On this quiet day, it was time to observe the color—red maples adding their reds and oranges to the beauty of birds and the background greens of aspens and birches.
Trying to explain the lack of hunting pressure this year, we know of hunters refusing to kill bears in this second year in a row of scarce food and potentially high kill rates. We know of a guide who helped protect the future of the population that is his livelihood by offering only 3 hunts this year.
Minnesota DNR statistics in Table 6 of its ‘Status of Minnesota Black Bears 2020’ show that scarce food made hunters’ bait so attractive in 2020 that hunter success rate for this area set an all time record. The kill rate would also have been high this year, further decimating the population. We don’t know what the actual kill will be for this year, but we are glad that it is quieter than we anticipated.
We don’t really know the full explanation, but we are thankful for quiet days. Ant brood should have been abundant in this warm, dry year, but it hasn’t been enough to fatten bears from the reports we have been hearing of very skinny bears in areas without diversionary feeding.
Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center
Wildlife Research Institute
145 West Conan Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731 USA