Outdoor articles about black bears, hunting reports and other Minnesota and US field sports.
A few bears continue to come in and grouse hunting has been better than expected with all the foliage.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
Posted on Thu, 03 Sep 2015
Bear reports have been inconsistent.
Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850
Bear baits are getting hit, but the activity hasn’t been “super consistent” the past week.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Most bear hunters have reported good activity.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
Bear baits continued to get “wiped out” early this week.
Bear baiting has been good. Most hunters report multiple bears at each bait.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Bear reports have been strong: “Everyone’s baits are getting hit, even during the day.”
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
Bear baits are getting hit. Most hunters believe there are more bears in the area this year than last.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281
Bear reports have been inconsistent.
Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850
By:Daniel Xu +
Ted Nugent, along with over 1,000 other hunters, will be heading into the Florida woods to pursue black bear.
Florida’s first black bear hunt in 21 years is proving to be a big hit, despite a controversial start and at least one lawsuit against the state for holding the hunt. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), more than 1,100 special-use permits have been sold as of Wednesday, with the majority being bought as soon as the agency opened up licenses for sale. Among the first non-resident to sign up for the hunt was none other than rocker Ted Nugent, an avid hunter and advocate for hunting rights.
“The reason there hasn’t been a bear season until now—even after more than 6,000 nuisance complaints—the reason we’ve waited so long is because of the scourge of political correctness dispensed by the idiots who claim the defenseless animals need protecting,” Nugent told The Orlando Sentinel.
The musician, known to fans as the “Motor City Madman,” echoed the complaints of many Florida residents when he pointed out that there was a surplus of bears, and the population is becoming a dangerous liability for the state. Black bears were once a rare sight in Florida, but thanks to the efforts of the FWC and conservationists, the population has rebounded to around 4,000, which is only a conservative estimate. Some experts suspect there are a lot more bears in the state, and the animals seem to be encroaching on human habitats. Data from the FWC show that in 2013, there were 6,667 bear nuisance calls, compared to 100 in 1995.
Biologists say that the problem is not too many bears, but rather too many bears moving from the woods to the suburbs.
“As other states have shown, hunting is the most effective and responsible method for managing the growth of bear populations, but is just one part of FWC’s overall approach to managing bears,” the FWC stated.
Animal rights groups claim that the hunt could have a negative effect on a recovering bear population. The FWC currently intends to reduce the bear population by 20 percent overall. Using hunting as one of the main methods to cull the bears, the agency expects hunters to harvest about 320 of the animals during a limited, seven-day hunt in October. Activists say that with no limit on the number of permits sold, the hunt may go over its harvest quota. A lawsuit by several animal rights organizations has been filed against the FWC in an attempt to halt the hunt, but biologists at the agency say the season has little chance of hurting the bear population in the long run.
“We may end up a few over the objective just because of the timing on any day, and we’ve considered that. But it’s still a very conservative hunt. That’ll be OK,” FWC spokesperson Diane Eggeman told WESH.
Other critics also slammed the season for what they view as catering to trophy hunters. Many hunters, including Nugent, have refuted this claim.
“When we kill a bear in Florida and everywhere, we cherish the meat. It’s the sweetest pork you’ve ever eaten,” he said. “How dare they claim that we don’t utilize every scrap of this precious animal, cherished for the gift that it is. The rugs are magnificent.”
Permits for the hunt cost $100 for residents and $300 for non-residents. The FWC also intends on ramping up programs to educate residents on coexisting with bears, including proper trash disposal.
by OutdoorHub Reporters on July 17th, 2015 Read On OutdoorHub
Owners of a pie shop in Pinewood Springs, Colorado say a bear broke into the store on Monday night and had a massive, sugary feast. According to Mikaela Lehnert, who operates the Colorado Cherry Company along with her mother Kristi, the bear’s raid yielded some interesting conclusions regarding its taste in pies.
“Cherry and apple was his favorite. He passed over the strawberry rhubarb,” Kristi Lehnert told KDVR.
Bears are not usually known for being picky eaters, but this one apparently avoided the strawberry rhubarb pies like the plague. Everything else, however, was fair game. The Lehnerts told KUSA that the hungry critter downed 24 cherry pies and 14 apple pies over the course of one night, along with mounds of other pastries and even ingredients like sugar and cherries. The owners speculated that if the bear could have gotten into the locked freezer, it would have devoured everything inside as well.
In the end, this overnight visitor even had the gall to take two pies to go, leaving a messy trail outside the store.
“I’m looking for servers, so maybe if he wants to come back, because that’s talent to get two pies into the back yard,” Mikaela Lehnert joked.
At least the damage to the store was minimal. The Lehnerts said they were able to board up the window where the bear broke in and start baking before they received customers on Tuesday. At the very least, now they can say the pie shop is bear-approved.
Researcher Lynn Rogers needs permit to track wild black bears.
