Prospective bear hunters have until Friday, May 1, to apply for a bear hunting license. Applications for the 2020 season should be submitted online or via telephone at 888-665-4236.
A total of 3,575 licenses are available in 13 permit areas. Bear licenses cost $44 for residents and $230 for nonresidents, and there is a $5 application fee. The season is open from Sunday, Sept. 1, through Sunday, Oct. 18.
Lottery winners will be notified by June 1. The deadline to purchase licenses awarded by lottery will be Thursday, Aug. 1. Any remaining unpurchased licenses will be available over the counter starting at noon on Aug. 5.
New for the 2020 season, the DNR has made a change to bear permit area 45. The southern portion of permit area 45 has been subdivided to create a new bear permit area (451) to allow additional bear hunting opportunities. Area 451 licenses are not awarded by lottery drawing and will be available to any eligible hunters starting Wednesday, Aug. 5. Bear hunters in permit area 451 do not need to apply in the lottery.
An unlimited number of bear licenses also will be sold over-the-counter for the no-quota area that includes east-central and far northwestern Minnesota. No-quota licenses are valid only in the no-quota area. Hunters with a no-quota license can harvest one bear.
The number of available bear permits is increasing modestly in the southern and western portion of bear management areas. Overall, bear permit numbers for quota areas remain mostly unchanged this year, to allow bear population numbers to gradually increase and support a robust bear population. Bear hunting information is available on the DNR website.