Bear Hunting Applications

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Applications for the 2002 Minnesota black bear hunting season are now being accepted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) through Friday, May 3. This year's season will offer 20,610 licenses, available in 11 permit areas, and will run from Sept. 1 through Oct. 13. Applications, which can be made through the Electronic Licensing System (ELS), are available from 1,750 ELS agents throughout the state 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 mail in their applications, but are encouraged to use the phone or internet. Licenses may also be purchased for the No-quota Area, an area outside of the 11 permit areas, where the number of licenses is not limited and can be purchased directly at any ELS agent after July 1. Bear licenses cost $39 for residents and $196 for nonresidents.

In 2002, the bag limit for bears will remain two for the No-Quota Area, but one in permit areas.

In 2001, bear hunters harvested 4,936 bears. There were 26,824 applicants for the 20,710 available permit area licenses. Minnesota's bear population, which is currently about 30,000, has been growing at a rate of 6 to 7 percent per year.