DNR Asking Bear Hunters to Not Shoot Radio-Collared Bears

By KBJR News 1

The MN DNR is reminding hunters to avoid shooting collared bears during the bear season.

August 27, 2013 Updated Aug 27, 2013 at 11:20 AM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is asking hunters participating in Minnesota’s bear season to avoid shooting radio-collared research bears.

The bears are marked with large colorful ear tags or colorful streamers.

DNR researchers are monitoring about 30 radio-collared black bears, most of them in northwestern Minnesota, 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 say they 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 hunt season opens on September 1st.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns