By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

— The Department of Natural Resources decided Monday that radio-collared bears will continue to be fair game to hunters this fall. Now, a Minnesota bear researcher says the DNR is exposing his life’s work to unnecessary risk.

That includes Lily, a 4-year-old black bear who is one of nine radio-collared bears being studied by Lynn Rogers of the North American Bear Center.

For 44 years, Rogers has been a bear researcher and Lily has received much of his attention lately. That’s because she’s now a mother to three cubs and their lives are continually broadcast on Rogers’ website. However, while the bears hibernate now, this fall Rogers won’t be able to keep them safe. Lily’s bright-pink research collar won’t protect her from a bear hunter.

“This is so devastating when one of these bears is killed. We can’t just put the collar on another bear and go forward. We have to start over,” said Rogers.

When reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Rogers said he was hoping new DNR leadership would protect his bears, but the new leadership took a familiar stance.

“It’s an emotional issue. We know that Dr. Rogers has a large following out there,” said DNR Deputy Commissioner Dave Schad.

Schad said it would be unfair to put hunters in a position where they have to look for collars before they shoot.

“It’s been our practice to encourage hunters to refrain from shooting those (bears), but understand, at times, those mistaken shots are going to happen,” said Schad.

Rogers is now urging his followers to contact their lawmakers in hopes of getting his bears protected.

“The DNR didn’t get it right on this one. I think the bears aren’t owned just by the hunters, but by the public at large and some of us want to learn from them,” said Rogers.

Rogers said that more than 500 schools across the country are studying his bears online.

The DNR also has research bears that will be fair game to hunters this fall. They say it’s really up to lawmakers to pass a law that would protect these bears.

Comments (252)
  1. Elaine Novak says:

    Thank you for your story. I have been following the bear research for over a year. I hope the DNR will change their mind on the issue.

    1. Linda Moore says:

      Why please do you have such a problem with this small number of research bears being protected against hunters?? I am in Mass. and have been a fan of these bears since then, before hope was born. Please explain to all the children and tourists why you feel this small population should not have protection !!!!

  2. Jean Kampmeyer says:

    These bears deserve protecting and many of us are going to work hard to get the legislature to protect these bears. Its not about hunting, but about protecting a small number of bears. Anytime a hunter could not see the bright, colored collar on these bears, then they are not seeing well enough to be taking a shot.

    1. James Taylor says:

      If you protect the radio collared bear the study isn’t really accurate as death by hunting is a very real possibility. I hunt bear and it is the best meat out there. I know I would have a hard time shooting it but it part of life for these beautiful animals

      1. Joyce says:

        The research is not about counting the numbers of bears. It is learning about the habits of black bears, where they live, how far they travel, how they protect their territory and care for their offspring. I would think a hunter could benefit from this knowledge.

      2. MNTaxpayer says:

        The research being conducted is about the life of a bear not the death of one. We learn nothing from a dead animal.

      3. Mary Ellen Letsche says:

        James do you think you could look twice to see if they have very colored streamers hanging from a collar before you shoot. It would be very much easier then seeing if a pheasant is a hen or cock before you pull the trigger! That is a law too and much smaller to see.

      4. Donna Christy says:

        James Taylor: You mean you can’t live without the meat from 9 bears? What about the children in schools who are learning so much about bears? Take another look at your statement. It’s no even logical.

      5. Henrietta Wakelin says:

        We already know that bears die when they’re shot, they’re not bullet proof. We learn nothing from a dead bear. Where the research bears are invaluable is in the time taken, over decades, to study the bloodlines and understand the relationships these bears develop. I look forward to the day I can bring my tourist cash from the UK to Ely to see these bears and if they’re casually shot because someone couldn’t be bothered to look twice I’d be devastated. I am sure a responsible hunter would always let a collared bear pass, and an irresponsible hunter doesn’t deserve a licence.

      6. Jayne says:

        James Taylor~ Since there are 4000 to 5000 beautiful bears to hunt in MN, couldn’t you just NOT shoot a collared bear?

      7. Terry says:

        There are plenty of other bears out there that are not involved in the research project. Why couldn’t you just leave the remaining 9 for some of the (reportedly) thousands of bears in MN??????? and why would anyone need to kill a small yearling bear? How much meat on a bear under a 100 lbs??? is that hunting or just killing? If bears were such a problem why do they have to be lured to their death by killers, or i mean, hunters?????

      8. Bob says:

        As a hunter who has ate Bear meat in the past, I can say it’s not the best meat out there, so I’m not buying that one bit. Bear hunting is base mainly on getting the biggest badest looking bear for sport, Since lynn has only 9 to 14 bears collared in a known area, a law like this doesn’t seem that hard to pass.

      9. THE CUB says:

        What say we make it even? I SUPPORT THE RIGHT TO ARM BEARS!!!
        And if one shoots you with your hunter orange vest….OOPS! Sorry. “Human meat is the best meat out there. Hey, after all, it’s just part of life!” No…wait…death is not PART of life…it’s the END of it. Wouldn’t it be nice if you were out in the woods and came upon a big surly bear that started to charge you and then suddenly it stopped and thought…gee, this looks like an important person, I’d better leave him alone….and it turned and walked away? But that couldn’t happen because bears can’t think and rationalize like a human can. So because you are human and CAN rationalize, why can’t hunters let these nine collared bears go free to be studied and learned from by the hundreds of thousands of interested scholars, young and old, around the world?
        What will it take to avert the slaughter of these ‘beautiful animals’? Just think about it….it’s just a handful of bears that have been selected for studies to learn about their behaviors. Can’t hunters let them be? Or is it so important to be the big hero and bring home the ‘bacon’? I know, wrong meat…but hey….after all it seems that it’s just ‘meat’ to you. To Lynn Rogers, a man who has literally lived with these bears for over 40 years, it’s his life’s work. Why would a hunter want to destroy that or anyone’s livelihood? It’s just wrong when there are so many more ‘targets’ out there to choose from. Watch this video a few times and see Dr Rogers’ interaction with the black bears and other beautiful creatures and maybe your perception of the value of wild animals, their beauty, and their significance in nature will be softened.

    2. Andrew Page says:

      We are talking about research bears, correct? By protecting them and treating them differently than other bears in the area, you are gathering corrupted data. You are no longer going to get an accurate idea of the average life-span of regional bears. The geezer running this program should research how to conduct a proper scientific experiment first.

      1. Karen Anderson says:

        Andrew Page — you are an IDIOT. Dr. Rogers “studies” this group of bears and you haven’t a clue what his motives and methods are (unlike small school children who do). It’s not for YOU to determine what is a “proper scientific experiment” when you are so ignorant that you refer to a man of Dr. Roger’s qualitry as a “geezer”, barely into his 70s and clearly one of your betters.

    3. TJ says:

      This isnt a research project, this is simply a domestication of wild animals. They arent gonna travel anywhere when they know the will be fed by Mr.Rogers hand. Do a true study on wild animals and include hunting mortality, like they do on banded birds and fish.

  3. Marilyn Beattie says:

    As I can’t text from Australia – am saying save the radio collared bears- with all the wonderful research that Lynn Rogers and Co are doing…particularly now with Lilly and all of her family. Surely the hunters can look before they shoot?

    1. Dotti Bialek says:

      Responsible hunters are required to see a 3″ tine on the head of a deer, why would they NOT be able to see fluorescent ribbons projecting several inches out from a bear’s collar? We are talking about protection for NINE bears out of thousands. These bears are providing valuable information about how black bears live. We all know how they die ~ and yes, some are ACCIDENTALLY hit by cars. But hunters are not supposed to do anything by “accident”. Sparing nine bears so they can continue to educate the world about co-existence with nature is not asking very much, IMO♥

      1. Carolyn Thomas says:

        WE NEED TO HAVE THESE COLLARED BEARS TO TEACH US AND THE KIDS .With the internet Dr. Rogers can reach right in the class rooms to the kids.How do you tell a child that a bear they are studing got shot and killed by a hunter.when Hope got lost at the end of the school year many could not tell the kids.,why worry them all summer. and it worked out. why do they need to watch these bears grow up just to be meat on the table.lets all work togather to share what God gave us.I would have to see the bear study end,please for the love of learning please lets all work for the good of man kind. not to leave out love of the kids eager to learn.

  4. Phil says:

    This is absolutely outrageous! I mean the fact the someone other than the DNR is collaring these bears. Beside that death is a part of the life on these creatures. To say that is will ruin all this hard work is ridiculous to not allow this would give unrealistic information. I personally know which bear this is, earlier this fall driving down the echo trail in Ely MN I was inches away from hitting this “Lily”. This would have ended Rogers Research just as easy. Hunting is a part of this research it is a portion of the growth/mortality rate of this species. I would like the public to do their research as well instead of these people voting that don’t really know anything about it on this poll effecting what will happen in the future on something they have no part of, hunting or the research. All they here is this sob story, like I said before this is a part of life.

    1. barb says:

      Do you really think that only government agencies should be able to do scientific research?

      1. Janie Anderson says:

        Totally agree with you!! These people can’t even balance their checkbooks, much less that of the state! And to think about them doing any kind of research is undescribeable!! Even if they do not totally agree with the research methods, I thought these officials are supposed to carry out the will of the people. They also need to look at how much money Lilly supporters have brought in for the state (tax revenue from sales, tourism, food bank donations, etc)., plus exposure to the state. Janie in Colorado

    2. KK says:

      But their objective isn’t to study black bear “mortality”. It’s to learn more about how bears live, adjust, eat, reproduce, hibernate, etc. Things they can’t find out in captivity and are frequently studied in many, probably almost all wild species. Is it really too much trouble for you to spare a couple who are contributing to the research? Besides I’d think you’d want to hunt a bear that’s a real CHALLENGE, not one who has been conditioned to even a slight bit of limited human contact throughout it’s life. How wimpy.

    3. Phil Me Up says:

      You must be a republican… Science is important, your religious beliefs are not…

      1. june says:

        Phil, you are astonishing……and not in a good way.

      2. Phil says:

        God bless GW, haha haha for you information I am in Natural Resources Thanks 😉

    4. Andrew Ellison says:


      How is it outrageous that someone other than the DNR is collaring these bears? Death is indeed part of life, but that is not what the study is about. It’s about how they live. I’m going to assume you aren’t a scientist. Based on that assumption, how could you know, having never participated in the true process of research, the effects that destruction of the research subject would have on the study?

      As for you almost hitting Lily, I dare say you need to be more aware when you are driving as that could have been a distracted hunter you hit with your car.

      Hunting is a part of reality, it is not a part of the research. The research is to study the lives of these bears. Yes, bears can be killed by hunters, but the point of preventing collared bears from being targeted is so that scientists can study what happens when the bear’s life is not cut short by hunting (or even your car). This is part of the unknown, and investigating the unknown is the base of all scientific research.

      What is this “future” you keep referring to? I think those are just empty words and situations that you are putting out there to defend the right of a hunter not to think twice before pulling the trigger on a creature with brightly colored ribbons on its collar. If you can avoid shooting people in their hunter orange vests, by evaluationg before shooting, you are certainly able to avoid shooting a bear with its “hunter orange.”

      We aren’t trying to take away your right to hunt black bears, just the bears that are part of the study. They are a small part of the population. And, your statement that this is a “sob story” is mysogynistic.

    5. Jean Kampmeyer says:

      Phil, don’t you care about all the school children who are following these bears and learning about these bears in their classrooms all over the country and worldwide? If a hunter shot one of these research bears because they don’t respect Dr. Rogers’ research, how would this affect these children.
      This is not “absolutely outrageous,” but absolutely serious. These bears do not belong to the hunters to choose to shoot. This is not about hunting; there are plenty of other bears out there. Dr. Rogers has been doing his research on a limited number of bears for over 40 years; why not support him and his followers? Why not choose to get along with us? We love those research bears and I personally would be devastated if one was killed by a hunter. If Lily would be hit by a car, that would be an accident. That is way different than if a hunter shot her while she had a neon bright collar on. Please go to see our wonderful bears. Lily is in her den with twin cubs and her yearling Hope. Thank you for listening

    6. Jayne says:

      Phil, death is a part of ALL living creatures and humans. Hunting is intent to kill, so are drive by shootings, with then end result of death. Still doesn’t make it right. I don’t know why you’re so upset about research bears. We want them protected, so go shoot the 4,991 other bears.

    7. Ann says:

      A bear with ribbons around its neck is much easier to see and thus to shoot than a regular bear. The fact that these bears are accustomed to some humans has been taken into consideration while studying them and it should be taken into consideration when hunting season rolls around. I can’t think of anything much more pathetic than shooting a beribboned bear that it used to humans, perhaps shooting fish in a barrel is a good comparison.
      I would hope that regardless of what the law says, hunters will avoid these bears. I understand that its too much to ask for them to avoid shooting anything and considering camping and enjoying nature.

    8. Michele Chartier says:

      I disagree Phil! The “People” voting know alot more about the research bears,because we choose to learn the truth,not myths,or mis information on Black Bears..The research bears in Dr. Roger’s study are valuable to behavior and ecology, and there is little they can learn about that from a dead bear! I suggest you visit and do YOUR research,and learn the real truth of why protection for 9 bears out of thousands is crucial..Hunting is NOT a part of any research!

    9. Just Ducky says:


      Thank you for your testimony that every hunter can REDILY see brightly colored, durable duct tape “ribbons” hanging off bulky radio colors, since you could even identify the specific identity of one bear -Lily- out of thousands of bears in the county, as you were driving so fast that you almost hit her. Sitting hunters, watching a slow moving foraging bear, now -by your testimony- could never make a mistake and claim they couldn’t see brightly colored “ribbons” on collared bears…heck they should be able to even identify them by name.

    10. Sharon H. says:

      Thank you Phil for not hitting Lily with your car. If you had of hit her we would have never have had the priveledge of watching Lily hibernate in her den with Hope. Nor would we have been able to witness the birth of her two new cubs Faith and Jason. Before viewing Dr.Roger’s cam I did not even know that MN has Black Bears. Actually before Lily I never thought about it. I live in Gatlinburg, Tn. We have lots of Black Bears here. Most live in the Great Smoky Mtn National Park and are Federally protected. I have learned lots myself about the many differences in habitat of Mn Black Bears vs. TN Black Bears. I always wondered what goes on in a hibernation but never knew until Lily. For the people of MN to protect these collared bears says alot about them. There is a major difference in the hibernation of Mn Black Bears and Tenn Black Bears. The Black Bears in TN do not hibernate. They do a “winter sleep”. I never knew Baby Black Bears have a hummmmmin motor sound…So much more to learn. Minnesota needs to protect these collared bears to the fullest possible. I am watching from Gatlinburg, Tn.

      1. Phil :) says:

        To all of you I do realize that research is important. I actually and in the natural resource field. Although i do agree with some and you all have some good points. These bears yes are researched but if you subtract one way of mortality this research is comprimised and not useable I know that this research isnt all about mortality but it does play a big role. I didnt mean to upset any one and the whole part about the DNR and such was to get your attention. Yes it should be legal for NGOs to do there research too but i mean research is research and hunting and other ways of dying are a part of it. Like I said you need it to happen for accurate reseach.

  5. Nancy Hill says:

    If hunters have to take the time to look for 3″ antlers, then they should have to look for the brightly colored ribbons. I am sure the ribbons are much more visible than the 3″ antlers. I hope and pray that the DNR do change their minds.

    1. Allison says:

      I am from the uk, and i collect bear data for Dr Rogers, so i watch these bears daily, and have learnt so much . Do the DNR realise the world is watching. There are going to be a lot of people visiting the area this summer, and its all because of these bears and Dr Rogers giving us the opportunity, to learn first hand, the behaviour and understanding of these beautiful creatures. I think the DNR need to change their old fashioned attitude.They really need to watch the newest programme from the BBC “bear family and me”, then they would see why bears like Hope need to be protected.

