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DNR to conduct lottery for black bear licenses

Applications for the 2010 Minnesota black bear hunt are due Friday, May 7.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will conduct a lottery for 9,500 permits spread throughout 11 permit areas. This fall's bear hunt begins Sept. 1, and concludes Oct. 17.

Individuals must apply for the lottery at a license agent or the DNR License Center, 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul, by calling 888-MNLicense.

Licenses for the no-quota area, which is the area outside of the 11 permit areas, can be purchased directly at any license agent beginning July 1. No previous application is necessary to buy a no-quota area license.

Bear licenses cost $38 for residents and $200 for nonresidents. The bag limit is two bears in the no-quota area and one bear in all permit areas.

Since 2002, research data suggests that Minnesota's black bear population decreased from about 25,000 bears to 20,000 bears. The number of bear hunting permits has been reduced the past several years to allow bear numbers to increase and provide a less-crowded hunting experience.

In 2009, 17,571 people applied for 10,000 bear hunting permits. No-quota hunters purchased 2,473 permits.

Hunters harvested a total of 2,801 black bears in 2009, including 2,220 in permit areas and 581 in the no-quota area.

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