Hunters May Find Bears More Plentiful


A mild winter and lots of nuts and berries up north this summer made for good times for black bears. This year’s bear hunting season is expected to have a large harvest.

The Northern Lure and Cayuga Hotel and Saloon are just north of Glidden in Ashland County. Owner Nick Bernard has a scale to weigh the bruins. “One of the guys over here in Glidden, Teddy Wagner, got one over 300 [pounds] so far.”

The local newspaper reports 29 bears registered in Glidden and another 16 in Clam Lake.

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Last year, more than 4,200 bears were harvested statewide. That is the second highest in history. DNR Big Game Ecologist Kevin Wallenfang says they issued 9,000 hunting permits this year, about the same as last year.

Wallenfang says this hunt is the best way to control the bear population, with reports that bears are going farther south to Portage, Juneau, Monroe and Waupaca Counties. Still, he says the north is king, and Glidden is still the Black Bear Capital of Wisconsin. “Well, that’s what the sign says when you drive into town. There’s still lots and lots of bears up there. That whole northwoods part of the state, all across the north has really good numbers of bears, but we’re in the middle of a population study. We’ve had aggressive harvests for the past few years in an attempt to slow down growth of the bear population, and it appears that that’s happening.”

Glidden’s claim to fame is a bear bagged by two Milwaukee hunters in 1963. It weighed 665 pounds and stood at 7 feet, 10 inches tall. It is now a stuffed centerpiece downtown.

The season opened September 5th and ends October 9th.