As bear numbers climb, officials suggest bigger MI harvest

Feb 15, 2017

Travelers to Up North Michigan may be more likely to encounter a bear on their trip these days.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources data show the black bear population has climbed, especially in the northern Lower Peninsula, where it’s up 29% since 2012.

Kevin Swanson is a DNR wildlife management specialist.

“I think we’ve just not harvested enough bear in recent years in the northern Lower Peninsula," he says.  "Our biologists are all in agreement that we need to increase the harvest.”

The DNR recently made that recommendation to the state Natural Resources Commission.