Applications for this fall’s black bear hunt now are available at any of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) 1,650 license agents or online.
Hunters interested in the Sept. 1 - Oct. 18 hunt can apply for one of 10,000 available licenses spread across 11 permit areas. Applications are due May 1. Hunters picked in the lottery must pay $38 for a resident license and $200 for a non-resident license.
In 2008, 17,362 applicants applied for 11,850 permits. Hunters harvested a total of 2,135 bears.
“Issuing fewer permits this year reflects the DNR’s interest in moderately increasing the black bear population,” said Dan Stark, wolf management specialist.
A number of factors are suggesting a declining population. Hunters must submit teeth from harvested bears. DNR wildlife researchers have determined that those teeth are from a younger class of bears. In addition, the hunter success rate is declining and there are fewer nuisance bear complaints.
Bear licenses for the no-quota area, which is the area outside of the 11 permit areas, can be purchased directly at any license agent beginning July 1. No previous application is necessary to buy a no-quota area license. The bag limit remains at two bears in the no-quota area and one bear in all quota permit areas.
Interested applicants can find bear hunting information on the DNR Web site mndnr.gov/hunting/bear.
Bull moose hunt application deadline is May 1
Minnesotans who want to experience a once-in-a-lifetime bull moose hunt this fall have until May 1 to apply for a permit.
Applicants will be applying for a total of 225 bull-only harvest permits, which are spread across 30 hunting zones of northeastern
Minnesota. Permits for the Oct.3-18 hunt are awarded randomly to parties of two to four hunters.
Permit applications are available at any of the DNR’s 1,650 license agents. A fee of $3 per individual must be included with an application.
Only Minnesota residents 16 years and older are eligible for the moose hunt. Any hunter who received a moose permit since 1991 is not eligible to apply for the once-in-a-lifetime hunt. Successful applicants must pay a license fee of $310 per party and attend a mandatory orientation session.
In 2008, 2,706 parties applied for 247 permits. Hunting parties
harvested 110 bull moose.
There are about 7,500 moose in Minnesota. Concerns that the population is declining prompted the creation of a Moose Advisory Committee, which will make management and research recommendations to the DNR’s Fish and Wildlife Division in June.
“The committee is studying all data that’s available on moose in
Minnesota as well as surrounding states and Canadian provinces,” said committee chair Rolf Peterson, Isle Royale’s renowned wildlife ecologist and a professor at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich. “Our goal is to make recommendations on future moose management and research, including specific suggestions on how moose hunting might be managed in the face of a sustained decline in the population.”
Harvesting bull moose has very little impact on the rate of herd population change. Based on population survey data collected in 2008, DNR wildlife biologists estimate that a high percentage of cows are bred each fall even with the bulls-only hunt.
“Societal perceptions of moose hunting are one of the key issues the Moose Advisory Committee is considering,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator. “We’re eager to hear the committee’s recommendations. Our research to this point indicates that a limited bull-moose hunting season can continue.”
Additional information is available online at mndnr.gov/hunting/moose.
DNR QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Q: Woodpeckers can be seen occasionally mistaking the side of a house for a tree. Why is this? And, is there anything homeowners can do to keep the birds from drilling a hole in their homes?
A: Woodpeckers drill holes in the side of homes for several reasons.
Sometimes they are after insects and larvae found in and under the home’s siding. Other times woodpeckers are pecking to attract a mate, make a hole for a nesting spot or to establish a territory. There are some effective techniques for discouraging woodpeckers. Bird scare tape or bird scare balloons are two helpful products, and can be purchased at stores that sell bird feed. The DNR also has a packet containing helpful tips and other information for homeowners with woodpecker problems. To obtain a copy, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Woodpecker Packet, Box 25, 500 Lafayette Rd., St. Paul, MN 55155.