As the calendar flips over to September, hunters are gearing up for many seasons set to open around the state. Friday began with the early Canadian goose, early teal and mourning dove hunting seasons.
Preparations are being made for bear season to open up today in Shawano County, which lies in the middle of a transition area in the state.
“We usually harvest around 70 bears a year in Shawano County,” said Conservation Warden Mark Schraufnagel. “If you bump up one county to the north in Langlade County they shot 208 bears. One county to the south to Waupaca County they shot seven, so we are right in the middle.”
Schraufnagel believes the number of bear in the county have increased over the past decade. It’s because of that increase in the area that the DNR has upped the number of bear tags they issue.
“We’re trying to control that through wildlife management,” Schraufnagel said. “We’re to the point now where we are here, you can draw a tag every other year and some folks are luck to draw one back-to-back.”
The bear season opens up today, but he reminds hunters here in Zone C dogs are not permitted.
“This year up north in those zones is a dog first-year, so for the first week the dogs will be out hunting. In Zone C down here it doesn’t matter, we don’t allow dog hunting for bear. Down here will be just your bait sitters.”
Zones where dogs are permitted can be used until Oct. 3. The season wraps up statewide on Oct. 10.