      1. Suzanne says:

        The world is indeed watching. I watch regularly from Canada and there was a post above from Austrailia. I know there are people watching from Europe and South Africa as well.

  6. Barb Carges says:

    I have been following Dr. Rogers research for over a year and don’t understand the DNR’s theory that hunters shouldn’t have to take a close enough look to spot the collared bears. The researchers put large strips of brightly colored duck tape on the collars. If the hunter can’t see them then he doesn’t have a good enough visual to take the shot.
    What is the real problem? Is the DNR worried about ticking off the hunters? Do they feel that Dr. Rogers’ work is not important? Or has this matter become an ego driven pissing match?
    If the DNR has a reasonable explanation for not protecting a very small number of bears who are teaching us a lot about the species, I wish that they would let us know what it is.

  7. Runcis says:

    If hunters can look to ensure what they are aiming at is not another human being or a family pet, than surely they can pause and look through their scopes to see whether a bear is wearing a color. Contact your legislators and the Governor folks! The Deputy DNR Administrator’s comment about “fairness” is outrageous and cavalier. Fair to whom — or to what? Geez. Seems that common sense and compassion have taken a siesta.

  8. Karen Anderson says:

    What the MN DNR seems to be unaware of is that the brightly-colored ribbons the research bears wear during hunting season are DUCT TAPE doubled over and stuck to itself. Not only are these VERY durable “ribbons” but somewhat stiff so they protrude from the collar. Anyone with a gun who can’t SEE these ribbons isn’t responsible enough to be hunting for they’d likely shoot a person and not “notice” an orange vest and cap.

    Surely, in a State like Minnesota there can’t be too many hunters who aren’t familiar with DUCT TAPE and how tough it is. Now double it over and tie some knots in it. These gaudy ribbons had to be purposefully removed from Sarah’s collar last year before it was dropped in a DNR mailbox. Some of the pink tape was still stuck to the collar itself. Those ribbons were easily visible before the trigger was pulled on the gun that killed her. A yearling.. For shame …

    1. Lisa says:

      I totally agree with you Karen. I wish people would stop calling them ribbons, as it is totally misleading. If a hunter cannot see these bright calored pieces of duct tape sticking out from the bear’s fur then they don’t have a clear enough view to be sure it is a bear they are shooting. The DNR web site says there are 20,000,bears in Minnesota. Certainly 9 of these can be spared for research.

  9. Valerie boyum says:

    I am a avid lover of animals and anyone who knows me knows that, so I am always behind protecting animals or at least a majority of them from the hunters and such. We need to protect these creatures to give our children and their children some of the same joy we have had with some of the animals that have gotten our attention through media and research. I hope the DNR changes their mind and still protect the collared bears, I mean for crying out loud hunters already have to wait and make sure thier shot is good or safe, or count the antlers, so why can’t they look for a collar that is bright? They have to watch for the orange or flourescent colors of people, so why can’t they do the same for Lily and others like her?
    If we keep taking away from the pool of animal resources out there without researching their lives, they will become extinct and then what will hunters hunt? Us? I don’t think so, so what if we have to protect bears and others, I think the research is important for the continued success of animal population and safety to the public, so if the hunters have to take a few more seconds to make sure then so what?
    I hope the dNR changes its mind soon.

  10. ja says:

    Any hunter with ethics would avoid shooting a radio collared animal.

    Unfortunately the unethical ones would should them whether it is legal or not.

    1. MNTaxpayer says:

      And the unethical hunter is who this law is directed at. These hunters give all hunters a bad name, unfortunately. Hunting is a part of the landscape in MN and a tradition but sportsmen respect the animals they hunt and also realize that research work is an asset to them and well as the rest of the citizens. This law as with so many legislates common sense for those lacking it.

  11. Laura Caplan says:

    The research undertaken by Dr. Rogers, and all of the bears in his study area, are extremely valuable to the State of Minnesota in innumerable ways.

    These research bears are a window into our natural world that provide us with a much deeper understanding of the lives of the bears who we share our world with in the State of Minnesota. The bears in Minnesota belong to all of the residents of our state, not just hunters. And the research bears in Dr. Rogers study are extremely important to many people in Minnesota and all over the world, including hunters, because they provide rare insights into bear behavior and how bears operate in their natural ecosystem.

    How does shooting these invaluable radio collared bears possibly benefit our state? Why should the interests of less than a handful of hunters who want to take quick shots at poorly identified targets far outweigh the needs of a vast number of others in the State of Minnesota (and throughout the world) who greatly value the research being done?

    The bears in Dr. Roger’s study are very clearly marked during hunting season with brightly colored durable ribbons that are designed to be visible in low light conditions. Why would it be a burden to hunters to require them to take a second look before they shoot a bear that is extremely valuable to the State of Minnesota?

    The DNR has this one wrong. It absolutely should be against the law to shoot these collared bears and anything less is a disgrace upon the State of Minnesota.

    1. Nancy J. Jorgenson says:

      I have to totally agree with you Laura ! The world is watching what MN is doing in this situation so I do hope that the DNR will give this a more thorough evaluation before the final decision is made. The great state of MN is also benefiting from increased tourism to the Bear Center in Ely, not to mention all the fund raising that has happened thanks to Dr. Rogers and his work !

      People have been encroaching on our wildlife’s habitat for too long and we need to learn more about the wildlife in our great state of MN so we can all live peacefully together !

      These research bears need to be protected NOW !

  12. John LeVasseur says:

    These bears can’t be hunted. They have gotten use to human contact and they have lost their natural fear of humans. They are at a great disadvantage to other bears not interacting with researchers. Leave it to our DNR not to have a lick of common sense. Just look at the state’s trapping laws. You can pretty much put a trap where ever you want in this state. No shortage of stupid.

    1. Sharon H. says:

      John, Two years ago some vacationer’s came to Gatlinburg, Tn andl rented a cabin. The bears here are so use to eating garbage and people feeding them by hand that they have no fear of humans. The vacationer”s that came from out of state to Gatlinburg, Tn rented a cabin and then set food traps to lure a bear under the cabin they rented. Then they shot the bear. Her name was Nellie…The hunters are long gone and the cabins owner’s are still reeling from their kill and the loss of “Nellie”…Your right John humanized bears have no fear of humans.

  13. Lael bradshaw says:

    oh my you can still trap in MN. that is so inhumane. i thought we had progressed pass that sort of thing, but i guess if hunters can’t see colored duck tape it figures. these bears are very important to wildlife research weather they are the DNR or Dr. Rogers bears. we need all the research we can get at the rate wildlife is vanishing due our ignorance.

  14. Anna Pizzolato says:

    More than a year ago, I saw a link on Yahoo that said I could watch a wild black bear give birth to her cub on a webcam. I began to watch and when the cub (Hope) was born, I . . like so many others . . was totally hooked. Thousands upon thousands of us watch these bears EVERY DAY. Last year’s hunting season was heart-wrenching every day. We lost two bears in that time. NO ONE else in the world is doing the research Dr. Rogers is doing. You’d think Minnesota would be proud to be home to the man who is favorably compared to Jane Goodall in his style of research. It’s time for a law to protect the research bears ..past time, really.
    Wake up, Minnesota!! You have a HUGE natural treasure in your midst. This summer, I plan to visit Minnesota purely because of the bear research. I am not alone. Hundreds of others, perhaps thousands of Lily & Hope, and now Faith & Jason, fans have the potential of spending a LOT of tourist dollars in Minnesota. Don’t blow it. Protect the research bears now, please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Mary Ellen Letsche says:

      Anna, I so agree with you. How can the DNR think that they are doing what is right. The state is collecting so much tax from the people who are spending money to feed the bears, gifts to the workers, etc. etc. Also consider the tourism dollars brought into the state. It kind of reminds me of the people in SD griping about the MN hunters and fishermen coming to SD – looks like they are biting the hand that feeds them!!! Think about it are you going to think smart or not. We are watching for you to make a GOOD DECISION for more than a few trophy bear hunters!

  15. Rachel Jones says:

    I am from Minn and I do not want any bear hunted. In this day we are not in need of hunting our food. Perhaps in a few years who knows,but for now NO
    Minn Mom

  16. Emma says:

    I follow this research with much interest from the UK. The research the Bear Centre does is valuable – it’s not about how many bears there are and where they travel – it’s about how these bears live. If a study bear is lost it’s collar can’t simply be placed on another bear – it takes time to build up the trust of another bear for this research. Hopefully people will begin to see what a huge asset these bears are to the area – if money talks then surely on an economic basis the tourism that this interest in bears generates must speak to someone. If it’s not money that talks, then science and reason must suggest that this work is valuable and the radio collared bears require and deserve protection for this long-term study to continue.

  17. Vicki Besemer says:

    The issue isn’t to hunt or not to hunt. The issue is protection for radio collared research bears wearing brightly multi-colored duct tape ribbons. It isn’t just one or two ribbons used to identify the bears as research bears. These ribbons are tied all around the bear’s collar and stick out past their fur in all directions–so much that at times it resembles a new kind of clown collar. There are many pictures on Dr. Rogers’ websites and

    Now DNR Deputy Commissioner Dave Schad said “it would be unfair to put hunters in a position where they have to look for collars before they shoot.” Isn’t it the responsibility of any hunter to know what they are aiming at and take a second look before they pull the trigger? Wouldn’t it be a more accurate statement to say–it would be unfair to any animal, or person, walking through the forest if hunters didn’t take that second look and make a positive identification of what they are shooting. You have it backwards, Mr. Schad.

    The bears that Dr. Rogers is researching are not just any black bear. He is studying the lineage of a 21 year old female black bear. When just one of these bears are killed unnecessarily, it changes the outcome of the research and the results are lost–we will never know what would have happened. For example, I have learned that a female bear gives part of her territory to her female offspring. If one of those bears are shot and killed, the territory is changed, the food supply is changed, behavior is changed, den locations are changed–nothing is as it should have been.

    This is just one tidbit of what I have learned since I watched a wild black bear give birth to her first cub last year; and watched her again this year as she birthed a male and a female cub on the northern border of my State. Now we are witnessing something never before recorded–a mixed litter den (1 yearling and 2 new cubs). In addition to his research, Dr. Rogers has developed an Educational Outreach Program and is working with teachers to provide tools to educate students of all ages about the world of wild black bears and how we can co-exist with them.

    These research bears must be protected. Asking hunters not to shoot them, reaching out and talking to hunters to explain the research hasn’t worked; and as a result two more research bears were killed last season (one was a female yearling). No, not all hunters would be so unethical, but there is proof in the past. Protect these bears so that they live to teach us and our young.

    1. Nancy J. Jorgenson says:

      Vicki…. very well said ! It’s so much more than just about hunting ! We can only hope that our DNR officials or the MN state Legislature can protect these bears so we all can benefit from the wonderful research that Dr. Rogers has dedicated his life to providing for all the human race to learn from !

  18. Stephen says:

    I am another UK visitor – the work the Bear Centre does is truly invaluable and apart from this research the potential revenue from the additional tourists who would come to the area must far outweigh the commercial benefits of hunting these amazing animals.

    Just to observe the bears makes one wonder how anyone could possibly want to shoot them dead.

    Tune in to the Bear Centre website and you will be converted to the cause.

  19. Anj says:

    Dr. Rogers and the NABC have reached far and beyond Ely, Minnesota. My 7yr old son did a book report on a book written about Lily’s birth of Hope and shared it with his classroom in Southwestern Ontario. The Webcam is an amazing insight into the nurturing side of these animals and how little we really knew about hibernation. It is incredible to view these animals in their habitat and not stuffed in a museum or displayed in a zoo. I definitely would visit the NABC if I was ever in the area.

    I think Dr. Roger’s research is both valuable and important and I would think that Hunters would want to make sure that the numbers stay sustainable. Every resource needs an expert and I am sure Dr. Rogers is the leading expert in Minnesota on the subject of Black Bears. Dr. Rogers works hard to mark his bears in a very obvious fashion so the hunters do not have to question if the bear in their target is a research bear or not. The number of research bears is not that great and if the Hunters cannot spare 9 bears then maybe the number of bears in that area is not enough to warrant hunting.

    1. Jean says:

      Well said Anj……..

      I too live in Southwestern Ontario and have been following these bears since Hope’s birth last year. Dr. Rogers research is vital in promoting the truth about how these bears live. Live….not die.

      Anyone wanting to help support Dr. Rogers research can visit

      The names and addresses of the legislative representatives can be found there.

      Please, please send letters and help to get a law passed to protect these radio-collared bears.

  20. V. Thor says:

    Where is it written that humans have the right to hunt for sport? Where is the sport in killing another creature? The bears of Dr. Rogers’ research study should be protected. Shame on the MN DNR for not valuing the benefits of studying the fellow inhabitants of this planet over the cruel and outdated “sport” of hunting.

  21. bill thompson says:

    dnr good goiny a year old ear is fair game ive unted the for 30 years theres lots off bears quit cryiny its just a bear thanks bill trapper

    1. Jean Kampmeyer says:

      Would you really purposely shoot a research bear, just because you believe “a bear is a bear?”. Exactly, “theres lots of bears”, so why shoot a bear that is part of a research study in Minnesota? And a bear that is followed by so many people in Minn and worldwide? These bears are so important to us and we aren’t asking much, so why can’t you support us and agree not to shoot collared research bears?. Can’t we all just get along. I respect your right to hunt. You respect my right to follow research research bears. Thanks for listening.

    2. Laura Caplan says:

      Well if “theres lots off bears” then why can’t you just go and find another one that doesn’t have a collar on????? Leave these invaluable research bears alone!

  22. Alexis Maureen says:

    I live in Minnesota. I’m not a hunter, but enjoy the outdoors. My husband and his family have hunted for 5 generations in the Paul Bunyan forest. My husband is a very careful hunter and says he looks twice before shooting anything. One, to make sure it’s an animal, and two, to make sure it’s legal prey (antlers). I asked him how long this takes. He said ” a second or two”. Surely, responsible bear hunters can take an additional second to verifiy that the bear is wearing neon colored duct tape standing straight up, extending 12″ from it’s collar. There are plenty of bears. Please leave the research bears alive and in peace.

  23. Kathy Gebicke says:

    I’m very disappointed in the DNR’s decision. The DNR doesn’t seem to recognize the value of these bears. Perhaps its because the DNR isn’t interested in how bears live and interact. The DNR seems to only be looking at bears in our world as a commodity to be hunted. What about the other folks who like to enjoy bears and learn from bears and photograph bears? Why can’t the DNR consider the fact that the bears belong to all of us and it is the DNR’s responsibility to “manage” them for the benefit of everyone, not just hunters. Just think of the national treasures that would have been lost if someone hadn’t stepped in and saved them for all to enjoy. Learning about bears and the way they live and interact has been amazing. I hope the DNR will reconsider their decision. It’s not that hard to take an extra moment to look for ribbons. I applaud the hunters who support the protection of radio collared bears and refuse to shoot collared bears. Shame on the DNR!

  24. Diane H. says:

    The MN DNR’s “Good old boys” attitude toward protecting these few ribboned and radio collared bears is decades behind the times. These research bears are followed around the world and factual information about the lives of the bears is being taught in at least 70 classrooms in MN, and 500 classrooms in other states and countries. I request the Commissioner to re-visit this call for protection of the research bears and reconsider his decision. Theis issue is not going to go away. Myself and my family have learned much about how bears live and what they do. Why should a hunter with poor eyesight not be required to look closer at his target. Why should their right to kill research animals be favored over my rights as a taxpayer supporting the DNR?

