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Michigan DNR: Changes for 2021 bear season, what you need to know

There are new licensing quotas for all bear management units, among other changes.
Black bear. (Michigan DNR)
Black bear. (Michigan DNR)(WLUC)
Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 12:45 PM EDT
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MICHIGAN (WLUC) - Last week, the Natural Resources Commission approved the 2021-22 bear hunting regulations and license quotas. Changes for the upcoming bear season include:

  • New license quotas for all bear management units (BMU).
  • New archery-only seasons in the Gladwin and Baldwin BMUs.
  • Bait barrels no longer allowed on DNR-managed lands.

License quotas

There will be 7,001 bear licenses available statewide this year, a slight decrease from 7,080 licenses available in 2020.

  • 2021 northern Lower Peninsula license quotas:
    • Red Oak BMU: 770 licenses, an increase of 70 licenses.
    • Baldwin BMU: 340 licenses, an increase of 80 licenses.
    • Gladwin BMU: 120 licenses, an increase of 10 licenses.
  • 2021 Upper Peninsula license quotas:
    • Amasa BMU: 500 licenses, an increase of 10 licenses.
    • Baraga BMU: 1,545 licenses, a decrease of five licenses,
    • Bergland BMU: 1,050 licenses, a decrease of 145 licenses.
    • Carney BMU: 550 licenses, a decrease of 50 licenses.
    • Gwinn BMU: 950 licenses, a decrease of 110 licenses.
    • Newberry BMU: 1,170 licenses, an increase of 60 licenses.
    • Drummond Island BMU: six licenses, increase of one license.

Archery-only season expanded in northern Lower Peninsula

  • In addition to the Red Oak BMU, Gladwin and Baldwin BMUs will also have an archery-only season this year. The archery-only season dates for all three units will be Oct. 8-14.

Bait barrels on DNR-managed lands

  • The use of bait barrels will no longer be allowed on DNR-managed lands. Bear bait barrels were allowed on DNR-managed lands for a two-year trial period during the 2019-2020 bear seasons. Bait barrels with a maximum hole diameter of 1 inch are still allowed on private land.
  • The regulations and license quotas decided in 2021 will remain in effect for two years. Please see the bear regulations and license quotas memorandum for additional information about these changes.

2021 Bear Digest

  • The printing and distribution of the 2021 Bear Digest was delayed to include these new regulations. The digest is currently in progress and will be available online at Michigan.gov/Bear and in stores in May. On this same webpage, you can subscribe to DNR emails to receive reminders during the bear license application period and to stay up to date on bear hunting news.
  • Click here to learn more about Michigan bear hunting.

Copyright 2021 Michigan DNR via WLUC. All rights reserved.