Wisconsin Awards Record Number of Black Bear Permits for 2018 Hunting Season

The Wisconsin DNR has issued a record number of black bear permits for this year's bear hunting season.

The overall harvest quota is reduced from last year, but more hunters will have a chance at taking a bruin in 2018 than ever before.

The Wisconsin DNR has sent notifications to 12,970 applicants informing them that they have drawn a bear permit for the 2018 hunting season.

But while more bear hunters will take to the woods this year, the overall quota has been reduced by 450. Last year's bear quota was 5,000; this year's quota is 4,450. The reduction was approved by the Natural Resources Board in January.

Scott Walter, the DNR's large carnivore specialist, indicated that the quota was set with the intention of reducing the bear population in northwest Wisconsin and stabilizing the population in the rest of the state.

But the increase in bear permits is a result of considering recent trends in hunter harvest success rates.

"Bear hunting has become an extremely popular outdoor activity in Wisconsin," said Walter. "For the 2018 season, we had over 124,000 individuals apply for either a harvest permit or preference point."

The Wisconsin bear season is organized as follows:

Zone C (dogs not permitted):

Sept. 5 to Oct. 9 - with aid of bait and all other legal methods not using dogs.

All other zones (use of dogs permitted):

Sept. 5-11 - with aid of bait and other legal methods not using dogs;

Sept. 12 to Oct. 2 - with aid of bait, dogs, and all other legal methods; and

Oct. 3-9 - with aid of dogs only (bait may be used to locate bear to hunt with the aid of dogs).

More information on Wisconsin black bear hunting may be found at the DNR website ( under the keyword search "bear."

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