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Bear Hunting In Wisconsin

Hunting Methods  Baiting - Hunting With Dogs

Historically, the Natives of Wisconsin treated bears with great respect and honored them as supernatural beings. When settlers came in, bears were killed heavily for their fur and were seen as pests. Combined with land clearing and logging, it all caused a significant decrease in the Wisconsin black bear population. 

When Did Bear Hunting Start In Wisconsin?

In 1930, bear hunting regulations were established. 

Is The State Broken Down Into BMUs (Bear management units)?

The State is broken down into four Black Bear Management Zones:
Zone A, Zone B, Zone C, and Zone D. 

When Is Bear Hunting Season?

Zone A, Zone B, Zone D:

  • Oct. 7 - 13: Dogs and  weapons permitted, no bait

  • Sept. 16 - Oct. 6: All legal methods allowed. (Bait, Dogs, Weaponry)

  • Sept 9-15: Bait Only

Zone C:

  • Sep 9-Oct 13:Bait and Weapons Only. No dogs permitted.

Note: Baiting is allowed all Season and can be placed starting April 15.

What Weapons Are Permitted?

Archery: Bows and Compound bows with a draw weight minimum of 30 pounds; Broadheads that are a minimum 7/8 inch; Stone arrowheads; Crossbows with a minimum draw weight of 100 pounds; Long bolts or arrows 14 inches or longer equipped with broadheads.

Firearms: Air, Centerfire, and rimfire Rifles of a minimum .22 caliber; Handguns using centerfire cartridges of .22 caliber or larger.

Muzzleloaders:  Muzzleloading Handguns of .44 caliber or larger; Smoothbore muzzleloading firearms .45 caliber or larger; Rifled muzzleloading firearms .40 caliber or larger.

Can Hunters Kill Cubs?

No. Killing cubs or mothers with cubs is illegal.

Can Hunters Kill A Bear Over Bait?

Yes. The use of bait is legal.

Is Dog Hunting Permitted In Wisconsin?

Yes. Hunting with dogs is legal.

What Procedure Must Hunters Follow After They Kill A Bear?

Immediately upon harvesting a bear, hunters must validate the paper carcass tag and attach it to the bear. Reporting the harvest in mandatory, and can be done by either;
Call 1-844-GAME-REG (1-844-426-3734) or Online
Hunters must collect the confirmation number given to them. They must also submit two teeth from any bear killed. 

What Is Their Reasoning For Hunting Bears?

  • Regulating bear population

  • Controlling nuisance problems

  • Recreational opportunity for sportsmen and women

What Is The Government Organization(s), That Is In Charge Of Bear Hunting/Wildlife?

  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI DNR)

  • Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

When Does The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources  Hold Their Meetings?

Meetings are scheduled nine times a year. The dates, times and locations of the WI DNR can be found here-

Are The Meetings Open To The Public?

Many meetings are open to the public. The dates, time and locations can be found here -

Who Has The Power To Stop The Hunt?

The Governor and Wisconsin’s elected General Assembly Members have the power to introduce and vote on proposed law changes.

Preston D. Cole, WI DNR Secretary 

Hunt Clubs And Organizations That Participate In And Fund Bear Hunting.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources -
Wisconsin Bear Hunters Associations, INC. -

On Wisconsin Outdoors -

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