Hunters have until May 2 to apply for a black bear license for the 2008 fall hunt. A total of 11,850 licenses in 11 permit areas are available, said Lou Cornicelli, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) big game program coordinator. The season begins Sept. 1 and ends Oct. 12. Licenses for the no-quota area, which is outside of the 11 permit areas, can be purchased directly at any ELS agent beginning July 1. No previous application is necessary to buy a no-quota area license.
Bear licenses cost $39 for residents and $196 for non-residents. The bag limit will remain at two bears in the no-quota area and one bear in all quota permit areas.
Hunters who want to increase their chances to be selected in future years now can select bear area 99 on their application. They will not receive a permit but will earn a preference point, increasing their chances of being selected in future years.
Individuals must apply for a permit at one of the nearly 1,800 Electronic License System (ELS) agents throughout the state or the DNR License Center in St. Paul. People may also apply by calling 1-888-MNLicense or online at mndnr.gov.
In 2007, there were 16,345 applicants for the available 13,200 permit area licenses. Three of the 11 permit areas were under-subscribed, Cornicelli said. Hunters harvested a total of 3,172 bears, 2,625 in the permit areas and 547 in the no-quota area.