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More black bear hunting permits available for 2008

The number of black bear hunting permits for the Sept. 3-Oct. 7, 2008, Wisconsin bear hunting season is up to 4,660 from last season's 4,405.

Successful permit applicants will receive notification by U.S. mail and may purchase their Class A bear license after March 10, 2008.

Hunters can check their drawing status and verify their mailing address by logging onto the Department of Natural Resources online licensing center; contacting a DNR service center or by calling 888-936-7463.

Black Bear Management Zone B saw the largest increase, up 38 percent to 850 from 615.

Zone C increased 6 percent, up to 1,650 from 1,560, and Zone D increased 6 percent to 720 permits, 170 more than in 2007.

Only Zone A experienced a decrease at 1,440, down 14 percent from 1,680.

Hunters are reminded that for the 2008 bear season, Subzone A1 was renamed to Zone D. With this change, Zone A permit holders will no longer be able to cross over into Subzone A1, now called Zone D.

"This will give wildlife managers a much better handle on the number of bear hunters hunting in what was Subzone A1," says Linda Olver, assistant DNR big game biologist.