Bear hunt applications available; deadline is Friday, May 5

Applications for bear hunting licenses are being accepted now through Friday, May 5, wherever Minnesota hunting and fishing license are sold, online and by telephone at 888-665-4236. 

A total of 3,350 licenses are available in 13 permit areas. Bear licenses cost $44 for residents and $230 for nonresidents, and there is a $5 application fee. The season is open from Friday, Sept. 1, through Sunday, Oct. 15.

Notification to lottery winners will be made by June 2. The deadline to purchase licenses awarded by lottery will be Tuesday, Aug. 1. Any remaining unpurchased licenses will be available over the counter starting at noon on Friday, Aug. 4.

An unlimited number of bear licenses will be sold over-the-counter for the no-quota area that includes east-central and far northwestern Minnesota. No-quota licenses are valid only in the no-quota area. Hunters with a no-quota license can harvest one bear.

Bear license numbers in the quota area have been reduced from 3,850 last year to 3,350 this year. The reduction in bear permit numbers for quota areas is to allow bear population numbers to gradually increase. The 2016 bear season harvest was higher than expected as a result of poor natural food availability for bears last fall. Hunters in the quota area had a record high (50 percent) success rate in 2016, while a record number of hunters in the no-quota area resulted in a record harvest for that area.

Bear hunting information is available on the DNR website on the bear hunting page.