  25. Maureen Walsh says:

    I have been following Dr Lynn and his radio collared bears for over a year now and I have to say I have learned so much, I have gained a new appreciation and respect for bears and it is all thanks to the great work that Dr Lynn and his staff at the NABC is doing, They do it the right way, they do not tranqualise the bears to gain their information, they walk with the bears. The DNR needs to wake up and realise that we are not asking for all bears to be protected, just a few special bears that Dr Lynn has invested his time in to gather a history on them. Children are being taught about black bears in school, we get daily updates on the bears, we have watched them hibernate and give birth. This is real important. I ask you to wake up, listen to the people and DO THE RIGHT THING…. PROTECT THE RADIO COLLARED BEARS… PLEASE

  26. Mark Westbrook says:

    Dr. Rodgers has let his emotional involvement taint his research. Anyone attempting to use his findings would have to ask if they were a result of conditions that he set to get a result. As much as we all loved the Lily and Hope story, the saving of Hope has tainted any research going forward. Has anyone asked the question: Where did Lily find all of that nice straw, in her den, there in a cedar swamp? Good story and show? Yes. Great fundraiser? Yes. Usable research? No. Like it or not, hunting is a part of the black bear’s life and death. Without it, Dr. Rodgers’ bear research would just be further tainted. The observations of Dr. Rodgers’ captive bears, Ted, Honey and Lucky, are pretty much the same thing as Lily, Hope, and the other bears in his study, if they are put in a protective bubble.

    1. MNTaxpayer says:

      Mark, No one is saying the three captive bears represent wild bears. They are captive because humans at one time thought they would be good pets and actually wanted to do good by the bears.

      You also question the bedding at the wild den. The den is not in the cedar swamp. it is 373 yards from the swamp (almost 4 football fields). And Mother Nature provides quite well for her animals. Following is an except from the research notes upon discovering what den was being used” “It’s surrounded by so much grass and sedge that they [the bears] were able to rake plenty of bedding into the den in a short time. By the time we got there, they had already spent hours in it, judging from how packed down the bed already was.”

    2. Allison says:

      Mark, i dont see how saving hope has tainted the study. different species of animals help each other out all the time. Isnt feeding birds in you garden “interfering with nature”?

    3. Jean Kampmeyer says:

      Why would you want a collared research bear shot? This is Dr Rogers’ research, and who are you to judge it? There is no hay in Lily’s den. Maybe you are thinking of Ted and Lucky’s den; they are not wild bears and are captive bears. I support Dr. Rogers’ work with bears as do thousands of others. We are only asking for protection from hunters for under 20 research bears. We are not asking for much. Why not choose to respect our wishes. These bears are very, very important to a lot of people, including many school children. Dr. Rogers is not studying how bears die, but their true nature as they live. I have learned a lot about bears already by following these bears.

    4. evanskeel says:

      Mark – How did Hope taint the research? A major benefit of research is that findings open up new questions to be researched. We are now seeing how a yearling sibling interacts with the new cubs. Never documented before. I’m sorry that you don’t care about that – you are just limiting yourself. The 3 resident bears’ behaviors, while similar, are definitely not the same as Lily because they have daily human interaction. The human interaction with the wild study bears is limited to changing the tracking collar (no tranquilization or needles needed!!) and get some assessment data. Those times are few and far between. The researchers primarily follow and observe but do not interact with them; they are part of the woods. Dr Rogers is not emotional about the bears themselves, but moreso about all the long hours of collecting data and then suddenly having it ripped out. It’s like rolling a rock uphill…. I challenge you to take a chance and visit the Bear Center in Ely, or check out If you take the time to do it, I guarantee you’ll have a different opinion. Have a good day.

  27. Joyce Bernard says:

    Researching any wild animals takes years, and losing one in the research group is devastating to the information the researcher is amassing. The radio collared and ribboned collared bears in St. Louis County in MN are providing a tremendous amount of information and truths about Black Bears. They should be protected. The world is watching and learning along with the researchers.
    Teachers are teaching children and they are learning about research practices.
    Protect these few bears.

  28. Jane Leuer says:

    I have been a follower of Dr Rogers, the NABC and the WRI for well over a year. I watched Lily give birth to Hope, I have seen all the trials that Hope went through and now the new cubs Faith and Jason. My 94 yr old father who was a hunter all his life has grown to love these bears also. He watches the webcam and says to me, never in my life have I been able to witness something so wonderful as these bears. My father has dimentia and doesn’t remember much, but every time I show him the Bear webcam he says there is little bear(He is talking about Hope). I can’t believe that we as humans can’t save 12 radio collared bears. I want to know who told us that this is what bears live for is to be hunted and killed. They are like any other animal or human, trying to exist, raise a family and hope there is enough food for their family to eat. So if you think these bears are just something to be killed, spend some time and watch them day after day on the webcam, I believe you will change your mind.

    1. Jane Fosse says:

      Your story about your father enjoying Hope and Lily touched my heart! It solidifies part of why we need to have the research bears in Dr. Rogers study protected. As Dr. Rogers and Sue Mansfield say, “We are all learning.” How can we continue to learn if the bears are killed?! Killing these bears comes with a very heavy price. Don’t we respect animals or someone’s research anymore than that?! I personally don’t know if I can go through another hunting season and lose more bears. It was hard enough to lose Sarah and Cal last September. It is my hope that people will go to the webcam and read about the bears and then really ask themselves if it is something they should do.

  29. Gary says:

    The collar’s that are put on bear’s, should be colored floresant orange, so the hunter’s can plainly see it.

    1. Joyce says:

      Collars tend to get lost ina bear;s fur and are hard to see especially in the fall when they are digging their dens and they get muddy. Having the bright ribbons on them that stick out make it a lot easier for a hunter to see.

      1. MNTaxpayer says:

        Exactly, Joyce. And that is why protection of bears was asked for those wearing radio collars WITH BRIGHTLY COLORED RIBBONS and not just radio collared bears as the commisioner says. The bears asked for protection are less than 20, curently, about 12, whereas according to the commissioner’s statement it would include the 30-45 that the DNR collars.

        No wonder the answer on protedction was denial. This commissioner is being advised by the same people as the previous commissioner was. A change at the top does not necessary mean a fresh outlook.

  30. Chuck Gackstetter says:

    Wild bear research bears are studied as wild bears and subjecting them all to the same life and death cycle including hunting gives a more accurate research than making them immune to hunting.If the bear reseach center wants protected bears then keep thier research bears in an inclosed area on thier property. If they do get protection for thier bears at the minimum limit them to a certain number of collared bears. At the pace they are going who knows how many bears will be collared in the future. They are humanizing the bears instead of treating them as the beautiful wild animals that they are.I love watching them in the den with the camera but get more of a thrill if I manage to get one within range of my arrow while hunting them . I also use trail cameras on all of our baits and got pictures of 39 different bears on 12 different baits only two that came in during hunting hours that we were able to kill out of nine hunters (both were yearlings).Please don’t let all the women begging you to protect thier babys sway your judgment as they don’t think of them as wild animals but more as humans.

    1. Don- Minn- Jay says:

      There are alot of men that feel that these bears should be protected.
      If we cant protect about 12 bears out of a population of 20,000 plus in Minnesota..What does that say about us ?
      To destroy” these” research bears thru hunting, when there is enough ”other” bears to go around via hunting.. unthinkable…And takes away all the education/info that they would provide for our children and future generations.
      Please, really think about what these animals provide to the word..insight on bear ‘LIFES” not deaths…loss of one cannot be made up…in collaring another bear.

    2. Joyce Hinnenkamp says:

      WOW Chuck, using web cams and baiting areas, how natural is that for hunting bears, maybe next time you can try netting the wild bears so your ratio of kills could go up, and WOW how proud you should be of both kills were of yearlings! How is it that cameras and baiting are used for “wild hunting”

    3. Laura Caplan says:

      What the heck does being a woman have to do with this policy issue??? According to your view, maybe we should just put all those bear lovin women in burgas???

    4. Jayne says:

      Wow. Trail cameras and bait? I have hunters in my family and they say…that ain’t huntin’.

  31. Myra says:

    I am also an avid follower of Dr. Rogers and his research, and am so proud of everyone around the world who is stepping forward to make his/her strong feelings of support known. This legislation should be a no-brainer. There are no losers. And, Minnesota would emerge as a mecca for scientific research on black bears. The DNR needs to step up and do the right thing.

  32. RON says:

    I think the DNR’s decision is totally immoral and disgusting, period.

  33. Really? says:

    Really? You are all surprised that in Minnesota, hunters are allowed to shoot WILD bears with collars. We are also allowed to legally shoot our neighbor’s pet dog if it’s chasing deer. You don’t even need a license. That’s some DNR we have.

  34. MN HUNTER says:

    I am a hunter but If a radio collared bear passes by I would still shoot it. Hunting for myself and husband is a source of food. Back when our ancestors came to this country and our founders hunting was a huge source for food. I wouldn’t pass up a source of food and not know if there will be another behind it. As I said, hunting is a source of food for my family and we rely on it greatly. Healthier than store bought meat. I respect what they do with these bears and my children watch them all the time. But, I also teach my children that any game in MN is a source of food also.

    1. june says:

      How very, very sad I feel for you. It feels to me like if you keep saying these things, you will eventually convince yourself of it. I think deep down you know the difference between right and wrong. In a bear population of 20,000+, you cannot overlook taking a shot at a handful of bears that wear a radio collar?

    2. G. Baenen says:

      sorry i hit report comment first instead of reply, I respect your opinion MN Hunter but I do not agree with it, First tell me how you hunt? Do you go buy sweets and other cool food and lay it down in the woods for animals to come eat? Do you show these bears there is good treats for them everyday? Do you buy a camera and watch where the bears come everyday? Sounds like you are one of those hunters, Your comment saying that you would shoot a collared bear was very sad, Most hunters I know would respect the DNR asking please do not shoot one, If that is what you teach your children not to respect what is asked of you, I am deeply pained, Or maybe you want to tell the story generation after generation of how your family killed one of “THOSE” bears, I am deeply troubled by the ethics of this hunter,

    3. Holly Abfalter says:

      thank u very much well said!!!

    4. Rani Hunter says:

      I could understand your comments about not wanting to pass up a food source if you don’t know there is another behind it if you lived in the 1800’s but this is 2011 and we have a place called grocery stores where you can go “purchase” another meal. I am disgusted that you would teach your children that it is okay to shoot a radio collared bear. You are the type of hunter that gives all hunters a bad name!

    5. Karen Anderson says:

      @ MN HUNTER: Soooo…your children watch “these bears” in Dr. Rogers’ research but if you put a platter of yummy bear steaks on the supper table next hunting season, will you also tell your children that they came from Lily…or Hope? You teach your children that ANY game in MN is a source of food; we would prefer you change “any” to NOT ALL….considering that the collared and ribboned bears that Lynn Rogers is studying are not “fair game”.

  35. Ann MNtaxppayer says:

    The bear research being conduction at Ely, MN is being used to in schools throughout the United States to educate our children on bear behavior and life. Our education system is suffering in interesting students in math and science. The children are learning along with enjoying this form of education. They are seeing science in action and want to be a part of it. What could possibly be wrong with that? Do we want to dash that enthusiasm for nature and science by letting them see that our government does not value their education in a form that interests them by first hand account. And let them see that such research data and all their work will be eliminated by a shot from a dishonorable hunter because the MN DNR said the ‘harvest’ was legal. The bigger crime is in interfering with education of our future leaders.

  36. Robbie says:

    To those who are commenting on the value of the research done by the WRI: please try to get the facts before commenting. This research (authorized by the DNR), specifically looks at the natural behaviors of bears. An unnatural death from a hunter, as Chuck suggests, does not contribute to this type of research. That data may be valuable to other studies: the DNR had in fact been studying that aspect with their own collared bears, and therefore a dead bear did provide useful data to their study. But it does not when you are studying how live bears interact with each other and behave in normal or unusual circumstances. I am a scientist and a researcher, well familiar with research methodology – there is nothing wrong with the WRI’s methods, given the specific aims of their study. You should also be aware that the observations on these bears, including the much criticized provision of nutrients to Hope, the abandoned cub last summer, are raising interesting research questions that may ultimately apply to improving the care of humans in similar situations.

  37. sandyincebu says:

    We are talking about a few bears – certainly under 20 bears in Dr. Rogers study. There are thousands of bears in Minnesota. We should absolutly protect 20 bears that have brought Minnesota excellent media attention..and financial gain…bears that are RESEARCH BEARS – part of an on-going study by a well established and respected researcher…one of a few in the whole world. So many reasons to protect the bears! And the one reason not to protect bears….some hunter may take a shot at something he can’t see very well – and then get in trouble. Hmmmm…protect a hunter who just wants a bear – and hopes that is what he is shooting at or protect the bears who benefit so much more – all over the world. Hmmmmmmmm. Seems simple to me.

  38. meem says:

    I have a question.
    Why would a hunter shoot at something without knowing what it really was… If they can not see a collar how do they know they are aiming at a bear?

  39. Don- Minn- Jay says:

    Im not a hunter, but know alot of friends who are, and have family members that are hunters.
    To say ‘that a hunter might not see the ”brightly colored streamers” on a bear due to darkness… irrational…since the hunters shouldnt be taking a shot at the animal in low light. You must be able to ”reallly identify” your target…
    These animals are for ‘EVERYBODY” and to just limit them to be a hunters target is unthinkable…maybe 12 bears out of 20,000 plus bears in Minnesota…are research bears…cant we protect these few bears for our future generations ?
    Are we as ”humans” so caught up in this ””ME””” thought..that some hunters cant see the ‘whole picture’ ? You cant learn anything from a ‘dead’ research bear..not about its territory..its mating habits..its interaction with other bears and humans…its ”true” life cycle, etc.
    We have learned more from THESE bears in the last couple of years, than in the last 100 years…why ? Because they ”ALLOW”” researchers to follow and watch them….they are still WILD bears,..but do let reasearchers follow them and learn from them..once they know that the humans are ”’NO THREAT”” to them. Still WILD !
    If you are a hunter..please do the right thing..and protect these brightly collared research bears, for future generations….There are enough bears to be hunted…please, not these special bears.

    1. Nancy J. Jorgenson says:

      Totally agree Don……. there are plenty of bear for hunters to hunt without involving the research bears ! What really doesn’t make sense to me is that the DNR sets limits on all hunting and the fishing regulations are very stringent, right down to length of fish and number of fish that can be kept, so why is it so difficult for them to see the value of protecting these research bears ? That question will haunt me forever…. these bears just HAVE to be protected NOW ! I’m proud to be a Minnesotan but this situation is driving me crazy !

    2. Joyce Hinnenkamp says:

      I am not hunter but know many, I do know that responsible hunters follow rules and regulations of hunting. For the Deputy Commissioner, Dave Schad, to state that a hunter shooting a collared bear should not be held accountable is irresponsible, and he is employed by the DNR??????

  40. Joni Tilley says:

    Please reconsider. All that we are asking is for protection of the very few collared bears in Dr. Rogers study. I would love to see no bears killed but hunters have their rights, also. I have folllowed his research for two years now and have learned so much about these beautiful gentle bears and cubs. If something should happen to Lily or Hope and now the new cubs, so many of us will be devastated….PLEASE protect these bears.

