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Black bear boom in northern Lower Peninsula creating a nuisance for residents

Steve Hillebrand / Creative Commons

Black bear populations in the northern Lower Peninsula are booming.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the population has increased almost 50 percent since 2000. Kevin Swanson, a wildlife management specialist for the DNR, says this is creating a nuisance for some Michigan residents.

"We have had a pretty notable increase in complaints in the northern Lower Peninsula, especially in Baldwin, over the last few years and that continues to climb," Swanson said. "We've had more notable complaints like bluff charges on humans and some dogs being killed."

Swanson says the number of complaints is creating a nearly unmanageable situation for DNR employees. 

The DNR is proposing a bear harvest of 5,925 bears for the 2017-18 hunting season. That's an increase of 100 bears from last season.

Swanson says the proposed quotas for the bear harvest should stabilize the population in the Lower Peninsula.

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