The application period for the 2021 bear hunting season opens July 1 and will close Dec. 10, 2020.
Applicants are reminded of new bear management zone boundaries beginning in 2021. Wildlife officials do not know how the changes will affect harvest permit wait times, but expect no significant changes across zones A, B, C and D. There will be no zone changes for the upcoming 2020 bear season.
Wisconsin bear hunting is prevalent, and more hunters apply each year than the number of available licenses. For 2020, more than 119,000 hunters applied for a permit or a preference point for 11,535 available permits.
The new zones are part of the Wisconsin Black Bear Management Plan, 2019-2029 approved in May 2019.
The new bear management zones are designed to address bear conflicts and manage desired population levels effectively.
To hunt black bear in Wisconsin, applicants must possess a Class A bear license, and may obtain it by being selected in the bear drawing or participating in the Learn to Bear Hunt Program.
Class A bear licenses can also transfer via the Awarded Permit Transfers Program or through Deceased Customer Preference Approval Transfer.
Applications are required for a Class A license or to receive a preference point. Hunters must apply at least once during a period of three consecutive years, otherwise, all previously accumulated preference points will be lost.