UP bear hunt starts Monday

The September 2018 bear population was estimated at 11,000 adults in the Upper Peninsula, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. (Michigan DNR photo)

MARQUETTE– The Michigan black bear population estimate is roughly 14,000 adults, nearly 11,000 in the Upper Peninsula and almost 3,000 in the Lower, the Department of Natural Resources said.

Bear hunting seasons are almost here, with the first opening Monday in the Upper Peninsula. The Lower Peninsula’s first season starts Friday in select areas, and Sept. 16 for remaining locations below the bridge.

Bear seasons have staggered openers with various locations and hunt periods. For each of the 2017 and 2018 hunting seasons, 7,140 bear licenses were available. Several different scientific indicators, as well as public input, are used to determine harvest recommendations.

Hunters who were successful in drawing a bear license for the bear management unit they chose will have a good chance at harvesting a bear, with success rates generally from 25 to 60 percent.

Millions of acres of public land are accessible to bear hunters, though many choose to hunt on private land.