Wisconsin Changes Bear License Laws

Wisconsin DNR, Bear Hunting Magazine

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will sign a bill into law today at the Gander Mountain in Rothschild, Wisconsin that changes bear hunting regulations in Wisconsin.

The new law lets a Class B bear license holder pursue, shoot and kill a bear that was shot, but not killed, by a Class A license holder. But the Class B license holder has to be in the same hunting party and the bear can only be killed if it is necessary to protect others in the hunting party or the safety of the public.

Under the bill, there would be one free hunting weekend in August. Anyone 16 or younger would be allowed to hunt under a Class B license without actually needing the license. And the measure allows bear dog training on free-roaming wild bears in the same season when hunting bears with dogs is allowed.

The state would lose about $4,900 in revenues from sales of licenses to anyone 12 to 15-years-old. And the DNR thinks it would be able to absorb in its budget the increased costs of enforcing more trespassing and illegal shooting complaints.

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