It’s the time of year when black bears are starting to wake up and get moving. 

After a long winter deep sleep, bears often wake up with a focus on food.

“They’re out actively searching, opportunistically searching for food sources. At this time there’s not a lot of food sources available until that green up occurs,” said Brad Koele, a wildlife damage specialist with the Wisconsin DNR.

Oneida County Sheriff's Office

Oneida County Sheriffs are asking residents to use caution after a bear killed a dog in the Township of Pelican near the area of County P/Riopel Rd.

The bear is the height of a husky and 150 pounds.

Authorities say it is not afraid of humans.

Wisconsin DNR

Hibernation is done, and Wisconsin's black bears are out and about. With the lack of easy food for them, they often head to places around human habitation and cause problems. Some of the targets for the bruins are bird feeders, garbage cans, grills and uncontained compost or pet food left outside.

DNR wildlife damage specialist Brad Koele says you can cut down your chances of being surprised by a bear....

A ten-year state management plan for black bears is in the works, and the DNR is asking for public input.

Two meetings are scheduled soon in this region.

DNR large carnivore specialist, Scott Walter, says the final document will guide the management of the increasing populations of bears...

Black bears are out and about after the extended winter and they're hungry. That fact makes your backyard birdfeeder or trash can, to them, the equivalent of the local drive-in fast food place.

Brad Koele is a DNR wildlife damage specialist in Woodruff. Koele says he's already had a bear sniffing around his house...

Wisconsin DNR

As bears emerge from their winter slumber, the number of human-bear conflicts rise sharply this time of the year.

A DNR biologist gives advice how to help avoid a problem. Brad Koele in Woodruff says Black bears normally avoid human contact, but with fewer food sources, they like to come around property for some easy bird feeders or where you store your garbage.....

Bear hunting isn’t for everyone.  But its increasing popularity means that for those who do it, the wait times are getting longer and longer...up to nine years in some regions of Wisconsin.  In today’s Wildlife Matters, DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz weighs his options heading into his first bear hunting season.  

Wolves, Cougars and Bears, Oh My

Jan 7, 2014

Dave MacFarland is a large carnivore specialist with the Wisconsin DNR.  He coordinates the state’s wolf and bear management plan, plus its cougar response team.  

He’s also the guest at this week’s Science on Tap discussion at the Minocqua Brewing Company.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with him about what carnivore management looks like in the state.