It bears repeating: Don't leave out any post-hibernation breakfast items


If you went six or seven months without eating you might be a little ornery, too.

While many of us are hungry and perhaps a little grouchy before breakfast, we can only imagine what it's like for the black bears that are emerging from their dens across much of Minnesota at this time of year.

Wildlife officials are urging homeowners to check their property for any items that could unintentionally turn into breakfast for newly-awake bears.

The DNR says that can include dog food, livestock feed, bird seed, or garbage and is urging those who live near bear country to safeguard those items indoors or in bear-proof containers.

The DNR says bears are actually not hungry when they first emerge from hibernation. It takes a few weeks for their metabolism to ramp up and those hunger pangs to kick in. But when it happens they'll find that it's still too early for berries or green vegetation, which makes them more likely to check backyards in search of the year's first meal.

Bears will normally run away from people but exceptions occur when they're with their young or when they're feeding.

A DNR page with more background on bears notes that the animals will return to the places where they find food, which makes even inadvertent feeding of bears more dangerous to both the animals and people.

Researchers are still learning about how a bear's body adjusts to months of hibernation and then recovers relatively quickly from that suspended animation.

The Grand Forks Herald reported this month that medical device maker Medtronic has joined the DNR and the University of Minnesota in a study aimed at shedding more light on that.

If you plan on venturing into bear country, the folks at the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary in Orr have provided some tips for hiking or camping around black bears.

Next Up

st. paul winter carnival ice sculpture

3 winter festivals in the Twin Cities this weekend

The Great Northern, The City of Lakes Loppet and St. Paul Winter Carnival are all underway.

police lights

Suspect led deputies on 23-mile chase, hid in the woods

The suspect was arrested after a few hours hiding in a wooded area in Meeker County.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Will the Vikings be the only ones left with QB stability in the NFC?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

La Velle E. Neal III

Twins reporter La Velle E. Neal III to become Star Tribune sports columnist

The long-serving Twins reporter has received a promotion.


State Patrol investigating fatal crash near Duluth

The crash was reported around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday.

eden prairie police squad car

Carjacking reported outside shopping center in Eden Prairie

One of the suspects reportedly displayed a weapon.

court gavel

8 people charged in Medicaid fraud scheme totaling $860K

Collectively, they're charged with 46 counts of felony theft.


Minnesota gets mixed grades on its tobacco report card

In Minnesota, the economic cost due to smoking is $2.519 million with 5,910 deaths per year attributed to smoking.

Hardy Wills-Traxler

Charges: Man stabbed his father, set his home on fire

The 25-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree arson.


Post-hibernation bears breakfasting at birdfeeders, barbecues

It's that tricky time of year when hungry bears have come out of hibernation but there aren't many berries yet. Nuisance bear reports have come not just from northern Minnesota but from Twin Cities suburbs, too. The animals can be attracted to livestock feed, garbage, dog food, or bird seed.

Minnesota scientists discover hibernating bears have surprising healing ability

Researchers tracking bears with radio collars noticed that animals with serious wounds often emerge from hibernation with no scars or signs of infection. Medical scientists hope the bears will help us learn how to better treat our own wounds.