DNR wants board to reduce bear harvest quota

By: Olga Michail Email
By: Olga Michail Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Department on Natural Resources is re-visiting quota numbers for the 2013 bear-hunting season.
The D.N.R. wants to scale back the number of bears hunters can kill this year.

The Wisconsin D.N.R. says relatively high harvest limits and permit levels since 2009 have contributed to an overall reduction in bear population in North and Northeast Wisconsin.

"Zones A and B are up north and in the heart of National Forest,
State Forest, there is lot of bears there and a lot of hunting pressure as well. As a result the hunters have success up there, because of higher permit levels they've taken the bear population down a bit,” said The DNR Communications Officer Ed Culhane.

The state-wide harvest will be limited to 4,000 bears which is a 13 percent decrease from last year.
But, as Northern Wisconsin saw a drop in bear population, Central and South Wisconsin, which include Eau Claire area, will be getting more hunting permits due to an increase in bear population.

"Even though we're increasing the quota in two zones, and decreasing in two zones, it averages out to a two percent decrease state wide for the quota. However, because the hunter success rate dropped a little bit in the past few years, the permits that we issue are only going to drop 5%,” said Culhane.

Culhane says this is a measure the DNR takes every year to make sure it can properly regulate animal populations.

"We're fine-tuning in some areas we're slightly increasing, in some areas it is slightly decreasing this just an example of a good scientific game management,” said Culhane.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- State wildlife officials want to scale back the number of bears hunters can kill this year.

Department of Natural Resources officials have asked their board to reduce the 2013 statewide harvest limit to 4,000, a 13 percent decrease from last year. They also plan to ask the board to reduce the number of permits to 8,560, a 5 percent decrease from 2012.

DNR officials say relatively high harvest limits and permit levels since 2009 have contributed to an overall reduction in the state's bear population of 18,500 animals.

The Natural Resources Board is scheduled to take up the matter at a meeting Wednesday in Madison.

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