2005 Bear Hunting Applications Due Jan. 14th

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People interested in participating in the 2005 Wisconsin bear hunting season have until Jan. 14 to submit applications for bear permits.

The 2005 season runs from Sept. 7 to Oct. 11, with those hunters who hunt with dogs going first in those bear management zones open to hunting bear with dogs. The opening week of Wisconsin’s bear hunting season alternates to allow those who hunt over bait to go first one year and those who hunt with aid of dogs to go first the next year.

Cumulative Preference System

Class A bear licenses that allow hunters to harvest a bear (formerly called "bear harvest" permit) are issued under a cumulative preference system. Each time a hunter applies for but is unsuccessful in the drawing for a Class A license, the applicant receives one preference point. Those with the highest preference standing who apply in each Bear Hunting Zone are offered licenses first.

To maintain preference, hunters must apply at least once every three years. Hunters may also opt for "Class A License Refusal and Preference Acceptance" if they know they do not plan to hunt this year, but wish to receive a preference point.

Hunters may also purchase a Class B Bear License (formerly called a "bear pursuit" license) that allows the license holder to assist a Class A bear harvest license holder in hunting activities such as handling dogs, locating bear, or engaging in other bear hunting activities that enable the Class A licensee to locate bear. However, hunters who purchase a class B license without submitting a Class A Bear Hunting License/Preference Point Application Form will not establish preference points.

Hunters can check their preference point total by contacting the Bureau of Customer Services and Licensing (608)266-2621, visit the Online Licensing Center, or they may contact their local DNR Service Center.

The DNR randomly selects applicants with the highest preference standing, and will notify winners by Feb. 15. Only winners are notified. If a hunter is notified that they have won, they have until August 1, 2005 to purchase their Class A Bear Hunting License or lose the harvest privilege and all preference points. 2005 license sales begin March 10.

The Class A Bear License fee is $45 for residents and $251 for nonresidents.

Hunters may apply for bear permits on-line, by phone or at license vendors

Hunters may apply for their bear permit in any of three ways: on-line license sales through the DNR Web site, toll-free by phone at (877) 945-4236 or through any DNR Automated License Issuance System (ALIS) vendor or DNR service center. There is a $3 application fee, and hunters must complete and submit the Class A Bear Hunting License/ Preference Point Application by Jan. 14, 2005.