Bear Application Deadline is May 2nd

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Applications for the 2003 Minnesota black bear hunting season are now being accepted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources through Friday, May 2. This year’s season, which will run from Sept. 1 through Oct. 12, offers 20,110 licenses available in 11 permit areas.

Applications, which can be made through the DNR’s Electronic Licensing System, are available from 1,750 ELS agents throughout Minnesota and the DNR License Center at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul. Applications can also be made by calling 1-888-MNLICENse or through the Internet at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

Nonresident applicants can still mail in their applications, but they are encouraged to use the phone or internet.

Licenses may be purchased for the no-quota area – an area outside of the 11 permit areas – where the number of licenses is not limited. Those licenses can be purchased directly from any ELS agent after July 1.

In 2002, there were 21,886 applicants for the available 20,610 permit area licenses. Hunters harvested 1,915 bears. Abundant natural foods contributed to the low harvest and success rates. Minnesota’s bear population is currently about 20,000 and has been growing at a rate of 6 to 7 percent per year. Bear licenses cost $39 for residents and $196 for nonresidents. The bag limit for bears will remain two for the no-quota area, but one in the permit areas.