  41. paul says:

    It is well known that Dr. Rodger’s collared bears have been leading essentially unnatural lives, and have become accustomed to human presence. His research is much criticized for these reasons. Rodgers has continually intervened to protect his bears from the natural order. Of what real research or educational value are these essentially tame bears? When Rodger’s reunited the cub with his mother, he gave up all pretense of objectively studying these animals in their wild state. The DNR cannot grant special privileges to small groups of wild animals that have been co-opted by so called “research” projects, especially those as dubious as Rodger’s. Hunting is part of a bear’s life in Minnesota, but Rodger’s gave up being objective long ago. He has misled many with his cute footage into believing that research animals he has tamed should be protected from his own stupidity. it is his inappropriate interference that has rendered them vulnerable. Yet almost all hunters have stated that they would NOT shoot a collared bear. It is incredibly naive and unreasonable to expect the DNR, whose enforcement resources are spread so thinly, to protect Rodger’s pets for the benefit of his livelihood. That’s what this is all about. Rodger’s likes his fifteen minutes of fame, and is duping the ignorant into believing that his badly flawed “research” project should enjoy special status and government protection. He could not allow nature to take it’s course, so it is not surprising he expects the DNR to protect his pets as well.

    1. Gail Wanner says:

      I am curious what your credentials are to judge the value of Dr. Rogers’ research. The bears he studies have accepted 2 or 3 humans to follow and observe them but they are still wild and avoid other humans and areas where humans live. Saving the orphaned cub was a difficult choice for Dr Rogers but the information he is gathering this winter in the mixed-age litter is brand new, never before seen and documented. Whether you support behavioral studies or not, protecting these 12 bears is the right thing to do and does not significantly deprive hunters of targets. On the issue of needing to distinguish whether a bear is wearing a collar, it’s also illegal as I understand it, to shoot a bear with cubs and hunters must take a second look to determine that. I don’t see how looking for a collar with brightly colored duct tape ribbons is different.

    2. Lianne Muhl says:

      Paul, you are certainly entitled to your opinion., and that is what this is…YOUR opinion. Your post is full of sarcasm and unnecessarily rude and disrespectful of others. How familiar are you wtih research. Are you aware that there are different types of research? I suspect it would do no good to gell you to research Dr. Roger’s work more closely because I don’t know if you are ready to understand what it is he is doing. I realize that yu are most likely a very intelligent person, but if you close your mind to what other people have to share, you are not necessariy a wise person. By the way, please don’t refer to those of us who are interessted in the fine research that Dr. Rogers and Sue Mansfield are doing as “the ignorant.” I may still be learning new things, but I, and the other people following this with me, are anything but ignorant! I think you misspoke. Have a good day.

  42. Ron and Kathy Buhta says:

    We are totally outraged by the recent decision by the DNR to not protect research bears. The value that they have and will continue to have for education not to mention the funds generated for MN. is immeasurable.

  43. Nicola UK says:

    I am in the Uk and am overwhelmed that I can learn so much from so far away about these amazing creatures and am thankful everyday to the NABC.
    Out of so many bears in the area it seems so little to ask for the protection of the collared bears. Especially as the team at NABC tie the bright ribbons to the colars every hunting season to make them highly visible! Decent hunters have given their support to the NABC. They are the ones that would bother to check what they are aiming at before they shoot! Those who don’t I would suggest should not be allowed a gun in the first place! The NABC wishes to work with the hunters and not against them. If they have to check for at least three inch antlers on a deer that blend with their enviroment, then surely they can do the same with ‘ In your face, BRIGHT coloured ribbons!’ Seriously, if they can’t see the ribbons, should they be in charge of a loaded gun?

  44. Salma Yarrington says:

    So many people are learning so much from this clan of bears. You do not learn anything from knowing when a bear dies. MN DNR needs to catch up with modern times. Every one is learning, even children, young and old, all over the world. This is an outrage they are not protected!!
    Please protect these research bears!

  45. Pam says:

    I have been watching the bear cams all winter from upstate New York. I was outraged this morning when I “tuned in”. It is inconceivable to me that this is even being considered.

  46. Paul says:

    The last comment confirms what I suspected. Rodger’s is soliciting support from those who are naive enough to believe his pet bears are involved in a legitimate research project. They ceased to be truly wild bears long ago due to Rodger’s continual intervention. Yet he is determined to place the responsibility for his own failure to maintain objective observation on the backs of hunters and the DNR. The bear population in Minnesota is healthy and growing. He needs to recapture some objectivity and realize that there are plenty of bears out there for him to study, hopefully in a more scientific manner. The DNR cannot be expected to protect his flawed project.

    1. JoanfromGrandForksND says:

      Paul, these research bears are not pets! They are wild and ignore humans including Dr. Rogers! Ignorance comes into play only when people do not know what they are talking about!

    2. Nicola UK says:

      You really need to be less NAIVE and do your research before posting your comments! We comment, chat and laugh about the bears in a playful way on the cam chat. But the reason we are so interested is because we are watching the bears in a natural enviroment and are able to do this because Dr Lynn Rogers has many years experience, respect and understanding of these creatures. A lot of people do not like the fact that Dr Rogers has shown the world that the Bears are not vicious man eaters, but gentle shy creatures who are just trying to live and survive in a world that man keeps encroaching on! As the human race continues to build and log remember we are their back yard and not them in ours! A little respect for our enviroment Paul goes a long way. But of course unless you are a bad sighted hunter with a loaded gun, what fear or worry is there about a few few brightly coloured, collared bears being protected?

      1. Allison says:

        Paul, You have a very old fashioned blinkered attitude. Do you work for the DNR?

    3. Joyce Hinnenkamp says:

      Paul, how would you conduct your research, are you a doctor, and what is your background and where is your research published as I would be interested in comparing your reseach data with Dr. Lynn’s. Unless you have “legitimate research project” to offer, do not condem the work of Dr. Roger’s

    4. Vicki Besemer says:

      First of all, the only human interaction with these wild black bears is when Dr. Rogers needs to repair or replace a collar, take a heart rate, or tie multi-colored hunting ribbons on their collars. This is done through trust and not tranquilizers that could potentially harm the bear. Other research is done through observation only–no human contact. Secondly, can you replace your grandmother or sister with someone you pick out of the phone book? If you did, would your genealogical ancestral lineage be the same? I don’t think so. The same applies to these research “family” of bears. Research begins with a 21 year old female and her genealogical decedents. When one bear is killed by unnatural means–that bear cannot be replaced. Yes, I know that an intervention took place when an immature mother was frightened away from her cub who was helpless without her, but otherwise healthy and valuable to research. Making food available did not skew the research. The cub was not held in captivity, was left in the wild and ultimately it was the cub’s decision to eat the food or not. You said yourself “there are plenty of bears out there”–find your objectivity–shoot and kill those other bears, if you must; but protect the bears being studied for research. Thank you.

    5. kathy says:

      Shaking my head sadly Paul, shaking my head sadly………

    6. KPetersen says:

      It is clear from your comments that you don’t know much, if anything, about the goals of the research study. The collared bears are not “pets,” they are wild. To say that the contact the researchers have with them makes them unsuitable for study is simply not true. What conditions would make a bear valid – only bears who have never seen a human being before?

      Long term study of a small group of wild animals has been a valid research design for many decades, and this study is no different. The collared bear population is not going to become a huge group – there will be fewer than 20 out of the 20,000-30,000 black bears in Minnesota.

      The brighly colored collars are not hard to see — much easier than counting antler prongs or the sex of a flying pheasant! The raionale provided for the DNR’s decision this week is pathetic. And wildlife should be managed for everyone, not just hunters.

      The DNR also collars bears to study them for several purposes, not “mortality” anymore, and far too many of their collard bears have been shot by hunters too. The DNR needs to educate hunters about not shooting ANY collared bears, and make it illegal to do so.

  47. JoanfromGrandForksND says:

    Would it be called unfair to put hunters in a position to have to look for other hunters, hikers and researchers before they shoot? The same safe hunting practices should be applied to looking before you shoot when it comes to seeing a research bear wearing brilliantly colored ribbons!

  48. Marilynn and Bill says:

    My family has been watching the bear center live cameras for more than a year. We value the work Mr. Rogers does, we value the live cameras for school children to learn, and of course we value the bears they have worked so many years with. We could use a few more bear hunters in Wisconsin, if that would satisfy some of the hunters. The radio collared bears are just too valuable to lose to hunting.

  49. Barb St. Paul says:

    Monday night I checked the NABC daily update, and then I sat at my computer and cried. How could the head of the Minnesota DNR believe that being killed by a hunter is a normal part of a black bear’s life cycle? Isn’t it his JOB to protect Minnesota wildlife for all of us into the future? And, don’t you really need to understand what an animal needs to survive and thrive in order to do this? That is what Dr. Rogers is trying to do. And that can not be accomplished if his research is devastatingly interrupted by the loss of one, or more of these bears within the study group. There are approximately 20,000 black bears in Minnesota. We are asking for protection for so very few (only 9 last season). And frankly, if a hunter can not see the brightly colored streamers on their collars how is another hunter in blaze orange going to be safe out there? I wouldn’t want to be in the woods with them. Reputable hunters don’t take a shot unless they KNOW their target.

  50. wblknitter says:

    Educate to change, Change to protect, Protect to educate.
    That is exactly what Dr. Rogers, WRI and the NABC have been doing these 40 plus years. Nothing is staged, no bear is treated as a pet.
    I grew up hunting ethically, some of my favorite memories stem from those autumn days. ETHICAL does not seem to work anymore, so total protecton MUST be given to this wonderful clan of animals. Death is a natural process, words like bear bait and trap setting not so much.It is the LIFE of the bear that is being researched not its death with the collar jammed into the mailbox anymously….hmmm what message does that give?
    Please contact your representatives and Protect the Research Bears!!
    It is inconcievable that complete protecton is NOT even being considered.
    Lessons learned data collected, habitat, range,dening, all factors that are being recorded for future biologists. Their nature their demenor, The cuteness alone belongs to the bears! ALL studied here in Minnesota, Ely Minnesota, and this is the ONLY place on this remarkable planet where its possible. How can we jeapordise that?
    Speak with the researches, watch the vidieos, talk with the hunters, Listen well!!
    Its an easy solution.

  51. Connie says:

    Is it too much to ask that this small group of study bears be protected so that the continuity of this legitimate behavioral research can continue? So much has been learned from this long term study and so much more can be learned from it’s natural conclusion. Let these bears live out their natural lives. We all want to know how they live their lives to it’s end.

  52. Sue says:

    Why….these bears are invaluable. Right now they have the attention of children in schools in many places…they are a teaching tool and besides the children are learning to respect nature and love God’s creatures. A few collared bears don’t need to be fair game.

  53. Northern MN says:

    The DNR opposes it as a general law for the entire state because they also have research bears that are collared but are not as easy to recognize as Dr. Rogers research bears. He goes further in making them noticeable with bright ribbons and other means. The DNR realizes that their research bears could be mistakenly taken by a hunter and do not want to make it a crime. They also consider hunting as a cause of bear mortality and part of their research. They do discourage shooting collared bears and most hunters that can identify a research bear will not shoot one. To the person who was critical of the DNR’s research; the DNR has done extensive and valuable research on black bears in Minnesota and they study truly wild bears. The Hope and Lily story is great and does provide an educational opportunity and exposure to nature but don’t you think the results are a little off when the bears are almost completely acclimated to people? Or that their “natural” behavior may be somewhat impacted by some of the human influence and assistance from Dr Rogers and his research team? As an aside…Diane H. commented on her rights as a taxpayer to direct the DNR and has every right to voice an opinion as a State of MN resident but as a matter of fact unless you contribute more than your fair share of taxes…hunters pay much more towards habitat creation & preservation and wildlife management than the average tax payer does.
    If there was a way to limit the number of bears that Dr. Rogers collars and also limit the geographic area for protection I think it could be supported more, or as an early commenter stated create a larger fenced-in private preserve. Although, I am sure there is some consideration and concern for legal precedent and that is why they are hesitant to create legislation for one private researcher hence the all state or nothing issue. And how would they limit the number of private researchers allowed to collar bears and bears collared?

  54. Northern MN says:

    And although I am not sure we need to legislate it and think we should often leave those decisions out of the political arena and up to our resource managers I think hunters in Dr. Rogers area owe it to all to keep a safe distance and take extra steps to ensure they don’t shoot one of his research bears. Should not be extremely difficult with the way he collars them.

  55. Jessika says:

    With all the effort and research that has gone into studying these interesting and actually not very well understood animals, it would be a shame to have it all end simply because a hunter chose that particular bear to shoot at. The collar cannot just be placed on another bear. Continuity of data would be lost and the effects of long-term research would be greatly compromised. Protecting these bears is valuable to science and to our understanding of our shared habitat and ecology. We all stand to benefit from the knowledge that may be gained in studying bears. Over 500 schools follow these bears daily in their classrooms also. It is such a small, small thing to ask hunters not to shoot only a select dozen of bears out of all the bears that they are allowed to hunt.

  56. Ms. Pence says:

    I am a teacher in Michigan. I have over 800 students and their families, keeping track of the lives of Lily, Hope, and now Jason and Faith through the den cam and the research updates. Not only are my students learning a tremendous amount of information, from hibernation to adaptations, they are also invested emotionally with these black bears! There is not a day that goes by that I don’t have an enthusiastic, smiley student exclaim, “How is Lily and Hope doing today?” It doesn’t matter whether I am walking down the hall of the school or an aisle in the grocery store, they bolt over, always smiling ear to ear, and they need to know how their bears are doing. I dread the day that I will have to say, “I’m sorry honey but Lily (or Hope, Jason, Faith) has been shot dead by a hunter!” They will be devastated! For what purpose? Please, work toward the protection of these brightly collared research bears. These bears are meant to be ambassadors of education for our children, not to be rugs on some hunters floor.

  57. Jeff N. says:

    I have hunted for 40 years and have to say most of the hunters that have replyed to this disappoint me. If you think the mans research is tainted why would you want to shoot a tame bear? It sounds more like there is some bad feeling toward Dr. Rodger’s. I have no problem with passing up a collared animal but I don’t have a problem with Dr. Rodger’s and his work either whats 15 or 20 bears out of 20,000. If you think they are tame there should be no problem with protecting them right.

    1. Nicola UK says:

      Thank you Jeff, you are obviously one of the decent and experienced hunters I mentioned in my comments. I know there are many of you out there. I hope that you all write to the DNR regarding how you feel.

    2. Janie Barnett Anderson says:

      Totally agree with you! Thanks for your insight !!!

  58. Bob H says:

    I find it interesting that one can be working on their lap top at one moment and then walk throught the woods and kill a bear who would take food from your hand. I guess they still want to be hunter/gather’ers. I personnaly am ashamed of my species for being so arrogant as to think we have any right to kill these beings for pleasure. Look up in the dictionary what someone is called who kills for pleasure. Oh thats right we have to trim the hurds, or their here for our pleasure or they were created for us. Nature dosnt trim the hurd by taking the strongest and the best like we do.

  59. Patricia says:

    Dr Rogers has as much right to continue his studies, which have been his life’s work, as hunters have to kill (you can’t imagine how it disturbs me to say that). The DNR needs to emerge from the dark ages and realize that we live in a time when many people understand the inter-connectiveness of the web of life and learning about bears, as well as any other creature, brings rewards to the society as a whole. There must be some reasonable people left in the MN DNR. Please, just a little bit of reason here!!

  60. Huh? says:

    I don’t think anyone on here has advocated shooting a tame bear. I think some people have stated that not all of his research results accurately depict wild bear behavior because of human interacation and intervention. And there is really no debate to that. At the same time he also gathers some great empirical data on bears that could apply universally and has provided an educational opportunity and entertainment for many people which is of great value.
    The other issue is how do you provide protection to his private reseach without offering that same protection to all collared bears or across the state and how does it get limited, I guess that would be up to the legislators if they are persuaded to do so.
    I think people would rely on hunters judgement and not law if his one bear was not shot last fall but it unfortunately was and created this issue.

