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Bear harvest down this season in Wisconsin


The Wisconsin bear harvest fell this year to the lowest level since 2008.

2,922 bears were taken by hunters this year, down from 4,009 last year.

The bear harvest was short of the goal in all the state’s management zones.

"This fall saw a remarkably high acorn crop across much of the state, and this abundance of natural food typically results in reduced hunter success rates as hunters' baits are less effective," said Randy Johnson, DNR Large Carnivore Specialist. "Almost all of the anecdotal reports I heard from bear hunters this fall mentioned the incredible abundance of acorns and other natural foods in the woods. It is difficult to predict when these bumper acorn crops will occur, but when they do, the impact on bear hunting is unmistakable."

The 2023 bear season ran from September 6th to October 10th.

Hunters were awarded 12,760 bear hunting licenses through the license lottery system.

Nearly 138,000 people applied for a bear hunting license or preference point for the 2023 season, setting a record for the number of applicants.

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