Minnesota DNR Reminds Homeowners to be Mindful of Bears

There are Three Important Things to Remember if You're Looking to Avoid Bear on Your Property

DULUTH, Minn. – It’s the most wonderful time of the year for many residents in the Northland — Spring.

It’s a time for new adventures when you can finally get outdoors more, and maybe even open up the cabin a little early.

With the excitement, the local division of the Minnesota DNR is reminding folks to be on the lookout for black bears.

“We just give out technical advice and help them solve their problem basically,” said Martha Minchak, Minnesota DNR Fish and Wildlife Service.

The DNR in Duluth has already received about ten calls from residents dealing with nuisance bears.

Minchak says they’ve just come out of their dens after a long winter slumber, and their natural food source is scarce for the time being.

This results in often reoccurring problems for homeowners.

Minchak says there are three things to remember.

  • Put your garbage cans away, and bring them out right before pickup if possible.
  • Tie up, or eliminate your bird feeders for a few weeks.
  • Make sure grills are cleaned, and pet food is stored away if you do keep it outside.

She says these animals won’t travel far if a simple meal is in sight.

“The bears in the city limits around Proctor, Hermantown, Duluth, they can have very small home ranges — and home ranges only have to be large enough for that bear to find food, water, shelter, and space,” said Minchak.

If you do happen to come across a bear, it’s important to not panic.

In most cases, Minchak says a bear won’t show aggression.

“Always make noise if you have a bear that’s coming. If you see a bear, you can clap your hands, yell, whatever it takes. Generally, that’s enough to spook them and chase them off. If we see bears bluff charging people, or grunting, making vocalizations, it’s generally a defense mechanism and that’s usually — you’ve walked into a sow with cubs,” said Minchak.

The DNR says the only time they will trap and try to remove a bear is if the animal is acting out with aggression.

If you can’t fight the urge of feeding the birds, the DNR says it’s best to hang your feeders at least ten feet above the ground, and more than four feet from the nearest trees.

Once hummingbirds come back to the region, you’re encouraged to purchase hanging flower baskets rather than enticing bears in with tasty sugar water.

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