The 2019 Wisconsin black Bear Management draft plan is now available to the public for comment.

Click the highlighted words to read, review and comment on the plan.

A draft of the revised bear management plan is now available for viewing.

There will be six public information sessions (topic list available here) as well as an electronic comment tool beginning March 25. If you would like to provide comments on the 2019 – 2029 Wisconsin Black Bear Management Plan, please submit them to DNRBearPlanComments@wisconsin.gov by midnight on Sunday, April 14.

  • Monday, March 25, 7-9 p.m.: Rm. 101 Commons Building, UW Milwaukee-Waukesha, 1500 N University Dr. Waukesha
  • Tuesday, March 26, 7-9 p.m.: Pippin Room, Melvill Hall, UW Platteville-Richland, 1200 Hwy. 14W, Richland Center
  • Wednesday, March 27, 7-9 p.m.: Great Room, Lunda Community Center, 405 Hwy 54 W, Black River Falls
  • Monday, April 1, 7-9 p.m.: 236 Ritzinger Hall, UW Eau Claire-Barron County, 1800 College Dr., Rice Lake
  • Tuesday, April 2, 7-9 p.m.: Room 180 Main Building, UW Stevens Point- Wausau, 518 S 7th Ave, Wausau
  • Wednesday, April 3, 7-9 p.m.: Woodruff Community Center, 1418 1st Ave, Woodruff

Wisconsinites it’s time for change concerning how our black bears are managed, or to be straight forward; how they are abused! Individual species should and must be managed for the good of the species and the habitat it depends. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources estimates; most recent data indicates the bear population is currently estimated to be just under 29,000 bears. DNR manages bear population size through regulated hunting. In the end, black bears are managed for economic gain through hunting. And it’s having a devastating effect on bears! It’s time to ban running dogs on bears, and baiting.

In July 2017 I wrote about the new Bear baiting research. This research on bear baiting in Wisconsin is even more relevant now because of the recent news: Officials in Florida have arrested nine people in connection with the “illegal baiting, taking and molestation” of black bears following a yearlong investigation into the crimes. (Source) One of the nine arrested had been hunting bear in Wisconsin, such cruelty towards wildlife knows no bounds! But now is the time to demand justice for our wildlife!

Perhaps changes will happen now with a new Governor and new DNR Secretary. That’s why I’m recommending that activists contact the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources  Bear Advisory Committee  because the following research concerning the baiting of black bears: Consumption of intentional food subsidies by a hunted carnivore revealed some very startling results. 

The baiting of black bear starts in April and goes through to the end of September. That’s roughly six months of intentional food subsidies being fed to a carnivore. Not to mention, that’s a lot of disruption to the black bear’s natural habitat. Over four million gallons of bait is dropped in the woods for the purpose of hunting black bear. Bears are fed donuts, gummy bears, and cereal. Donuts have a high volume of calories, some doughnuts contain partially hydrogenated oils, which aren’t healthy for the heart, and most doughnuts are made with white flour. Glazed doughnuts contain 210 mg of sodium. 

Black bears are omnivores that eat food of both plant and animal origin.

It’s no surprise that baiting black bear is a cause for alarm. It’s been controversial for a number of years. But what’s interesting now is the research points out a number of problems resulting from the baiting of black bear. 

Female consumption of high caloric food subsidies can increase fecundity (the ability to produce an abundance of offspring or new growth; fertility), and can train cubs to seek bear baits. According to the research this can increase a population above its ecological carrying capacity. 

Black bears are omnivorous and spend spring, summer & autumn foraging for Native Forage, included known bear foods; berries, acorns, grasses and sedges, other plants, and white-tailed deer.  

Today, black bears in Wisconsin are being conditioned to search out human foods placed at bear baiting stations. This is influencing the black bears natural habitat. Researchers  found that; humans are influencing the ecosystem not only through top-down forces via hunting, but also through bottom-up forces by subsidizing the food base. 

The Researchers found that if food subsidies (bait) were removed, bear-human conflicts may increase and bears may no longer be able to subsist on natural foods. 

During its first century, Yellowstone National Park was known as the place to see and interact with bears. Hundreds of people gathered nightly to watch bears feed on garbage in the park’s dumps. Enthusiastic visitors fed bears along the roads and behaved recklessly to take photographs.

High availability of energy-rich food can also alter denning chronology, shortening the denning period. 

The “heart” in conservation is missing when a species is managed for the sole purpose of harvesting it. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources estimates; most recent data indicates the bear population is currently estimated to be just under 29,000 bears. DNR manages bear population size through regulated hunting. In the end, black bears are managed for economic gain through hunting. 

Individual species should and must be managed for the good of the species and the habitat it depends.  “Do not feed the wildlife.”  Let’s bring back the heart of conservation.

Can we learn from our past mistakes? Don’t feed the bears! Watch the following video.