The state’s annual bear hunting season has started, and hunters are being urged to focus on an area in northwestern Wisconsin.
The season has an overall statewide harvest quota of 4,700 black bears, although nearly a third of that is located in an eight-county area in northwestern Wisconsin, where Department of Natural Resources wildlife supervisor Mike Zeckmeister says bears have been a growing problem. The area, marked as Zone D, covers a line stretching from Bayfield to Polk counties. The quota for this year is 1,600 bears, marking a 36 percent increase from last year.
Zeckmeister says the southern half of the zone, primarily Washburn, Burnett, Polk, and Barron, have seen a high number of bear-related complaints in recent years. He says those include “bears getting into garbage cans, we’ve even had cases of bears up on porches. We’ve had situations where bears have broken into a house.”
Zeckmeister says the area provides an ideal habitat for black bears, which has resulted in a larger population of the animals concentrated there.
Wisconsin’s bear season began on Tuesday and runs through October 7th.