    1. Lianne Muhl says:

      Unfortunately, TWO bears were shot. Two out of fourteen.

  61. Natasha says:

    I am from the United Kingdom and i have been following Lily and Hope and the new cubs via the webcam in thier den on a daily basis. Every day i am learning something new about these bear they are such a joy to watch! They have touched the lives of so many people and children around the World the thought of losing one of the bears is unthinkable. Please help to get the law changed. For those who have not yet seen the bears on the webcam please do and you will soon see how precious these bears are.

  62. RiverLady says:

    If a bear’s collar has bright ribbons could it be a protected bear? If there are no ribbons on the collar could it be considered part of the general population? Then the scientists who need certain bears to validate the longevity of the study can put the ribbons on them and the rest can let their bears be available for hunters. In terms of limiting the number of bears right now there are only 9.

  63. Huh? says:

    “Bob H – I find it interesting that one can be working on their lap top at one moment and then walk throught the woods and kill a bear who would take food from your hand. I guess they still want to be hunter/gather’ers. I personnaly am ashamed of my species for being so arrogant as to think we have any right to kill these beings for pleasure. Look up in the dictionary what someone is called who kills for pleasure. Oh thats right we have to trim the hurds, or their here for our pleasure or they were created for us. Nature dosnt trim the hurd by taking the strongest and the best like we do.”

    Hmmm…Bob, seems like you are straying from the topic at hand a little.
    This comment might relate to the “humanizing” which is out of Dr. Rogers control. Wild bears do not walk up and eat food out of our hand and magically appear from the woods. No true hunter would take a “tame” bear. Bear baiting and hunting for wild black bears is much more difficult than you can comprehend.
    And would you prefer that your hamburger or shoe leather be taken from the sickest, weakest, and youngest cattle in the herd? Doubt it.

  64. Bob H says:

    Oh I forgot, I really enjoy when I hear someone say that we are “Harvesting” when they refer to Hunting. Invading a serene woods and creating terror among the inocent for “FUN”
    I’m sure most of you think this is but a bit strong but I say to you.
    The humans have come and they are here to kill us for their sport. They think we are like weat.The whole forrest trembles at their presence.
    Impresive isnt it?

  65. Laura W says:

    The limited number of bears that are being collared and marked with ribbons is minimal compared to the population. These bears are providing such a tremendous education across the country to children in school to adults. They provide this information as they are ALIVE – not shot and dead. Why intentionally destroy this valuable research and resource?

    1. Bob H says:

      Resource? a being is not a piece of coal!.

  66. Bev Hauptli says:

    Unfortunately, volunteering to not shoot the brightly collared NABC research bears did not work. Many hunters throughout the state recognize that the Ely area bears need protection. It is beyond time. The DNR’s decision is an embarassment to Minnesota.

  67. Kim Wilson says:

    These bears most certainly do NOT belong just to hunters. As we expect hunters to take extreme care and not shoot people in the woods, they can also take extreme care to not shoot bears with brightly-colored ribbons on their radio collars. this is in no way unreasonable.

  68. Liz G. says:

    I watch the bears in Dr. Rogers’ study from Boulder, CO. I learn something new every day. I want to come visit the NABC this summer. That brings tourist dollars to your state. These bears mean so much to schoolchildren, and adults all over the world. Protect these bears. It was chilling to read above that one hunter came within “inches” of shooting Lily. That would be devastating to so many of us. Please write to your DNR and ask them to protect the bears!

  69. Huh? says:

    It sounds like that at this time for varied reasons, the DNR does not want to create a law restricting hunting for collared bears as a whole (across the state) which sounds like what they would have to do to enact protection for Dr. Rogers research bears. I think special legislation for his private research area would have to come from State of MN legislators and not the DNR??

  70. Rani Hunter says:

    The DNR needs to reconsider their decision and issue a protection order for the very few radio collared bears studied by Dr Lynn Rogers. Hundreds of school children around the world are following the lives of Lily, her yearling cub Hope and her new cubs born this year via the Internet den cam. Will the DNR step up and explain to these children their reasoning if any of these bears are shot next hunting? How devastated will these kids be if that happens!! Listen to the public outcry Commisioner!!!

  71. Holly Abfalter says:

    anyone on here actually shot a collared bear?? if they do pass this law they NEED to CHANGE THE COLOR OF THE COLLARS black on a black bear is almost impossible to while hunting,im sorry but if that bear has a collar and is coming into my bait that ive busted so hard to put out there dang right im gonna shoot it. isnt that things go the strong and smart survive??? if i had the choice to CHOOSE the bear i was baiting and planning on shooting i would go for an un collared bear, but in mn we are not overrun by bear therefore if a bear with a collar came into my bait THAT WOULD BE THAT BEARS MISTAKE. and once again the smart and strong would prevail.

    1. Liz G. says:

      Holly, I really hope you would reconsider your choice to shoot one of the collared bears. The vast majority of hunters would respect what the collar signifies. I hope you would, too. And if you are ever in that position, I hope you’ll remember all the comments above, and realize how many people are counting on you to make the right choice. Thank you.

      1. Holly Abfalter says:

        in the past yes we have shot one of these bears, not cause it had a collar but when we’ve put so much x and effort into my hunt and we’ve been out there 3 days waiting for a bear, and its not like the collar is brightly colored, it blends in with the bear,, i am respectful hunter and i love wildlife just as much as the next person, but come on, its hard enough to hunt a bear now i have to decifer if it has a collar too,

    2. Bob H says:

      Don’t bear arms! Arm bears. NOW this would be sport.

    3. Bob H says:

      Ya… dang right. its da strongest and da most smart survive.
      So I guess if dat were da case, a guy with a PHD in Chemistry might think your a freekin idiot wright?

    4. Nicola UK says:


      I find it very sad in this day and age that you think having a loaded gun in your hand and shooting a defenceless creature makes you smart and strong! ………………….Need I say more!

      1. Holly Abfalter says:

        its called hunting, i do it to feed my family. poor cows and chickens that we eat too. ohhh my poor animals.. lets just let them all over populate and get diseases and hit by cars and into town so they destroy stuff and need to be put to sleep..

      2. Jean says:

        Oh Holly Hollly – what a sad commentary you are trying to feed us.

    5. Holly Abfalter says:

      dr rogers. hes been studying this for wat 30 yrs, doesnt he have information yet? and does he really need to collar hundreds of bears? he has plenty up at the refuge in ely that look like circus bears, following him around and being hand fed, he dont need to wreck hunting for the rest of minnesota too. and odds of lily being shot are slim. unless she would leave the sanctuary which she has no reason too pleabty of food and shelter.

      1. Rani Hunter says:

        No Holly, using a bait station to lure a hungry bear who is getting ready to hibernate is NOT hunting…hunting is stalking your prey, spending hours if not days searching for your prey, not sitting in your comfy hide outside a bait station filled with yummy treats that no hungry animal can ignore!!!!

      2. Nicola UK says:

        Dr Rogers cannot gain information if the collared bears keep being shot. He doesn’t want hundreds of collared bears, just the handfull he has to continue with collecting data that is important in so many ways. Our enviroment is changing and not for the better. The data recorded on thses bears not only assist with bear research but help tell us the impact the changing enviroment has on our earth! These bears are also having a huge impact elewhere… the EDUCATION of our CHILDREN. They are allowing so much interactive learning which keeps the kids engaged, rather than them losing interest while copying from a book or the board. The kids are not just learning about the bears, but about the weather, the geology of the area, the weather and the world around them. Information gained is then used to help with their math, positive and nedative numbers (weather) time zone differences (time is one of the hardest things kids find to learn.) Interactive learning is great for kids that struggle to learn or consentrate. They can see what they are learning about and have a better understanding. I will be interested to see the results this type of learning has on these kids. When I was younger I would have loved the lessons these lucky children now receive from their fantastic teachers. Please look at the bigger picture Holly, and remember this is about your future too. If you see a collared bear when you are out hunting in the fall, think about yours and your families future before you pull the trigger!

    6. Karen Anderson says:

      Holly, it’s not easy to wade through your poorly written and uneducated comments, but I did notice that you claim the research collared bears are wearing BLACK collars and you don’t seem to be aware of the brightly colored and highly visible ribbons attached to their TAN collars. Rather than “bust so hard” to put out bait for the bears, perhaps you could put some of your efforts into EDUCATING yourself. Start here:

  72. Diana Gaittens says:

    I’ve been watching the research of the radio collared bears for well over a year now. I find it extremely informational. We could all learn from these animals. The collared bears are few and do have florescent ribbons put on their collars. You can’t miss seeing them, for sure. Please, these bears teach us a lot, as well as the children who follow in their classrooms. Please protect these bears, so that we may continue to research and learn.

  73. Kate UK says:

    Shame on the DNR, hopefully you will quickly rectify your mistake and listen to the many many voices who are dismayed by your decision.

  74. Janie Anderson says:

    I would hate to be in the area if the rule is to “shoot first and ask questions later”! Remember these officials when it is time for elections! Don’t they realize what the state of MN has received from these bears and their following-support for schools, food banks, recognition, etc. ??!!! Janie from Colorado

  75. Cindy Olsen says:

    Voting YES the DNR should be protecting these research bears. I have been intuned to this wonderful project for 2 years now and have nothing but respect and admiration to the Doc and his staff for all they do. Children, adults, old and young have learned, appreciated and supported this worthwhile cause. Please reconsider your decision. Protect these few for the knowledge of so many. Sincerely, Cindy Olsen in Utica Michigan

  76. Katie F says:

    Adults and children all over are learning so much from Dr. Roger’s research and I cannot think of anything positive that can come out of a handful of research bears being hunted.

    Hunters are already required to make sure that what they are about to shoot at is legal to hunt. In the second or two that takes, they could easily see the many brightly colored streamers and leave the collared bear alive to provide much more education. I believe MOST hunters would gladly abide by a DNR ruling that prohibits hunting of collared bears since they have mostly been respectful of the signs posted asking them to spare collared bears.

    If the DNR is hesitating because they don’t want to criminalize a hunter who (obviously) accidentally kills a research bear, they could be required to report it and turn the bear over to the researchers or a food bank with no criminal penalty.

    Please, DNR, reconsider this decision. There are so few collared bears, and most hunters would never be affected by a requirement to spare collared bears. We are all affected in such a good way by the education Dr. Roger’s research is providing us all over the world!

  77. Patricia Roseman NC says:

    The wealth of information that I have learned from this bear research is simply incredible. As far from MN as NC is, there are children in my town following Dr. Rogers and the NABC on a daily basis. How do you explain the shooting of one of these radio collared bears to these kids? The children’s desires to learn all about the lives of these gentle giants is directly related to researching these radio collared bears. DNR–please listen to the people involved who know what they are talking about. Your entire state will benefit forever.

  78. Bob H says:

    Actually if someone does shoot one of these bears I can truthfully say that your “bear hunting” excuse me “bear baiting” no excuse me ” Bear killing” will not fare well with the world watching.

  79. Kalameli says:

    Does the DNR ever make right decisions? They don’t listen to the public. It is so stupid of them to not have a waiver for research bears. This is how education is put into text books for our future generations. I have been following Hope and Lily for over a year as well. If one is a nature lover, it sure is fun to watch and learn. Perhaps they should put the shoe on the other foot and step over to the otherside, and then things might make sense! They won’t do that though, because then they would be the voice of the people who are involved and have concerns.

  80. Lorie K says:

    Are you listening Commissioner Landwehr? A lot of people are talking to you about Minnesota’s black bears, and the world is watching. I think you are blowing an awesome opportunity that only comes around once in a lifetime. You could actually bring the Minnesota DNR into the 21st century. You know, the century with the climate change and human encroachment causing loss of animal habitats. Maybe more studies similar to Dr. Rogers’ on moose would have helped us understand and prevent the moose decline that is occurring in NE Minnesota. Knowledge is GOOD!

    1. Kalameli says:

      Well said Lorie!

  81. Wilton says:

    Thanks to WCCO-TV for covering this story. In a recent interview the new DNR Commissioner stated.”we have to understand how people want to use natural resources, how that’s going to affect natural resources and how we can balance between those two. So, responsiveness means adjusting our programs to fit the needs of what people want.”

    Well, Mr. MN DNR Commissioner, it’s pretty obvious here and elsewhere what the great majority of people want – they want these bears protected. So, how about you keep your promise of “responsiveness” and adjust your program to fit the needs of what people want.

  82. Sarah Dykstra says:

    The research being conducted is about the life of a bear not the death of one. We learn nothing from a dead animal. Please re think and save these bears!!

  83. Tamara M says:

    I have been following Lynn Rogers bears for 2 months. There’s no reason for a hunter to shoot a bear with a radio collar that’s covered with bright pink ribbons. I plan on visiting Ely in the future to see the bears. It will be terrible if this doesn’t happen because these bears were shot and killed by a hunter. I can’t believe that the DNR and some politicians won’t protect radio collared bears. I know many , many people who feel the same way. Please protect theses bears. Lynn Rogers-I will write letters to all of the people you named on the website!

  84. Janie Barnett Anderson says:

    It would be interesting to know if the person(s) making this decidion is a hunter (perhaps that accounts for this ignorant bias) or has taken contributions from hunters.’If money is behind this decision, these people need to seriously look at the revenue generated by the supporters of these bears!

    1. simone says:

      Janie the whole thing stinks. Look at all these comments………….most of them in favour of protecting collared bears, Only a few have been written by the blinkered biased uneducated people ( they cannot even write properly, so would their brain be quick enough to see a bear with a neck full of brightly colured ribbons before they fired a shot??)
      The DNR have not only ruined my day, makes me want to not bother coming to Minnesota on vacation. Why should I spend a dime of my hard earned cash in your out of touch state?

  85. Donna Young says:

    Donna Young – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Canada

    I am from Canada and I have been following Lily and Hope and now the two new cubs Faith and Jason via webcam in thier den on a daily basis. I am overwhelmed that I can learn so much about these black bears and am thankful everyday to the NABC. These bears are providing a tremendous education to school children and adults all over the world.

    I am totally outraged by the recent decision by the DNR to not protect research bears. The value that they have and will continue to have for education not to mention the funds generated for MN. is immeasurable. The DNR needs to reconsider thier decision and issue a protection order for the very few radio collared bears studied by Dr. Lynn Rogers.

  86. Susan says:

    I am from Alabama and I have been a Lil and Hope fan and now…we have Faith and Jason. I am so hurt and outraged that the DNR are not going to protect the research bears. These bears are so incredibly important to everyone all over the world…they are teaching us and school children that bears are NOT the ferocious animal that we have all been taught. Dr. Rogers and Sue Mansfield have done a tremendous job with following and documenting the behavior of the black bears.
    I truly hope that the DNR will reconsider their decision and please, please order protection for our radio collared bears!!!

