Bear Hunt Casts Wider Net

  • In this year’s bear hunt Minnesota is allowing hunters to take two bears with each hunting license the state issues. Photo by Don Breneman

The number of black bears is increasing across North America, but the fastest-growing bear populations are in the Great Lakes region. The most recent estimates put the region’s population at over 60,000. In Minnesota, the bear population has quadrupled in the past two decades. Wildlife managers think the population is getting too big, and this fall the state is trying to help hunters kill more bears. Minnesota is offering a “two-for-one” deal on bear permits. Hunters can buy one license, and kill two bears. And the state is opening hunting season early, in the last week of August. Some people are upset. They say there’s no need to increase the bear kill. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chris Julin has the story: