Early results from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources show hunters harvested 3,802 bears during the 2021 season, a 12% decrease from the 4,306 taken last year.

The 2021 harvest results are similar to the 2018 and 2019 harvests. While overall numbers fell short of the total quota, several zones were at or near harvest objectives, and the 32% statewide hunter success remained nearly equal to the last several years.

The 2020 season saw above-average hunter success rates contributing to a higher harvest. Harvested bear data from hunters is critical to tracking bear population trends and in ensuring the population remains healthy while also achieving population management objectives.

In the northwestern part of the state, the Zone D quota and license levels were increased significantly this fall to reduce the bear population across the zone and agricultural damage issues in the area.

Despite only taking 70% of the quota in this zone, the 1,251 bears harvested represent the highest harvest in the area in at least a decade. In Zone D, harvest projections indicate this level of harvest is likely to result in a slight population reduction.