A report of a black bear wandering into a northwest Minnesota town Sunday morning has prompted authorities to alert residents in a public safety measure.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office says the black bear was spotted in the 600 block of 9th St. NW in the City of Fosston. The bear would've been on the northern edge of town.
No other sightings were reported but a release from the sheriff's office serves as a reminder for residents to avoid approaching the bear.
The Minnesota DNR has a map that shows bear sightings all over the state, with officials noting that black bear range has slowly been expanding southward and westward. The bear spotted in Fosston, however, lies within what's considered a normal area for bear population in Minnesota.
Bears live in forests, swamps, and other areas with dense cover, but they also venture into clearings to feed. They are found mainly in the northern third of Minnesota, but range as far south as the interface between the forest and agricultural zones, where they utilize corn and other crops for subsistence.
Population and management
There are roughly 12,000-15,000 black bears in Minnesota. Sport hunting is their main source of mortality. Minnesota hunters harvest an average of about 3,000 black bears annually. Bear hunting license sales are restricted in most of the range to maintain a desired harvest and population size. More information about black bear management »