  87. Brandy NY says:

    Mr. Landwehr has been DNR commissioner for 6 wks. How could he have come to a fair evaluation of the value of Dr. Roger’s research in such a short time . Yet he comes out with a strong opinion against this research so much so to make a decision against the protection of the research bears. His decision was fast and bias. Maybe Mr. Landwehr should consider the fact that over 500 schools around the US have introduced his research into their curriculum. Why? Beacause it is valuable info. He should have also considered that the Minnesota’s Bear guide’s association’s board (all hunters) voted in favor to protect the radio collared bears. He ignored a petition from 67 out of 70 business owners from Ely MN (where this research takes place) in support for protection of these bears. He ignored the unanimous votes for a resolution in support of protection from the Ely council. I think all Minnesotans should question how ethical his decision was. Shame on you Mr. Landwehr for not having a greater respect for science and for the hundreds of thousands who study this valuable research

  88. Debbie Copeland says:

    I too have been following Lily, Hope, the new cubs and the wealth of information these bears and Dr. Rogers have shared with us all. Not being from Minnosota; a Texan in fact, I am pleading that these collared bears be saved. Alone, the education that is spreading to us all is facinating, intriging and inspiring! With so much of the world hurting for one reason or the other, be it war, loss of life, unemployment, lack of health insurance, high inflation, etc. these bears are bringing a population of people together. Do we not need hope in this world, do we not need a saving grace, do we not need science of mankind, faith? I plea to you on behalf of these bears to save them and the education only alive they can share.

  89. Marcy says:

    I am not a hunter but I certainly don’t hold it against those who do hunt. However, whether you are hunting deer, bear or anything else, you need to hunt responsibly. Be sure what you are aiming at before you shoot. If it’s too dark or your target it too far away to see clearly what you are aiming at, why would you pull the trigger? I don’t have a problem with people hunting – I do have a problem with baiting. You put out goodies to lure the bear in, then shoot it. That’s pathetic sportsmanship. You cannot bait deer in MN, why can you bait bear? I sincerely hope the DNR seriously revisits its decision. It’s an embarrassment that those in authority at the Department of NATURAL RESOURCES aren’t more interested in protecting our NATURAL RESOURCES.

  90. Judy says:

    Fair game to hunters this Fall? What happened to the DNR’s request to SPARE RADIO_COLLARED RESEARCH BEARS? By not including this in your article, you are just encouraging more 12 year olds to blow away the first bear they see .

  91. Julie G. UK says:

    I am also from the UK and cannot believe that the DNR has made this decision. I thought that the wishes of the people were listened to in America? I cannot begin to understand the culture in America where hunting is the norm, as we dont have it here, but we are not asking for a ban on hunting all bears, just a few,specifically and clearly marked research bears.The loss of even one of them negates years of research of several generations of this clan.
    It also doesnt make financial sense to not protect them-as was realised by most of the businesses in Ely who called for the bears protection. I am intending to visit Minnesota to see some bears,and I wouldnt be spending my hard earned money there if it wasnt for the NABC and the work they do!

  92. Mary says:

    This is so sad. These bears need to be protected. The amount of knowledge coming from these bears and the things that we can all experience by watching them in incredible. My kindergartners have learned so much by watching them. I know other classes in my school have been following Lilly and the cubs too. I am sad that a decision like this has been made and I hope they rethink the decision because they are making a huge mistake for all of us.

  93. Cheryl says:

    Please, please forward these comments to the DNR – in hardcopy only per his request – and also to the Governor. I will gladly reimburse you for any expenses in copying & postage.

  94. Cathy lane says:

    I have been following Lily since January 2010 when I first saw on the news about a camera in a wild bear’s den. Wow, I have learned so much about bears since then. I live in Virginia and we have black bears here, too. So now when I see them here I know so much more about them. The research that Dr. Rodgers and the NABC and WRI are doing is invaluable. Please, all we are asking is keep the collared bears alive. All the years of study that Dr. Rodgers has put into these bears is so important and it is the study of live bears, not dead ones. When I took a hunter safety class, we were taught to make sure you know what you are shooting at before you ever pull the trigger. Is it too much to ask to see if the bear has bright ribbons on it’s collar? You don’t hesitate to ask the hunter to make sure you can see antlers before shooting. Even the children are involved. They love going to school and seeing Hope and Lily and Lily’s new cubs in their den and learning about them. We are learning about hibernating and what the bear’s bodies do during hibernating so that one day this information is going to help humans also. We hope the DNR will reconsider their decision about collared bears. It is certainly the right thing to do. The research needs to continue and the collared bears need to be protected.

  95. G. Baenen says:

    Do I believe in the lives of these research bears? 100% YES!!!! I, like many others believed black bears hibernated all winter, I believed they had cubs who latched onto the mother for survival and than just came out in spring, I believed they were one of the most deadly, scariest meanest animals around. In the last two years of watching these bears I have learned so much, AS of thousand and thousand of people all around the world. With all of the media in the last week from this DNR denial, i fear for the bears lives, I truly believe one of the bears were killed last year from a hunter who knew it was a collard bear of Dr. Rogers study. I am also fearing more will be killed from the very small percent of hunters who have no regards or respect for others, The DNR has LAWS for fish harvesting, The DNR has laws for deer hunting and other large and small game, So start by changing the hours of hunting from 1/2 hour before sunrise and 1/2 after sunset to a time zoned hours…Some study the lives of animals after death, This study is the daily life of bears, How they interact with each other and others, where they go, what they eat, This reporting that I have just watched where it was said that the bears are hibernating and Lily is fair game this year is beyond horrible, They are not hibernating, Lily is NOT fair game, She is a mother with three cubs, According to the laws you can not shoot a mother with cubs. Please correct this, There will be a law come fall for the protection of collared bears, Letters will be sent to MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, and many other media outlets. Letters will be sent to magazines, to newspapers, to State Representatives. Maybe the DNR of MN should look into this more before making such a harsh decision, Maybe they should sit down with Dr. Lynn Rogers and learn more,,,,Ignorance is not bliss!!!

  96. valleyanne says:

    For those who doubt the validity of Dr. Rogers’ research, check out this list of scientific publications:

  97. Fontella says:

    The Minnesota DNR has a long history of ignoring the public and doing exactly what it wants to do. Example: White Pine tree logging. A outside group got involved in that issue and made the DNR accountable for their statements and decisions in which many were made to pad the pockets of lobyists and there were major conflict of interest issues. There are many articles online about the subject.
    I would think the DNR would want to protect collared research bears (including their own) with either brightly colored flourescent duct tape ribbons attached to the collar as Dr. Rogers does OR with ear tags as the DNR does. DNR research bear program is funded by tax payer dollars. I would think DNR would want them protected to prevent loss of and incomplete research information and
    tax dollars. DNR lost 9 research bears last hunting season.How many tax payers dollars were lost with those DNR study bears? Dr. Rogers lost 2. Both research projects bring valueable information about black bears even though they are very different.
    Dr. Rogers research is funded by private dollars, uses no tax payers funds. His research is based on trust, he handles the bears without sedation and he studies how the bears LIVE not how they die. A live bear is paramount in his study as is any other long term research study about any other wild animals.
    Fencing in the wild bears is impossible because of the large territories each bear has.
    Any wild animal research that involves colaring a wild animal requires a permit from the DNR and that permit includes the number of animals the project is able to collar. People can not just randomly slap a radio collar on an animal or a group of animals as some commenters seem to think.

    There are approx. 30 thousand black bears in the state of Minnesota. Why is it so hard to protect up to 50 radio collared research bears if the DNR bears are included?
    That leaves approx 29,950 black bears that are NOT collared in the state. Hunters need to look twice and have a CLEAR view of any animal before they shoot. That is simply common sense and also prevents humans from being killed.
    So, looking for brightly colored florescent duct tape ribbons attached to a radio colar or a ear tag placed by the DNR is not a hinderence as the DNR would like people to believe. If hunters have to identify a buck has 3 prongs before shooting they shurely can take the same caution to identify if a black bear has bright flourescent duct tape ribbons attached to a radio collar which is much easier to see.
    I hunted with my family for years. When we saw a animal with a collar or ribbons on it we did not even consider shooting it.

    1. Dan says:

      Dan from northern MN

      Im with the dnr on this one what are you going to learn from a tame bear go to the zoo. 95% of the comments on this site are anti hunting and pro peta you cant reason with them. As for the idot rodgers he will meet his maker when the bears get sick of him, just like the dumb ass in alaska, bears a bear yum yumm. then our kids will learn some real info on preditorial animals.

      1. Mary Ellen Letsche says:

        shame on you Dan, I would do some research on and see how much we are learning from Dr, Rogers and all the workers at the research center before you call people idiots.
        Not all of us live in Northern MN and have the opportunity to live where there are bears. I personally thank God that we have people who share their research work with us so that we can too have the same opportunities to learn about bears. Who would have ever guessed that we would see how bears live in the dens. Thank You Dr. Rogers and all.

      2. Ellen says:

        Dan, sometimes people say things that leave little doubt how uninformed and dumb they are. Just sayin’….

      3. Tom says:

        Dan – do us all a favour and really read what you have just written “before” you post. Your ignorance is amazing and you are broadcasting it for all to see.

  98. Viv Mueller says:

    I am in favor of protecting these bears from the DNR and WRI. We are talking a total of maybe 50 bears out of the 20,000 plus we have in the state. Everyone has something they believe in and what’s wrong with that? Dr. Rogers bears have been studied for many, many years. Thousands of hours put into this project. No, these are not pets, they are research. There are hundreds of schools in the U.S. that have the den cam in their classrooms to teach the upcoming adults about the life of bears….how they live, how they co-exist and how their families develop. It would be a tragedy to see any harm come to any bears, esp. the radio collared ones from the DNR and WRI. I know the hunters will respect the brightly colored ribbons and spare their lives. These bears has brought in alot of money into Ely and to our state. People are coming from all over the world to visit this great state, due to exposure these bears have given us. I would hope you look into your heart when you hunt up in the Ely area this fall. There are almost 130,000 people who are united with this family, and alot of them are kids. Please keep this in mind. Thank you.

  99. Ron Gross says:

    How totally absurd to think some woman from France knows more than the MN. DNR & MN. sportsmen when it comes to the shooting of radio collared bears in MN.

    1. Allison says:

      @ Ron….woman in france, has spent a good many hours then you watching the behaviour of the bears… take whats around you for granted, and think you know it all. Open you eyes and ears, you will see the world completely different.

  100. Len Schweisthal says:

    I am an avid hunter and do this for the food. And i also know allot more that hunt for the same thing. Not to as stated by some of the other people to just kill an animal. Although I have never been bear hunting I would love to go. But if some one does see a bear wearing a collar they should not shoot.
    I agree with with you Ron how can some one so far away know more of the DNR & Mn laws kinda strange.
    Every year it gets harder and harder going hunting the DNR has to put up with all the tree huggers I think they are called PETA.
    (people eating tasty animals) LOL

  101. Louise Roberts says:

    I was born in MN but I have to tell you the bears are the first thing in years that makes me want to spend time and money there. Minnesota has a national treasure in the making and one hunters bullet could cost you all of that. Embrace the gift by granting 14 bears immunity from hunters or risk it all. I would say that is truly the call here.

  102. Donna says:

    I don’t live in MN and I am not one of the many school children learning about a day in the life of a bear.
    I’m from Rochester, NY and a year ago the local newspaper reported about the research being done at the Bear Center. Now I am only one of thousands around the country following their work.
    So hunters: don’t shoot the bear if it has a bright ribbon attached to the collar!! It’s a no-brainer!


  103. Teresa,daughter of a lifetime deer hunter. says:

    Excuse me, but wasn’t the DNR- Department of Natural Resources- started to protect our ‘natural resources’? A handful of our natural resource is the collared bears. While the animal lovers and the hunters will always have the debate over who is right or wrong about what is happening, us animal lovers do realize that hunting is a sport to most bear hunters. The necessity of shooting to kill bears for sustainance is arcaic. Yes they are a conversation starter when it is displayed on a hunters wall and the story surrounding the hunt may be exciting to some, I am not a part of that group. The best way to see MN’s natural resources is to see them alive and prospering in their natural habitat. Surely the DNR and legislation can’t be so intimidated by those who hunt bear? Try to put yourself in the bear’s place, isn’t it difficult enough to find food for her family, fight off intruders and still be able to survive in these Mn winters? If you want to talk fairness- where is the gun or trap or knife or whatever weapon of choice, for the bear? Please overturn this disturbing ruling. MN can’t afford to lose any of it’s research bears. There is so much we still don’t know about our native creatures it would be a crime to have Lily and her family put in harms way and heaven forbid, killed because a hunter didn’t care about the research and ignored the bright neon colors on their collar.
    I so much enjoy watching the den cam when my day is over. Peace, ❤ & prayers to Dr. Rogers and his team, including ALL of his collared bears.

  104. Teresa Smelser says:

    I am a federally-licensed wildlife rehabilitator and well familiar with what the DNR is about. Most of the DNR budget comes from from so-called conservationists-aka “hunters” and hunting clubs. The DNR depends on monies from licenses,fees,and fines.The more species they allow hunters to shoot,the more money they get. They call it “population control” to make it sound pallatable to the public. The real truth is,Mother Nature has always had a way of dealing with overpopulation without human intervention for time eternal and allowing the shooting of these bears is inexcusable.Nobody in this country is so desparate for food that they need to go out and shoot a mother bear used for educational research. Here in Michigan,the DNRE is now allowing the shooting of the peaceful mute swan,as well as killing the few wolves and moose that we have.They tried to get shooting mourning doves (free skeet)through a few years ago,but public reaction was so outraged that they backed off that one .I`ve raised and rehabilitated hundreds of mourning doves and I KNOW for a fact that there is very little meat on them and by time you clean them & pick the birdshot out,you might have a bite or two.I have also know a bear hunter that went on an expedition so far into the wildlerness that he couldn`t carry his prize bear carcass back,so he just skinned it to take the fur for taxidermy and left the rest of the bear to rot in the field.
    People,there is NO justifiable reason to kill these educational bears just because they might wander into the bait pile! If you`re that hungry,I know a number of churches that will give you boxes of food.Tell the truth: this is all about buildling up the coffers of the DNR and the “thrill” of killing something .
    I`m really fed up with getting wounded animals and birds into my rehab because some blood-thirsty idiot couldn`t be bothered to make a clean kill or follow his prey down to humanely put it out of it`s misery.So,you hunters out there-be honest with yourself about why you really put out money to get hunting equipment,licenses and the cost of setting up camp.I`m a meat -eater,but I`ll go to the store where animals are farm-raised for that purpose.If I can`t afford it,I`ll go to the food bank or my local church and get help.So let`s be honest here.You know why you`re going out there stalking these beasts.

    1. Hypocritical says:

      I agree that hunters should do what they can to avoid shooting one of Dr. Rogers research bears. Doing so would be a detriment to his research, his bears are connected to many people, its an education tool, and because doing so just creates negative P.R. for hunting. But unless you become a vegetarian ease up because hypocrisy does not carry much weight when making a point. You are correct, hunters do like the meat we harvest but we also like hunting for many other reasons and not the one you are  insinuating. I applaud your profession but because you rehab song birds does not make you an authority on wildlife. You also made an excellent point about hunters, we do fund more habitat and wildlife projects than most people and believe it or not we are proud of having our funds go to wildlife projects because we enjoy nature and wildlife and not just for hunting. You went way beyond expressing your concern for the research bears which you are entitled to do. Believe me I don’t support anyone intentionally harming these bears. The MN DNR is not perfect but they do a lot of good for MN wildlife and recreation opportunities other than hunting.

  105. Karen Anderson says:

    LOL….very good concludions, Just Ducky. Phil doesn’t have the education of any of the little school children following Dr. Rogers’ research bears. Ignorance displayed isn’t a pretty sight, but it’s often tragic.

