Minnesota DNR offers tips to avoid run-ins with bears

Minnesota DNR offers tips to avoid run-ins with bears Photo: AP photo

April 22, 2019 02:29 PM

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding homeowners to be aware of bears and to check their property for food sources that could attract them.

A release said as bears emerge from hibernation in the spring, their metabolism ramps up and they begin looking for food. Homeowners are advised to remove items such as bird seed, garbage, livestock feed and compost from their property to reduce the possibility of attracting them.


Black bears are the only bear species that exist in the wild in the state. The release said they are usually shy and flee when encountered, but to avoid approaching them. Because of their size, strength and speed, they can be dangerous.

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The DNR does not relocate problem bears. The release said relocated bears seldom remain where they are released, and can return to where they were caught, or cause issues someplace else.

The release did provide the following tips for keeping bears away from a home or property:

  • Do not feed birds from April 1 to Nov. 15.
  • If one does feed birds in that timeframe, hang birdfeeders 10 feet up and four feet out from the nearest trees.
  • Do not put out feed for wildlife (like corn, oats, pellets or molasses blocks).
  • Replace hummingbird feeders with hanging flower baskets, which are also attractive to hummingbirds.
  • Do not leave food from barbecues or picnics outdoors, especially overnight.
  • Clean and store barbecue grills after each use in a secure shed or garage away from windows or doors.
  • Elevate bee hives on bear-proof platforms, or use properly-designed electric fences.
  • Pick fruit from trees as soon as its ripe and collect all fallen fruit immediately.
  • Limit compost piles to grass, leaves and garden clippings and turn piles.
  • Harvest garden produce as it matures, and locate gardens away from forests and shrubs bears might use for cover.
  • Use native plants in landscaping where possible.
  • Store pet food inside and feed pets indoors. If pets must be fed outdoors, only feed them as much as they will eat.
  • Store garbage in bear-resistant garbage cans or dumpsters. Rubber or plastic garbage cans are not safe from bears.
  • Keep garbage inside a secure building until the morning of pickup.
  • Properly rinse all recyclable containers with hot water.
  • Store recyclable containers such as pop cans inside.

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Frank Rajkowski

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