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DNR board makes first revisions to bear plan in 39 years

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Department of Natural Resources board is tweaking Wisconsin's bear hunt structure for the first time since 1980.

The new framework calls for six bear management zones rather than the current four. Numeric zone kill limits in DNR rules would end. The agency would instead set limits based on agricultural damage, hunter success and nuisance complaints.

The changes could into effect as early as the fall of 2021.

The plan called for allowing hunters to use hounds in a newly formed central Wisconsin hunting zone. The board voted 6-1 to remove those provisions, however.

Opponents told the board that allowing hounds in the zone would lead to trespassing. Megan Nicholson of the Humane Society of the United States said hunting with hounds is a blight on the state.

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