  106. Karen Anderson says:

    Gary, some of the ribbons ARE orange. They are mixed colors of green, pink, yellow, orange and other florescent colors. Check out pictures here:

  107. christine (UK) says:

    Like many non Americans (but who are frequent visitors to your wonderful country), we have been fascinated by black bears for more than 30 years. We came to the ‘Lily and Hope’ part of the story of the Minnesota projects via the ‘My Bear Family and Me’ series on the BBC where Gordon Buchanan visited at four different times in the year…………….we have been ‘hooked’ ever since and have the den cams in the background on our computers all the time. We have also shared this information with American relatives in Missouri and teachers in American schools who were unaware of the teaching aspects. In addition we intend visiting Minnesota and the Bear Centre this year on vacation………so come on Government legislators, there you have it – education, world wide recognition of what Dr Lynn and his team are doing – and believe me ‘the eyes of the world’ are upon you, and tourism. How many people like us from the UK and further afield are looking to visit a part of America that previously (in 35 years of travel to the USA) we have ignored – and all because of the bears!

  108. Helen Ashworth says:

    Helen (UK)
    I too am appealing to the Minnesota DNR and legislators to protect the radio-collared bears studied by both the NABC and the DNR. Dr Roger’s work has given the world such a wonderful insight into the lives of a small famial bear group and it would be such a shame to potentially put this at risk. All that is asked is that a small number of bears, wearing vivid and visible ribbons on their collars, are allowed to pass safely. I am sure that the vast amjority of hunters are reasonable people and respect the bears. They may well be interested in learning more about the lives of these beautiful creatures.
    For those who don’t believe that the research bears and the den cams bring any benefit to Minnesota, like many others in the UK the BBC programme ‘The Bear Family and Me’ showed me that Minnesota is a beautiful area and one I now want to visit – bringing my tourist dollar. Visiting the NABC & learning more about the research bears would be an integral part of that visit.

  109. Jean Tingey says:

    We must get the law changed we cannot let anything happen to LILY I for one would be devastated if she was needlessly shot.

  110. dave says:

    To call someone who shoots a bear a HUNTER is like calling a bank robber an AUDITOR. They bait the bears-that is not hunting.

  111. Monica Rochester says:

    With all the uncollared bears the collared need to be protected from hunters. The DNR needs to change their ruling.

  112. Hypocritical says:

    And you know how easy bear hunting is and are able to make that analogy how? I am sure because of your vast knowledge and experience. Check out the success rates of bear hunters in MN or try it before you state how easy it is or that it is not hunting.

  113. Hypocritical says:

    Last comment was directed to Dave. I do not see any need to hunt Dr. Rogers research bears.

  114. paul says:

    Rogers has solicited quite the PR effort for his research subjects. The disciples all believe that the DNR is obligated to protect a group of animals anytime someone decides to make them study subjects. Anyone who reminds this choir of the legitimate criticism that has been leveled at Roger’s interaction with the bears is told they do not have the credentials or even the right to do so. And of course this is an opportunity for the ignorant to vent on the hunters who are the main source of revenue for wildlife preservation in this state. Yet in reading the article and comments one thing becomes quite clear: no one wants these bears to be killed. So the DNR cannot make a special rule to protect them, and perhaps the legislature will not pass special legislation to do so, but I think these bears have a much better chance than most to make it through a hunting season. Everyone knows what area they are in, and what the collars look like. It doesn’t sound like hunters are really interested in shooting collared animals that have been acclimated to human contact. It probably isn’t enough for the fans of these named and humanized celebrity bears, but I really hope they make it through another season.

    1. Nicola UK says:

      Thank you Paul, We all hope they make it through another season and many more! But with some comments from hunters that they don’t care and have admitted to shooting collared bears in the past and quite proud of what they have done, it is a worry.
      I’m not a disciple, just an ordinary hard working, mother and wife who is interested in bears and the enviroment, like many other people who have commented. I have learned a great deal from the NABC and am very grateful to them. Sadly some prople don’t like what Dr Rogers has to say because it goes against the stereo type image people have of Bears.
      I must admit I really don’t like the thought of hunting, but I appreciate that for many people it is something that has been passed down the generations. I don’t like the idea of bating, reminds me of someone trying to tempt a child away with candy! But I know there are genuine, decent and ethical hunters who have no problem with what the NABC are asking. For what is a handful of Bears I really can’t see why the DNR can’t protect them.

      1. Hunter says:

        As an ethical, genuine, and decent hunter I would like to state that to this point your other comments have been ok and as Paul said these bears are in no immediate danger and have a really good chance that no one will harm them which I support. I am sure most hunters realize that there is no challenge in hunting his bears which are accustomed to people and most of us understand their importance & value to others.
        But you made a poor comparison and demonstration of ignorance with the candy comment. If you do not understand something it would behoove you not to equate it to something despicable like tempting children with candy. I assure you that baiting and hunting bear is nothing like you envision.
        I am glad that you and others outside MN have an opportunity to learn about black bears in Minnesota and view them through technology and you have every right to share your opinion on protecting the research bears and it’s great that some of you may even come here as tourists but the rest of the bears and our methods/policies for management of those are a Minnesota issue. As an example I am not about to tell respondents to this article from Australia what the best way to manage kangaroos and dingoes are…
        I think some people have different reasons for being critical of his research but it is what it is and I am not going to condemn it, however, you cannot deny that these bears have been conditioned to humans which can affect their innate wild behavior to at least some extent. That being said I know they still have some research and educational value.

  115. rich l says:

    DNR is a joke,they say they dont want to put hunteres in a position to look for collars on a bear but then they put “point” restrictions in some areas for deer,easier to see a collar than to be countings points on deer

  116. Grace Renfroe says:

    I should hope they would expect a hunter to look before he shoots something, it could just as easily be another hunter he is shooting. With all the extra effort of putting a GPS collar on a wild black bear, and then having to go back out there and put all these bright collared ribbons on those bears, just to have the DNR not wanting to step on anyones toes by saying, please don’t shoot these nine bears, I can’t understand how the hunters have more rights than everyone else, they don’t own the bears either.

  117. Hunter says:


    As an ethical, genuine, and decent hunter I would like to state that to this point your other comments have been ok and as Paul said these bears are in no immediate danger and have a really good chance that no one will harm them which I support. I am sure most hunters realize that there is no challenge in hunting his bears which are accustomed to people and most of us understand their importance & value to others.
    But you made a poor comparison and demonstration of ignorance with the candy comment. If you do not understand something it would behoove you not to equate it to something despicable like tempting children with candy. I assure you that baiting and hunting bear is nothing like you envision.
    I am glad that you and others outside MN have an opportunity to learn about black bears in Minnesota and view them through technology and you have every right to share your opinion on protecting the research bears and it’s great that some of you may even come here as tourists but the rest of the bears and our methods/policies for management of those are a Minnesota issue. As an example I am not about to tell respondents to this article from Australia what the best way to manage kangaroos and dingoes are…
    I think some people have different reasons for being critical of his research but it is what it is and I am not going to condemn it, however, you cannot deny that these bears have been conditioned to humans which can affect their innate wild behavior to at least some extent. That being said I know they still have some research and educational value.

    1. Nicola UK says:


      Firstly, apologies if my candy comment offended you, I think it was taken out of context, maybe a US/UK thing! I also do not wish to try and tell the people of Minnesota how to manage their lives. I completely understand that our way of life is very different. I also understand and have seen some hunting having lived in Ontario for a few years. But having followed these bears for quite a while now, I do feel I have the right to an opinion, even though I live overseas, as I would hope you would feel able to comment if you were involved with something in the UK.

      I just still don’t see the problem if the majority of hunters are like you, that there should be a problem with legislation. It seems that just a few bad eggs are spoiling this for everyone, perhaps being a hunter yourself you could maybe try to sway the few, then things could be sorted and everyone could go about living their lives and the collared bears would be safe. It all seems so simple but sadly those few bad eggs are preventing that from happening!

      1. Hunter says:

        Apology accepted and you have every right to express your opinion. As far as new legislation goes it is in the hands of the DNR or more likely the State Legislature. I think and hope that there is little danger (if any) at this point for these bears from hunters but there are definitely some bad eggs out there.

  118. Paul says:

    It is unfortunate that this issue has become a political one. Politics is the competition for scarce resources offered or controlled by the government and is a messy and contentious process, especially in a democracy. It is a major strategic error on the part of Rogers and his followers to initiate an adversarial relationship with DNR and the hunting community. It is the DNR’s responsibility to manage the states wildlife resources in the interests of ALL concerned, and they do they best that they can with the funding and staff they have. They make their decisions based upon their mandate and the best research they have available. It is a mistake to vilify them for what they are unable to do. Not that Roger’s minions are alone in this. Hunters and fisherman continually gripe about whatever the DNR proposes. They cannot please everyone, not even Rogers whose study has allowed people everywhere to share in the lives of his study subjects. It is also a mistake to antagonize the hunting community who through purchase of licenses and supplies, and voluntary hunting groups, provide the bulk of funding for the DNR and wildlife habitat in this state. I suspect that those who have stated they would have no qualms about taking a collared bear are attempting to antagonize those who want special protection for these bears. This accomplishes nothing. I have hunted all my life in the community where I was raised. I worked at the local sporting goods shop where they bought their supplies. No hunter I have spoken to about this believes these bears should be targeted. Perhaps the legislature will be unable to pass legislation to protect these bears. It would be a real can of worms in terms of managing the state’s wildlife. It is also possible that they will respond to pressure and do so. Such is the nature of politics. In the meantime, would it not be a better strategy to reach out to the DNR and the hunting community for their help in protecting the lives of Roger’s study subjects? I do believe he has crossed the line out of objective research by interfering with the lives of his study subjects, but his work may be valuable, even for those who choose to hunt bears in the future. Would it not be a good strategy to work with the DNR and hunters to promote the survival of these bears during hunting season? The DNR and most hunters don’t want them killed. A great many advocating their protection have also stated they have nothing against hunting. Even if a law cannot be passed, we just might be able to successfully advocate their survival if hunters, the DNR, and friends of Roger’s research work together to get the word out. The DNR has asked that they not be shot, and most hunters agree. How about for example, a letter to the Outdoor News about this issue? It is a publication for Minnesota sportsman that also spotlights DNR activities, policies, and proposals. I am willing to bet that the majority of responders would advocate for the survival of these bears. It would have to work better than escalating a conflict between all concerned. I dropped the snark and tried anyway, and again I express the hope that the bears make it through another season.

    1. Lorie Kennedy says:

      Paul, Dr Rogers has been working with the DNR and hunters for years. The study bears are still getting shot. Sadly, no matter how many hunters you try to educate, there’s always one that ignores the request because it is not a law and there are no consequences. Unfortunately, there is no other solution. Dr. Rogers has given the alternatives many chances, and, as was demonstrated last fall, they do not work. The radio collared bears need to be protected!

    2. Laura Caplan says:

      Yes Paul, thank you for dropping the snark and for your excellent contribution to this dialogue! If everyone were like you in this world, we wouldn’t have any problems. Now here are some of my own thoughts about what you have said. It is true that “it is the DNR’s responsibility to manage the state’s wildlife resources in the interests of ALL concerned, and they do they best that they can with the funding and staff they have. They make their decisions based upon their mandate and the best research they have available.” However, what you left out of this equation is public input, which is essential to the democratic process. Doing that is not vilifying the DNR. Citizens affected by the decision are simply making their thoughts known that they believe the DNR has not considered all the ramifications of their policy decision. Like you said, the DNR makes it policies in the interests of ALL concerned. And in this case, it is clear that a lot of the all is dissatisfied with this particular decision. Whether you agree with all the above comments or not, it’s a good thing that people are engaging in the process because DNR works for the people of Minnesota, and the people have every right to make their voices heard as part of the democratic process. True, the DNR can’t always please everyone, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t do better. Sometimes they make mistakes, and it would appear that loads of people believe that is what happened here.

      Second, you said: “I suspect that those who have stated they would have no qualms about taking a collared bear are attempting to antagonize those who want special protection for these bears. This accomplishes nothing.” Herein lies the crux of this whole issue. People who would act out of such antagonism already view the DNR’s current goals and policies with contempt. The DNR has made it perfectly clear for some years now that it does not want these bears shot. This is why it is absolutely true that most hunters don’t want these bears killed. And it is most likely that those who do have “no qualms” about shooting these bears are acting out against the DNR and the people of Minnesota. Theoretically, people who would act like that would be acting in a way that harms the public. This is why there is an outcry and demand for a new law designed to address such contemptible behavior.

      Your suggestion that Dr. Rogers should work with the DNR and hunters to promote the survival of these bears during hunting season is a good one. Unfortunately, it has already been tried for some years now and it hasn’t worked. This past fall, two research bears wearing brightly colored and easily visible collars were shot. That was a severe blow to Dr. Roger’s research and a great loss to the people of Minnesota. If more bears were to be shot again this fall it would be a major tragedy. And at this point, it would also be extremely damaging to the state of Minnesota’s reputation, which is growing by leaps and bounds because of Dr. Roger’s world renowned research.

      This is why those who want to prevent such a tragedy are calling for a new law, or at a minimum, a better way to address this problem. The DNR has already asked hunters not to shoot these bears. All the hunters know this, yet some have not obliged this request. Why is that? The DNR’s suggestion that the answer to that question is that it is easy for hunters to make a mistake is off the mark, as many here have pointed out. In this case, it is not hard to identify these collared bears with bright fluorescent ribbons all over their collars.

      The DNR knows that and this is one of the reasons why the public is weighing in on their flawed analysis here. Many believe that the best way to address this problem is to make it clear as a matter of law or regulation that such behavior is unacceptable, and that the shooting of collared research bears damages the interests of the state.

    3. Nicola UK says:

      Once again, Thank you and you are quite correct that if some positive dialougue could be opened up this could go a long way to resolving these issues. From what I understand Dr Rogers has previously spoken with hunters and at the moment has quite a few in agreement with what he asking for. Your thoughts about writing to the Minnesota sportsman sounds a really good idea, maybe you could suggest this to the NABC. I’m glad to know there are people like you out there!

  119. Sally says:

    It would truly be a shame if Lily or one of her cubs would be killed by a hunter. They need to be protected! They bring so much joy into the lives of children, grown-ups, and myself, a senior citizen. The bears are such a learning tool. Why would anyone take them away from us. Save our bears, PLEASE! ! ! !

  120. FYI...the other side says:

    It’s all a bit much for some traditional wildlife researchers, who said that Rogers’ work makes for great natural history stories but does little to help wildlife managers assess the balance of bears, habitat and people.

    Sometimes called a bear advocate over a bear researcher, Rogers also has drawn criticism that his work isn’t producing scientific results.

    Rogers and his co-researchers are “contributing to a more nuanced, finer-scale understanding of black bear behavior and ecology. … Walking with habituated black bears and observing details of their daily lives allows for a finer scale of data collection related to topics such as foraging and habitat use than is possible using radio telemetry,” said Stephen Herrero, an Alberta bear expert, in a 2008 report to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reviewing Rogers’ work. “However … I find it difficult to fully evaluate the scientific merit of the proposed research because of a lack of detail related to methods.”

    Rogers’ application for a bear study permit was “not a traditional research project,” Herrero noted. “It does not clearly identify specific research questions and the methods by which the questions will be studied.”

    Marty Obbard, an Ontario bear expert, agreed.

    “In general, I found that the methods and objectives are not well-developed,” Obbard said in his report to the DNR on Rogers’ permit application.

    Rogers is in a minority camp among researchers when it comes to feeding bears so they don’t bother nearby homeowners. He contends that feeding reduces complaints about bears in garbage cans and bird feeders, and he notes that bears in the area have never acted hostile toward people — though some have complained of close calls, including a nipped hand.

    Others say it makes garbage animals out of wild bears. Some say it’s downright dangerous, as bears — usually docile but still big and powerful — lose their fear of humans.

