MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds the public that 2022 black bear harvest applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2021.

Hunters can purchase applications for permit drawings online through Go Wild, the DNR’s license portal, or at an authorized license agent.

Preliminary estimates show that hunters harvested more than 3,800 bears during the 2021 black bear season. Final harvest totals will be available at a later date. In the meantime, DNR staff and the Bear Advisory Committee are currently determining the 2022 harvest quotas.

With growing interest in bear hunting in Wisconsin and a limited number of licenses, the DNR encourages the public to review management zone boundaries and license wait times while making hunting plans.

Last year’s bear drawing results and zone-specific wait times are available here.

Bear permit applicants must apply at least once during any period of three consecutive years to retain their accumulated preference points otherwise all accumulated preference points will be lost.

If an applicant is selected in the drawing, their preference points will be reset to zero, even if they do not purchase the harvest permit. Applicants must remain aware of drawing status.

Applicants selected in the drawing are notified by mail shortly after the drawing and may purchase their 2022 Class A bear license beginning in March 2022. Applicants may also check their status online through their Go Wild customer account.

Applicants are reminded of the recently updated bear management zone boundaries as their usual hunting grounds may be within a different zone.

The current zones are part of the Wisconsin Black Bear Management Plan, 2019-2029, developed by the DNR Bear Advisory Committee and approved by the Natural Resources Board in May 2019. The new bear management zones are designed to address bear conflicts and manage desired population levels effectively.

The season structure for the 2022 bear hunt is as follows:

Zone C, E and F (dogs not permitted):

  • Sept. 7 to Oct. 11 – with the aid of bait and all other legal methods not using dogs.

Zone A, B, and D:

  • Sept. 7-13 – with the aid of bait and all other legal methods not using dogs
  • Sept. 14 to Oct. 4 – with all legal methods, including bait and dogs
  • Oct. 5-11 – with the aid of dogs only

For more information on bear hunting in Wisconsin, visit the DNR bear hunting webpage here.

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