With the Wisconsin bear hunting opener Sept 7th, many bear hunters are geared up and ready to hit the woods.
Statewide the success rate in 2015 was about 39%, and hunters in northern WI saw a 61% rate of successful harvest. With an estimated population nearing 29,000 black bears this year, its predicted that this bear hunting season could be a real winner, weather permitting.
Last season just under 110,000 hunters put in for the 11,500 tags that were available for this fall's hunt. Eight years is about the average wait to pull a WI bear hunting tag.
Wisconsin bear hunters can hunt over bait, or with dogs using rifle or bow depending on the section of the season.
Wisconsin’s bear population continues to flourish, and hunters who are fortunate enough to draw licenses can expect good success rates this fall.
Statewide, the hunting success rate is about 40 percent, and last year hunters in Northwestern Wisconsin enjoyed a 60 percent success rate, said Greg Kessler, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist at Brule.
Wisconsin’s bear population is estimated at more than 28,000. The state’s bear season opens Sept. 7, and various time periods allow hunting with bait, with dogs or both.
More than 109,000 hunters applied for the state’s 11,520 harvest permits this year. The wait to get a harvest permit can be as long as eight or nine years, depending on the bear management zone.
Bayfield and Douglas counties are usually among the the leaders statewide for numbers of bears taken each fall.
Average bruin size is expected to be down a bit, but the number of bears is seen to make up for this overall. With several mild winters and plenty of food available, Wisconsin bears are quickly becoming more and more common throughout the state, especially in northern counties where larger tracts of Wisconsin hunting land and forested areas make up there preferred habitat.