    While Obbard and Herrero said there might be value in testing diversionary feeding of bears during years of poor wild food, they said long-term feeding can cause artificially high bear populations and create conflict. Rogers’ and Mansfield’s own published research has found that bears fed by humans reach maximum body mass faster than wild bears and can grow twice as big.

    “It seems to me that the bear population in the study area is now trapped in an endless loop that is maintained by the diversionary feeding program,” Obbard wrote, noting that bigger bears need more food, possibly more than they can easily find in the wild. Feeding bears in Eagles Nest Township, Obbard said, “has created a management monster.”

  121. Sherry says:

    Today as Dr. Rogers seeks protection for radio collared research bears others come up with lame reasons not to hear him; This is the reality of the outright denial for the protection of the 14 radio collared bears. Doc is not asking to protect all of the black bear population, just radio collared study bears. I ask today why anyone would not see the value in documenting these majestic creatures that we live among. It is enlightening to follow and learn of the origins trial and tribulations of creatures that have been demonized for centuries. All information of these studies will be passed on for generations. YES it is a responsibility for a hunter to look not once but twice to make sure the bear is not collared. It is no different than making a judgment on a 3” antler on a buck. If the hunter can not see due to lighting than he should not be discharging lead. I am from a family of avid hunters that understand the food chain and overpopulation. I love venison and have had to depend on it to feed my children in our earlier years. Hunters are good people and I am sure would not kill the radio collared bear just to kill them. That is why I wonder why would this be an issue to pass this law? Making hunters responsible for what they shoot should be part of attaining a license each year. I implore you to take a few moments of your time to view the den-cam and the site. Please give Dr.Rogers research some consideration. This man has dedicated his life to the study of these black bears for all of us. Not to make it difficult for hunters and lawmakers, but to share vital information that has been documented daily for years. Let’s be part of this education and share the responsibility of protecting these research bears…Please don’t let black bear research be extinguished by not passing a law protecting these brightly ribboned collared bears. The study is knowledge to be passed on for Generations……

    1. Lorie K. says:

      Well said Sherry!

  122. Mike L says:

    My concern with this article is what research questions these people are trying to address. My research is not focused on bears but I do the same type of work on other animals and what we often want to know is ‘are the marked or collared individuals acting like all the unmarked animals’ Therefore if the collared bears cannot be harvested they will have inherently different mortality rates, behaviors, etc. Just look at deer living in a city vs those in the country, if you just researched city deer you would have very different conclusions. So from a research perspective we often want the marked animals to be treated exactly the same as unmarked individuals so we can draw conclusions on the greater population.
    An additional point here is that the particular bear described in this article is already protected – unless she loses her cubs. It is illegal to harvest a female bear with cubs.

  123. Judy S says:

    There are hunters who are respectful of the law, but unfortunately, there are hunters who are not respectful of the law. For instance, in Eastern Washington, the wolves have made a comeback, and the people are learning to live alongside them. But there are always those who are above the law, and a wolf was trapped and killed for its hide. What a shame! I firmly believe we should protect these bears by making them illegal to kill, but, as with the wolves, there are always those who will ignore the obvious collars due to what has to be diminished capacity-what else could it be? Those that argue that they need the meat to feed their children are just looking for an excuse to hunt-why don’t they raise cattle for meat? It would be just as fresh and good. Nothing sickens me more than the first day of hunting season than to see the thousands of dead animals splayed and tied across the front of cars. It’s a parade of who got what and where and with what, and it’s hideous. I think it says a lot about where we are headed. So yes, let’s protect these 20 bears. Surely you hunters can find some other poor non-collared bear to kill, can’t you?

  124. FYI...The Other Side says:

    The excerpt from the article above was not meant to upset anyone but the question was asked…who has the credentials to criticize his research. This was just informational. On another note I don’t think anyone should target his research bears.

    The excerpt cited was from Northland Outdoors.
    Title: “Researcher’s bear work has been lightning rod for fame, controversy”
    By: John Myers, Duluth News Tribune
    Published June 05, 2010, 11:51 PM

  125. Dave says:

    Glad to see that the DNR made the right decision! 🙂

  126. Bob says:

    Common sense, decency, and respect is what this is about
    Without mentioning any particular group or party affiliation; there’s certainly enough blame to go around, the research bears of the North American Bear Center are yet another victim of the fear and denial associated with the economic downturn sanctioned and emboldened by the greedy short term views of the past 20-years. The backlash against unions, school boards, and any activity funded by taxpayers has swung way past reason. It’s hard to imagine how anyone looking at the research and educational benefits of Dr. Rogers work could be too busy to help protect this resource.

    I was a hunter for a good part of my life and I respect the rights of those who pursue this activity; the right to bare arms is near and dear to my heart. Here in Pennsylvania depending on what part of the state you are hunting whitetail deer a hunter is required to know how many points are required to be legal in that area often in the same low light heavy cover environments frequented by black bears.

    But somehow requiring a hunter to look for bright ribbons or tags on a BLACK bear is too much to ask. This isn’t about these special bears; it’s about people of a certain mindset shying away from any additional governmental involvement in the lives of already agitated taxpayers. If the responsibility of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is to manage those resources for the good of all citizens of the state it would seem foolish to risk wasting these bears (clearly the property of the state of Minnesota) when the research has been funded and supported in large part by private money, not the taxpayers. Oh, did I forget to mention the many thousands of dollars that the Lily Facebook fans have raised for local charities, parks, schools and businesses? From a distance ignoring the request to protect the collared research bears and all that they represent would seem like the state of Minnesota thumbing its nose at thousands of money spending potential long term supporters. A friend of mine back in Pike County, PA had a bumper sticker that read “Welcome to Pike County; Now Go Home”. Not a chamber of commerce message to be sure but not much different from the message being sent to the NABC supporters.

    There are school children all over the country if not the world watching the bear cameras and studying along with the Lily fans on Facebook. How do we expect these children to understand responsibility and environmental awareness when for the sake of who knows what a state agency would choose to abandon these valuable research animals. Please open your eyes to the foolishness of this waste, greed and fear. Our children and grandchildren have and will inherit quite a mess. All we can do is help them see the truth and hope that they rise above this petty behavior and get back to COMMON SENSE; if it hasn’t found a more cooperative place to live.

    1. Karen Anderson says:

      Awesome, Bob….it would be hard for anybody to counter what you’ve written. This is a favorite comment for me: ” This isn’t about these special bears; it’s about people of a certain mindset shying away from any additional governmental involvement in the lives of already agitated taxpayers.”

    2. Lorie K. says:

      Good comment Bob! The worst part of this whole decision is Commissioner Landwehr has ignored Dr. Rogers requests to a face to face meeting to learn more about his research. You would also think that public opinion regarding Minnesota’s resources would be important in this decision. Commissioner Landwehr has had closed door discussions within the DNR only and has decided that he knows best how Minnesotans want their resources managed!

      This world is changing and we need to keep up. We will undoubtedly have even more challenging management issues in the future. There are children in schools learning about these intelligent animals today, thanks to Dr. Rogers’ research. Hopefully armed with this knowledge, when they are in decision making positions, they will be more willing to figure out solutions that manage Minnesota’s resources for everyone. Knowledge is GOOD!

  127. Vicki says:

    The following is a comment off the DNR website by Tom Landwehr Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources after explaining his reason for not protecting the collared bears. I urge the people of Minnesota to follow up and contact your congress men/women to correct this ruling. Minnesota will come out in a positive light and people of the world will continue to look toward Minnesota to learn about these wonderful bears.

    Tom Landwehr’s comment:
    This issue is properly a legislative one. The DNR manages populations and doesn’t set regulations regarding individual animals. If society believes individual animals should be protected, I believe the legislature is best suited to make that change to reflect the will of the people.

  128. Brandy NY says:

    With respect Paul I would like to respond to your comment.It is very difficult for Dr. Rogers’s followers not to get heated up, when last season some hunters stated they would continue to kill the research bears untill it becomes illegal. These are the huntes that brought on our anger. Dr. Rogers has always impressed upon us to respect the hunters and to understand hunting is a way of life in MN. Paul if you met and spoke to Dr. Rogers you would hear that he would agree with some things you said. He did reach out to the DNR and the present COMM. but was denied the opporunity to be heard. So the public outcry became necessary. Dr. Rogers does have alot of support from the ethical hunters. Reason why the Bear Guide association voted in favor to Protect the research bears. They know first hand what the view is from the unethical hunters. I have always been against hunting. But for repect to Dr. Rogers feelings I have learned to respect the hunters. Just not the unethical ones.

  129. Shawn says:

    Re: Legislation to Protect Research Bears

    This letter is in regard to the proposed legislation to protect bears involved in research programs.

    I am aware that much of the debate on this topic is related to how much these bears mean, on a personal level, to the Scientists that work with them and the many people that follow the lives of these bears. I view this topic from a less-personal perspective in that I do not follow the bears on a daily basis. However, I read the updates on the bears and I am well aware of the value that they and the Scientists that work with them provide to the entire species.

    I live in Pennsylvania and I have experience hunting black bear. I see hunting as an integral piece of the puzzle that is the overall well-being of the bear population. Without an annual hunting season on these animals in regions that have larger bear populations the herd would become larger than the territory could support. If the natural resources of the region cannot sustain the bear population the animals are forced to seek food by other means and these other means often conflict with the human population in the area. The goal of hunting is to thin the herd to a more reasonable level on an annual basis thereby eliminating much of the conflict.

    As a responsible hunter, I would never attempt to harvest an animal that I knew was involved in a research study. The Scientists have gone to many lengths to educate the hunters in the area that research bears are collared and clearly marked with brightly colored ribbons. I have no doubt that many other responsible hunters have allowed these animals to pass unharmed because they are aware of the value that they provide. However, there will always be a portion of the hunting population that is interested solely in the trophy perception associated with harvesting a bear. It is these individuals that require the need for legislation to protect the research animals.

    I don’t view the research bears as pets and I know for a fact that the Scientists don’t see the bears in this light as well. In fact, I know of situations where the Scientists were aware of a sick bear and made the conscious decision not to treat the animal. This decision was made because they knew that they would be able to glean more information from the bear’s death than from treating the animal and keeping it alive. The goal of this legislation is not to keep the animals alive for the sake of keeping them alive. The value that I see in this legislation is to protect the research bears from being harvested during hunting season. There is very little, if anything, to be learned from the death of a bear that has been shot with a firearm.

    In closing, I would like to ask you to support the legislation to protect research bears during hunting season. The vast majority of the hunting population would support this legislation and the benefit that it would provide to the species has no ceiling. This has the potential to be a win-win proposition if handled correctly. Please do your part and support this legislation.

    1. Nicola UK says:


      THANK YOU!

  130. Karen Anderson says:

    I believe a major problem in this argument/discussion is the use of “collared bears” which implies that the collars and the research of both Lynn Rogers and the MN DNR is the SAME. It is NOT. Yes, the death of the bears which the DNR collars is significant to their research and management of bears; it serves NO positive purpose at ALL for Rogers’ research. His collars are for a different purpose and several contain GPS units when these bears are out of the den and moving about in their natural and wild lives. What should be emphasized and understood is that the SMALL NUMBER of bears that Rogers is studying wear BRIGHTLY COLORED AND HIGHLY VISIBLE RIBBONS tied to their bulky light-colored collars during hunting season…Nine bears? Fourteen bears? Why is it sooooo difficult to set these bears aside and NOT deliberately kill them? It’s impossible to kill them *accidentally*. Before some of you go off on “all these collared bears” that you won’t be able to shoot legally, try to understand that it’s the SMALL NUMBER of Lynn Rogers’ study bears that is the focus to seek legal protection for. The DNR can fight their own case about the bears THEY have THEIR collars on.

  131. gretchen says:

    Well said, Shawn. I thought it was part of the DNR’s mission to promote education and interest in our natural wildlife and resources. The educational benefits for the many school children studying these bears is enormous.

  132. Dee says:

    It is imperative these research bears be protected from hunting for many reasons already mentioned. Dr. Rogers isn’t asking for much. He has always tried to be fair and reasonable, working with hunters, not against them. Why all the closed minds on approving this issue? Please, lets get it approved and get on with our lives. No one is going to give up on this until these valuable research bears have the protection they need.

  133. Jill Wheaton Lindsey says:

    I am not surprised to see the DNR statements above relative the decision made last week. The history of the DNR in MN is proving to be an agency of mostly self serving interests and not those in the best interest of the animals and the public that they serve. The statements made in this article by Tom Landwehr clearly show his lack of knowledge or interest in fulfilling the job he has been appointed to do.

    The educational values being received by thousands in fifty (50) states and fifty seven (57) countries as well as in classrooms all over the world is undeniably the best education ever presented about the behaviors of these magnificent creatures. Children are learning the truths about wild North American black bears and about all of nature with this experience. Protecting them for future benefit to humanity is necessary. The dozen radio-collared bears around Ely are part of the biggest classroom bear education program ever done. Over 500 schools follow these bears daily in their classrooms. Teachers and students watch the live Den Cam and read the daily research updates on . Individual radio-collared bears are part of their science, reading, and math classes along with the lesson plans.

    Minnesota’s radio-collared bears have become too valuable to science, education, tourism, and regional economics to be killed like any other bears The township of Ely, MN has taken a major step toward supporting the protection of these bears. They have signed a resolution recognizing the importance of these bears and that the need for the legalization of their protection. “Regional benefits from the research bears are just beginning.” Continued success depends entirely upon the radio-collared bears that hundreds of thousands are following worldwide. We all must do whatever we can to gain legal protection for the radio-collared bears that are the foundation for it all.

  134. Jessica says:

    Dr. Rogers and the other researchers spent a ton of money and man-hours to collect and analyze the the research results. They can’t just start over when the bears are killed, they have to start at birth. PLEASE protect these bears!

    1. TJ says:

      Dr.Rogers has not spent near the amount of money to research these bears as the hunters of MN have buying licenses that pay to manage the resources and the land on which these bears live. Why should we make them “his bears”? Can a person legally own a wild animal. Or or these animals not wild any longer since Mr.Rogers has turned them into his pets. How can this research help us if these bears arent living the normal life of an adult bear. This study is flawed. I would not shoot a collared bear, but we also should not give ownership to MR.Rogers simply for the means of his flawed research. Study wild animals and keep them wild and then lets go to the drawing board or take your now domesticated bears and purchase your own 20,000 acres to study them on and buy lots of no hunting/trespassing signs……

      1. Karen Anderson says:

        I would so gladly contribute to the fund to purchase the land and “no hunting/no trespassing” signs you suggest. I would change my will and give my entire estate to that cause to help in stopping the “Hunting GODS” that Minnesota so reveres and bows down to!

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  143. Karen Anderson says:

    The MN DNR continues to be LAME. Lame, Lame, LAME. There is NO justification for the way they ignore EVERYBODY but their precious “bear hunters”. It must be al about the MONEY that causes them to be enemies of one of Minnesota’s woodland treasures. Fans of the bears generate plenty of MONEY for the State of Minnesota with more on the way. The DNR would rather see a black bear DEAD than alive. Especially, the handful that are Dr. Lynn Rogers’ important research bears that mean so much to people around the world and especially CHILDREN…some of whom might actually run the DNR someday. Things will change THEN.

    I have ZERO respect for the MN DNR because they have no respect for ANYBODY but their precious “bear hunters” (who aren’t people I admire either). The MN DNR’s justification for their horrible attitude is LAME LAME LAME LAME LAME….and so is the ENTIRE department.

    1. Len S says:

      You have to be kidding me right. If the DNR does not care check out the regs the hunters have to follow. And that changes every year. To make everyone happy (the precious tree hugger’s). Now if a hunter would see a bear with any form of tags would leave alone. Have a nice day. ;o}

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