Last Revised: Tuesday, August 30, 2011

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