Michigan DNR Expands BMUs

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The Michigan Natural Resources Commission recently approved a proposal to expand the Baldwin and Gladwin Bear Management Units (BMUs) into many southern counties.

The Baldwin unit will now include Mason, Oceana and Muskegon counties, the southern portion of Newaygo County, and portions of Kalkaska, Mecosta, and Osceola counties west of US-131. Counties added to the Gladwin unit include Isabella, Midland, the northern portion of Bay County, a portion of Mecosta east of US-131, and portions of Iosco and Ogemaw counties south of M-55. In addition, boundary units were changed from county borders to defined public roads throughout portions of the Lower Peninsula BMUs.

"The bear population has been expanding southward, and we want to provide hunting opportunities where multiple sightings have occurred," said Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division Chief Bill Moritz.

The DNR estimates there are approximately 15,000 to 19,000 bears in Michigan statewide. Approximately 2,500 bears are harvested yearly during the hunting season. The bear hunting application period is from April 15 to May 15. Applications can be submitted at local license agents, DNR Operations Service Centers, or on-line at www.michigan.gov/dnr.