DNR Q&A: Dove Hunting, Bear Damage Tag, Killing Mother Bears | Environment
The following are some questions taken by wardens and the DNR Call Center. The Call Center is staffed daily, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and offers bilingual service in Spanish and Hmong. The number is 1-888-936-7463.
Question: I have a couple of questions dealing with dove hunting. First, is it legal to use decoys for dove hunting? Also, I will be in a cornfield for dove hunting. Here’s my question: I need to practice my goose calling. I don’t have a goose permit but would like to practice my goose calling while dove hunting. Is this OK to do?
Answer: Sounds like you want to multi-task? To answer both of your questions, yes – both are legal. Let’s consider your first question. Doves are easy birds to decoy and it works well to use decoys. Moving on to your second question as far as the “practicing” your goose calling. It’s not illegal to practice goose calling while dove hunting -- but here’s what you need to remember. Laying yourself down in a cornfield hunting doves bears a strong resemblance to laying yourself down in a cornfield hunting geese. If contacted while hunting, consider what this might look like and how you’d explain blowing a goose call for practice purposes while only hunting for doves. Care should be taken to avoid making it appear as though you are hunting for geese.
Question: What license is required when shooting on a landowner’s ag damage tag for bear?
Answer: You have some choices. If you want to hunt bear on a property experiencing bear damage, you can either use your own Class A bear license/permit during the open season or you may use a shooting permit the farmer receives from the local biologist as long as you have a valid Class A or Class B bear license. Remember, the farmer does not have to provide one of his or her shooting permits to a hunter, but the farmer may opt to do so. If a person is hunting on a farmer’s shooting permit, the hunter must also possess either a valid Class A or Class B bear license. Here is a link to our damage web page with more information and a list of farms enrolled in the damage program for bear damage: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/hunt.html
Question: I read in the state regulations that you cannot kill a bear cub or any adult bear accompanied by a cub or cubs. I want to know if I can harvest a mother bear or either of her two cubs as long as all are of legal size. I think the cubs may be 2 years old. Or, would this harvest be illegal because it is a mother bear with her two cubs?
Answer: An adult bear is defined as a bear that is 42” or greater in length, as measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. So, keeping that measurement in mind, if either of the smaller bears is less than 42”, they would be considered cubs. If there are any cubs (that being a bear less than 42”) with the sow, it would not be legal to kill the sow or any of the cubs. If all of the smaller bears were greater than 42” (meaning adults), it would be legal to harvest any of the group. Hunters can lay a 42” log next to their bait to help determine size.