Michigan DNR Announces New Bear Hunting Regulations


Photo: Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Bear hunters in Michigan – take notice. On March 9, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) passed new regulations that apply to bear hunting.

Michigan bear hunters will see the following changes beginning in the 2017 bear hunting season:

  • Chocolate and cocoa products completely banned as bear bait, due to the potential harm to bear and other wildlife species;
  • Nonresident license cap increased from a maximum of 2 percent to a maximum of 5 percent of the total license quota;
  • License quota in all three northern Lower Peninsula bear management units increased by 19 percent overall, totaling 155 additional licenses;
  • Upper Peninsula quotas adjusted by individual bear management units, both increases and decreases;
  • Quota increased from one to five on Drummond Island; and
  • Number of dogs to pursue bear for hunting or training increased from six to eight.

With the NRC’s new regulations, Michigan becomes the second state to ban chocolate or cocoa products for use in bear baiting – New Hampshire banned their use in 2015. Baiting for bears in Michigan will still be legal, however, hunters will have to find a substitute for chocolate or cocoa products.

The bear hunting application period runs from May 1 to June 1. Learn more by visiting michigan.gov/bear.

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