The Michigan DNR is sharing new bear population estimates as Michigan’s bear hunting season opens today in the Upper Peninsula.

The Lower Peninsula’s bear hunting season begins Sept. 14.

Michigan’s current adult black bear population is estimated at 14,000. There are almost 11,000 black bears in the Upper Peninsula and nearly 3,000 in the northern Lower Peninsula.

7,140 bear hunting licenses were made available in Michigan this hunting season. Hunting success rates generally range from 25 percent to 60 percent. Last season, 5,181 hunters harvested about 1,892 bears.

Regulations on how and when bears can be harvested are adjusted every two years.

Male black bears live in an area about 100 square miles in size, while females live in smaller areas of 10-20 square miles. Availability of food and the presence of humans and other bears can effect the typical range.

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