The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking bear hunters not to shoot radio-collared bears.
According to bear research biologist Dave Garshelis, the DNR is currently monitoring about 40 radio-collared bears. Most reside in the area of the Chippewa National Forest, some are near Camp Ripley Military Reservation, and a few are in the vicinity of Voyageurs National Park. However, Garshelis indicated that during the fall, bears may travel 50 or more miles from their normal area.
"We recognize that in some situations a bear hunter may not be able to see a radio-collar before making the shot," said Lou Cornicelli, DNR Big Game Program coordinator. "We emphasize that taking a radio-collared bear is still legal unless it is accompanied by a researcher. However, we are asking hunters to try to cooperate with research efforts and avoid shooting them whenever possible."
Most research bears have blaze orange collars so they will be more visible to hunters. Any hunters who do shoot collared bears are requested to call the Minnesota DNR Wildlife Research Office in Grand Rapids at (218) 327-4146.
The bear season opens Sept. 1.