By David Chanen Star Tribune
July 13, 2015 — 9:04pm
Longtime bear researcher Lynn Rogers can resume his Internet video den cameras, but he cannot use radio collars to track the wild animals, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
“I’m thrilled that the court recognized the value of my research and ruled I can place the den cameras for science research,” Rogers said. “But we could do a much better job with radio collars to find particular bears. We will do the best that we can.”
Last year, the Department of Natural Resources affirmed its earlier decision to deny a permit to Rogers, who gained fame by putting radio collars on North American black bears in northern Minnesota. The DNR decision came after an administrative law judge said the DNR had the authority to refuse to renew Rogers’ permit.
For 14 years, Rogers had hand-fed wild black bears in order to collar them with satellite tracking devices.
He would post live Internet video feeds from their dens. He drew a global audience and more than 140,000 Facebook followers, who got to know bears such as Lily and Hope through Rogers’ live feeds. The cameras have been highly praised by scientists and teachers.
But on Monday, the Court of Appeals ruled that radio collaring of bears meets the statutory definition of “constructive possession,” which requires a permit. Rogers’ lawyer David Marshall said he is considering whether to reapply for a permit or appeal to the Supreme Court.
DNR spokesman Chris Niskanen said it’s very unlikely the agency would issue a permit to Rogers because of continuing public safety concerns. “We are very satisfied with the court’s decision,” Niskanen said. “The decision was really about whether a permit is required to collar a bear. We believe we are the agency that’s responsible for permitting wildlife research. Anyone interested in it needs to come to us.”
The Court of Appeals ruled that Rogers needs no permit to use den cameras. Rogers plans to resume the broadcasts this winter. He has research information, including GPS coordinates, regarding the location of bear dens, which he will use for camera placement. State law does not allow a person to disturb the burrow or den of a wild animal between November 1 and April 1. If Rogers needed to adjust a den camera during that time, he would need a DNR permit. The agency would have to see his proposal before it would consider it, but Niskanen again said it is doubtful they would issue such a permit.
A wildlife biologist, Rogers, 76, operates the Wildlife Research Institute in Eagles Nest Township near Ely, Minn., within the Superior National Forest. He bought land in the township to study bears after hearing that local residents had been feeding bears for years with very few “nuisance problems.” Rogers not only feeds the bears, but pets, pats and strokes them. For $2,500, people can participate in a four-day bear education program at the Institute.
He first started placing radio collars on bears in the late 1990s and regularly got permits from the DNR until 2013. That’s when the agency began getting reports from homeowners that local bears were coming up to their residences and refusing to leave. There also were reports of dogs being injured by bears and a videotape of Rogers punching a bear in the face.
When the DNR refused Rogers’ permit last year, it cited public safety issues, conduct that it considered unprofessional and questions about the validity of Rogers’ research, including his failure to publish sufficient peer-reviewed research. The DNR has received 69 complaints from area residents about Rogers’ bears since 2009, court documents said. The DNR’s order did allow Rogers to continue feeding and interacting with bears and conduct education.
“We believe hand feeding of bears and taming these wild animals pose a public safety issue,” Niskanen said. “Many bears in Eagles Nest Township view humans as a source of food.”
Rogers enjoys wide support of residents, his attorney said. In 2011 and 2013, the Ely City Council issued resolutions supporting Rogers and his research. Rogers believes complaints against him to the DNR started when he challenged the agency and its effort to revoke his permits. He said the DNR had a campaign to discredit him through false claims, such as the public safety issue. In one year, he went from no complaints to 17.
For his work, Rogers asked three researchers to review his study protocols, and they found no safety issues. He interviewed hikers and runners in the area, and almost no one said they had safety concerns regarding his bears.
On Monday, the Court of Appeals ruled the DNR made a reasonable interpretation of state law that putting a radio collar on a bear means that person possesses the bear, which requires a permit.
“There are many types of fish to catch in Minnesota. We keep state records on five types of redhorse alone, and in all there are state records for 62 species of fish.”
MN State records are measured by weight. To certify a fish as a record:
The record-fish form and guidelines can be found online under the list of state-record fish at www.mndnr.gov/fishing/staterecords.html.
The list is also published on Page 83 of the 2015 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet.
Boaters, anglers, hunters could face many changes if bill vetoed by Dayton is approved in special session
By Doug Smith Star Tribune
May 24, 2015 — 7:24pm
Boaters, anglers, hunters, target shooters, ATV riders, trappers and other outdoor enthusiasts will have to wait to see how they are affected by a wide-ranging bill passed last week by the Legislature. That bill was vetoed Saturday by Gov. Mark Dayton, proving again the power of the pen in influencing activities in the state’s woods, waters, fields and trails. None of these provisions is in dispute, and they are likely to be included in a reconsidered bill and signed by Gov. Dayton. Assuming that holds, the following changes will be in place:
• Minnesota’s 2.3 million boaters won’t have to pass a 30-minute training course on aquatic invasive species (AIS) or put a decal on their boats showing they passed the class. Instead boaters will have to register crafts and read a summary of AIS prevention requirements, and they will have to sign a form and possess it while on the water. Nonresident anglers will have to deal with the forms, too.
