(a) The commissioner may limit the number of persons that may hunt bear in an area, if it is necessary to prevent an overharvest or improve the distribution of hunters. The commissioner may establish, by rule, a method, including a drawing, to impartially select the hunters for an area. The commissioner shall give preference to hunters that have previously applied and have not been selected.
(b) If the commissioner limits the number of persons that may hunt bear in an area under paragraph (a), the commissioner must reserve one permit and give first preference for that permit to a resident of a Minnesota veterans home.
(c) A person selected through a drawing must purchase a license by August 1. Any remaining available licenses not purchased shall be issued to any eligible person as prescribed by the commissioner on a first-come, first-served basis beginning three business days after August 1.