Skip to main content

State DNR says bears starting to emerge from hibernation

  • Author:
  • Updated:

While winter doesn't appear to be behind us with all the snow of late, it's that time of year where bears are starting to emerge from hibernation, The Associated Press reports.

A bear researcher for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Grand Rapids said in a press release that there's no need for people to be alarmed by the emergence of the bears initially, but should be aware that they will soon be looking for food.

"Spring can be a tough time of year for some bears," Karen Noyce said. "As they emerge hibernation, they are not immediately hungry, but over the following week, their metabolism ramps up and they will begin looking for food."

Noyce said with with the scarcity of berries and vegetation this time of year, "bears may be tempted by dog food, livestock feed, birdseed, compost or garbage."

The DNR said bear sightings are most common in the northern part of the state, but bears can also be found in some cities farther south.

Jeff Lightfoot, the DNR's Northeastern regional wildlife manager, says people who live near bear habitats should remove food that attracts the creatures. Ultimately, he said, it resolves problems much more effectively than attempting to trap and destroy bears.

Lightfoot also noted that bears are usually shy and flee when encountered, but you should still take precautions.

"Never approach or try to pet a bear. They are unpredictable wild animals," Lightfoot said. "Injury to people is rare, but bears are potentially dangerous because of their size, strength and speed."

Next Up

southwest light rail metro transit construction

Southwest LRT may now cost $2.75B, won't open until 2027

Met Council said last year it would open in 2023.

Aaron Rodgers

Broncos hiring Packers OC sparks speculation Rodgers could follow

What about both Rodgers and Davante Adams teaming up in Denver?

Minneapolis Fire Department

Fire tears through House of Charity building in Minneapolis

The charity serves hundreds of meals to those in need daily.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Here’s what the Vikings owners say about new GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

The Vikings announced his hiring on Wednesday night.

raiaing canes brooklyn park crop

After 3-month delay, newest Twin Cities Raising Cane's opens

The restaurant was originally scheduled to open in October.

st anthony armed robbery screengrab

Armed man robs Twin Cities thrift store, flees in carjacked pickup

He pulled out a handgun shortly after chatting with the cashier about his scarf.

red wing 6

Gallery: Pagoda-inspired home on Lake Pepin for sale for $2M

The home has 425 feet of private shoreline on the Mississippi River.

Walz, Flanagan

Walz proposes legalizing marijuana in massive supplemental budget

It's among the provisions in his "Budget to Move Minnesota Forward."

Plow 2 (1)

Photos reveal damage from gunshots to Minneapolis snowplow

A hydraulic line and three tires were damaged in the shooting.

unsplash - school classroom students

Minneapolis schools confirm return to in-person teaching Monday

The school district shifted to online learning almost two weeks ago as rising COVID cases led to staff and bus driver shortages.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

Mineral leases for proposed Twin Metals mine near Boundary Waters canceled

A review by the DOI found "significant legal deficiencies" with the leases' 2019 renewal.


Reward to find person who left kittens to die in freezing WI cold

The cats were thrown from a vehicle, according to a witness.


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.

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.


DNR reports: Loaded gun driving mishaps, bear in corn chopper and more

As a new hunting season begins, officers report hundreds of leftover casings, unsafe shots and loaded guns in cars