Bear Hunt Application Deadline Approaching

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is accepting applications for the 2004 Minnesota black bear hunting season. This year, 16,450 licenses will be available in 11 permit areas in northern and central Minnesota. The deadline for bear applications is Friday, May 7.

Application information is now available at license agents throughout the state. Applications can be made at any Electronic Licensing System (ELS) agent or at the DNR License Center in St. Paul. Applications can also be made by calling 1-888-MNLicense, or through the Internet at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

There is a $3.50 convenience charge for telephone or Internet transactions. Licenses for the no-quota area, which is the area outside of the 11 permit areas, can be purchased directly at any ELS agent beginning July 1. No previous application is necessary to buy a no-quota area license.

The 2004 bear hunting season will run from Wednesday, Sept. 1 through Sunday, Oct. 17. In 2003, there were 16,431 applicants for the available 20,110 permit area licenses. Seven of the 11 permit areas were under-subscribed. Hunters harvested a total of 3,598 bears, including 3,128 in the permit areas and 470 in the no-quota area.

Bear licenses cost $39 for residents and $196 for nonresidents (including the $1 issuing fee). The bag limit in 2004 will remain at one bear in all quota permit areas and two bears in the no-quota area.