Minn. DNR Asks Hunters not to Shoot Research Bears

Posted at: 08/27/2013 9:13 PM

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources asks hunters participating in Minnesota's bear hunting season to avoid shooting radio-collared bears. The bears, which are used for research, are marked with colorful ear tags or colorful streamers.
The DNR says they are monitoring about 30 collared black bears.
According to a DNR press release, most of them are in northwestern Wisconsin, especially near Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area and the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge. Additional radio-collared bears reside in and around the Chippewa National Forest, Camp Ripley, Cloquet Forestry Station and Voyageurs National Park.  Bear research also is being conducted between Ely and Tower near the Eagles Nest chain of lakes in northern St. Louis County. 
"Hunters near these areas should be especially vigilant for these valuable research bears," said Dave Garshelis, DNR bear research biologist. "These animals provide long-term data on reproduction and habitat use that is invaluable for bear management across the state."
DNR officials recognize that a hunter may not be able to see a radio collar or ear tags in some situations. For this reason, taking a bear with a radio collar is legal unless the bear is accompanied by a researcher who has identified the bear to the hunter as a research animal. 
Minnesota's bear hunting season opens on September 1st.