• Conservation officers and boat inspectors will require that boats contaminated with aquatic invasive species be cleaned before being launched.
• Wake surfers will have the same regulations as water skiers: to have an observer in the boat and a rearview mirror, and wake surfing will be prohibited from a half-hour after sunset to sunrise.
• Spearing bans will be removed on 11 lakes, including popular Minnetonka, Rebecca and Bald Eagle lakes in the Twin Cities.
• Catfish anglers will be allowed to net gizzard shad in the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers and use them for bait in the same waters they were caught.
• Deer hunters who buy their licenses after the season opens will be allowed to hunt the same day they bought the license as long as it was issued before legal shooting hours that day.
• Resident hunters age 84 and older — as well as those living in a Minnesota veterans home — will be allowed to take a deer of either sex on their license. No party hunting will be allowed.
• Hunters this fall will be allowed to transport ducks with just a fully feathered wing attached; previously they had to have a wing and head attached.
• Bear hunters possessing firearms will be allowed to use lights at night to search for bears they wound or kill during legal shooting hours.
• Deer hunters caught shooting outdoors with firearms or ammo within five days of the firearms deer opener might receive only a warning for their first violation. There will be exceptions. Previously they could receive citations.
• The DNR will be required to conduct an annual hunter satisfaction survey and post the results on the agency’s website.
• The DNR will have to include a wild turkey critical habitat license plate in its next selection of plate designs.
• Turkey hunters will be allowed to possess a handgun under the state’s conceal-and-carry law (as they can while hunting other species).
• It will be illegal to possess, release or hunt feral swine, though it will be legal for a person to shoot one as long as it is reported to the DNR within 24 hours; the swine will have to be surrendered to the DNR.
• Hunters will be allowed to use radio equipment to take unprotected wild animals, such as coyotes, without a permit.
• The beaver trapping season will be extended two weeks, until May 15, at the request of trappers and some northern Minnesota counties because recent late springs hampered beaver trapping success.
ATV riders, and others
• The definitions of ATVs will be changed from weight-based to size-based.
• A law allowing the hazing of Canada geese causing property damage will be expanded to include all game birds, including ducks and cranes, and the hazing also will be allowed to prevent the spread of disease, such as pathogenic avian flu.
• $2 million from the Game and Fish Fund will be appropriated for shooting-sports facility grants, including archery facilities.
Bills that didn’t pass
• A bill that would have tightened trapping regulations to prevent the accidental trapping of dogs stalled. Dog owners and some sporting groups pushed for it; trapping groups opposed it.
• A proposed increase in the surcharge on boat registration fees used to fight aquatic invasive species — now $5 for three years — to $10 over three years, didn’t pass.
• A $5 price hike for the annual state park pass, to $30, wasn’t approved.
• A proposal to ban recreational feeding of bears also died.
Chocolate can be poisonous to bears in large doses, especially when it's baker's chocolate.
New Hampshire wildlife officials recently announced that starting in 2016, hunters will be banned from using chocolate to bait bears. The decision came about after a number of bear deaths in 2014 that are believed to have been caused by an ingredient in chocolate, theobromine, that is poisonous to certain animals.
Last September, the deaths of four black bears near the same bait site in northern New Hampshire made national headlines and spurred officials to review bear baiting regulations. According to the Union Leader, the state Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve the ban, making New Hampshire the first state to prohibit chocolate for bear baiting.
“This is going to have a ripple effect somewhere else,” said Strafford County Commissioner Barry Carr. “People are going to look to New Hampshire to monitor this and see how it works, and either do something or not do something based on the New Hampshire experience, so I truly hope we get some good data for a logical decision down the road.”
Chocolate is a popular ingredient in bait piles due to its relative affordability and effectiveness in drawing the animals in. However, darker types of chocolate also contain high levels of theobromine, which is toxic to many animals. In large quantities, chocolate can even prove fatal to adult black bears. Last September wardens found two adult females and two cubs dead near a bait site in northern New Hampshire. The bait included an excessive amount of chocolate in the form of doughnuts, chocolate mint, and roughly 90 pounds of baker’s chocolate, which contains the highest levels of theobromine. A necropsy showed that the bears died from heart failure triggered by the chocolate.
“This hasn’t been a very easy issue, and has been in deliberation for months,” said Cheshire County Commissioner Robert Phillipson. “No one wants to see wildlife die needlessly, whether it’s a bear or a grey squirrel. This is probably the best compromise to resolve the situation.”
Hunters have until 2016 to use their current stockpile of chocolate. Those who use chocolate after the ban takes effect will face up to $1,000 in fines and a revocation of their hunting license for one year. Due to the unprecedented nature of the ban, officials said that penalties will be enforced in a case-by-case basis.
“I just hate to see a guy arrested for, you know, going out there with just a little bit of chocolate, which isn’t going to do a thing,” Hillsborough County Fish and Game commissioner Walter Morse told the Concord Monitor.
Officials say that intentional and significant use of chocolate for baiting however, will not be tolerated. White chocolate, which includes low amounts of theobromine, is also not included in the ban.