MADISON, Wis. (WAOW) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) say preliminary data shows an increase in bears harvested during the 2020 black bear season.
In 2019 3,679 bears were reported; so far in 2020, 4,129 harvests are reported.
“Wisconsin is a national leader in bear hunting, and preliminary registration data shows that to be true once again this year,” said Randy Johnson, DNR large carnivore specialist. “Despite slight reductions in the overall quota and total permits available to hunters, we saw harvest increase by about 450 bears from the previous year. Once again, the data from harvested bears provided by hunters will be critical to tracking bear population trends and establishing future harvest quotas to achieve population management objectives.”
The DNR says all four management zones met and exceeded harvest goals, which was driven by above-average hunter success rates. Only Zone A saw a decrease in harvests, and that's due to a reduction in permits (from 946 to 892.)
The other zones increased as such:
- Zone B: From 658 to 753
- Zone C: From 900 to 1046
- Zone D: From 1,175 to 1,438
According to the DNR, 119,000 individuals applied for either a harvest permit or preference point for the 2020 season. They are encouraging hunters who are interested in applying for 2021 to do so through GoWild before the December 10 deadline. New zones will be in effect for 2021, so hunters should check the zone map before selecting.