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Collared Bears

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Is it just me or how come I can not find any threads about the collared bears in the Ely area?

Did anyone else get the letter from Dennis Simon, MN DNR Wildlife Section Chief about not shooting collared bears?

Curious what other people's opions are at this point, my opinion has changed over the last few years.

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And the collared bears are not just limited to eastern, Mn...the DNR has several hundred throughout the state...It is legal to shoot them, unless the bear reasercher has them on a leash or is walking right beside them...they just "ask" that you don't shoot them...

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There was a pretty long thread about this last yr.

There are 2 parties that have collared bears in Mn. One is Lynn Rogers that operates a "research" station near Ely. Lynn collars and names bears and operates a facility where anyone with several thousands of dollars can come along, hand feed bears and otherwise "assist in research". Hunters are rather vilified by this organization and most biologists reject Lynns "research methods"

The DNR also has collared bears throughout the state, but mostly in the areas around Grand Rapids, Camp Ripley and in western Mn. At one time, the DNR had numerous bears collared and actually encouraged hunters to shoot them if they so chose. The number of these bears has dwindled significantly over the years and the bears that remain are part of several ongoing research projects, including cardiovascular research in cooperation with the University of Mn.

I'm not going to judge anyone that chooses to legally harvest a bear. It is an individual choice. As for me, I find the Ely bear project to be a rather dubious scheme to make money in the name of "research" and would not hesitate to take one of these bears.

As for the DNR bears, I have had the opportunity to assist this researcher as a volunteer once. I understand and believe that the work they are doing is important and legitimate research. I would not shoot one of these bears myself, but I'd reserve my judgement of others that chose differently.

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I find that funny since the dnr did a press release maybe a month ago about a collard bear they had to shoot since it would not leave a garage i think but they pretty much blamed rogers group without using names, at least thats how i read it.

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Interesting, the comments posted so far reflect where I and my party are at as well.

Regarding the bear that was recently dispatched by DNR officers:

From their HSOforum – ”We collared Noliana on July 11 so we could treat her with antibiotics to stem the infection in her leg wound. We wanted to make sure we could find her each day to ensure she received a full round of treatment. Sue said that Noliana was the easiest bear to radio-collar she has ever met, and we didn’t even know her.”

Some thoughts:

  • Does the permit allow for giving antibiotics to bears at WRI digression? I have a real problem with this one, unexpected antibiotics in animals that are potentially going to be food is a problem.
  • Is finding wounded wild bears to save through medicine, technology, etc. in the best interest of the bear population?
  • This was not the first bear that had been treated with antibiotics by WRI.
  • Are they allowed to collar and un-collar bears at will?
  • Did WRI just happen to have a collar lying around or did they take a collar from another bear? Their permit allows for 15 collared bears, in one of their recent posting s they were troubled that they could not collar as many bears as they use to and they had to make a decisions as to which ones to collar.
  • He is studying more bears then he has collars, can he and his team be trusted not to switch collars during hunting season to protect those bears that are using bear hunters bait bits instead of the feeding stations provided.

WRI’s ever changing the story about the recently shot bear and it is still playing out, I am sure they are trying to come up with the story that causes the least damage to them.

  • When first collared – it was not one of “the study” bears
  • Then because it was so use to people it must have been one of “their” bears offspring
  • Then because it liked to play with people and that did not sound good it must have been a pet/released bear with no relation to the “study bears”
  • Through the transition of this one their daily update tone changed from “seeing what the collared bears are up to” to “the wild bears we work with”

Some personal observations:

  • I have been a bear hunter since 2001, back then we were supposed to treat collared bears just like any other bear.
  • When asked not shoot collared bears my party understood it as a desire to be able to continue to study bears and not deal with mortality issues, we respected that.
  • Our party applied that to bears collared by the DNR or WRI – any collared bear basically. Full disclosure we have yet to see a collared bear, we used to hunt in the Chippewa National Forest and now hunt in zone 25.
  • Having observed WRI actions over the last 4 years; the intentional consequences and the unintended consequences of their actions as it relates to hunters and now DNR officers, my party has changed its’ opinion and would take pride in shooting a collared bear with ribbons . We would have a replica of the collar made and proudly display it.
  • We sincerely believe what WRI is doing has become a detriment to the bear population in the immediate area of WRI location and long term to bear hunters.
  • With the continued protection efforts of the WRI collared bears, those bears feel more like personal property of WRI then wild bears to many people.

  • The letter we received from the DNR regarding the WRI bear study indicated approximately 10 bears with collars, the WRI HSOforum indicates 15 are now collared. It also asks that the hunter leave their name at the registration station, after what happened to the person last year who shot a bear without a collar, but was part of the study – are they serious?
  • Who is protecting who and why?
  • Finally, we consider the DNR collared bears off limits for our party – we would like to see how long their oldest bear lives in the wild, believe it to be a legitimate study, etc.
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