In some ways cash is a big part of it. Part of the reason for the bulk of tags in zone A. Need to keep the population down to prevent damage to AG crops. It has hurt many parts of Zone A where there is little AG crops, but the population is way down.
Overall though it is about strict management. Bears are very fragile due to slow reprodcution. It will take a long time for it to rebound if to many are harvested.
Real hard to determine the population in a given area. I can see zone B presenting it's own set of challenges. With a huge amount of public lands. Then fewer tags issued to get better results on the mark recapture studies. Looked at alone I can see some goofy numbers coming out of it. With only 690 potentially harvested. Based on past success rates in the state. That would mean roughly the potential of 400 bear harvested. The number being marked at that low number. Could lead to things being way off. I suppose they have that figured out in some way.
The final results of the most recent study. Will be an interesting read. I attached a pic of what the 2006 bait locations looked like. You can clearly see huge gaps in it. Only 1 in the heart of Vilas County. With most along the edges off the main hwys.
No matter how we look at. How much we think it's flawed. How big our desires are for more tags. We really need to be careful with our bear population. So that we can continue the high success rates we see in this state. We do not want to fall into the same category of many other states. Where the success rate is very low. It may be nice to get a tag to hunt every year. The luster of it gets quickly dulled if it takes years to be successful. Would have to think in those states a bit more money may be generated selling unfilled tags every year. Perhaps not as fewer people will hunt them every year as a result. Might have to look into some of those numbers to see how the revenue generated compares to WI.
I know that I am part of a minority group. That prefers the pursuit of them over harvest. But I still want to see everyone that has a tag be successful in it. Might be why I am a guide, and spend a lot of time on these forums. Trying to help everyone be successful. My only reward for all this typing. Is seeing your smiling face posed with your trophy. Hard to believe that is enough, but it is. I can't take you all out to the woods with me. But like to think I end up with you anyway through the knowledge I try to pass on.