The Legal Bounty Put On Radio-Collared Bears

By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

ELY, Minn. (WCCO) — A late-April snowfall creates a spring wonderland near Ely, Minn. and in the quiet, white wilderness comes the sound of a steady signal.

With tracking equipment in hand, Dr. Lynn Rogers is doing what he’s done a thousand times before: looking for black bears. It’s not long before he comes across a familiar face.

Lily the black bear has found shelter from the snow under a spruce tree where she nurses her cub Faith, something that’s rarely seen.

“We lucked out today,” said Rogers.

Nearby, doing what yearlings do, is Lily’s other daughter, Hope.

Her live birth last year on Rogers’ den cam made Hope a worldwide sensation.

“In Minnesota, there’s over 20,000 bears we can hunt. There are a dozen that are a window for the world,” said Rogers.

Lily, Faith and Hope are a big part of that window.

They are not Rogers’ bears, but they are his research. Like a modern day Jane Goodall, radio collars allow him to track and observe in natural habitat. They are the reason for the North American Bear Center.

“I just kind of fell into it and then fell in love with it,” said Rogers.

When he began his research 44 years ago, Rogers always knew he wanted to open a place where people could learn. The center had more than 30,000 visitors last year. But as educational as it has become there is another purpose: a mission to save the bears he loves.

“Minnesota bears belong to everyone. Why are they being managed for a dozen hunters that might see them instead of the thousands, actually about a quarter million people around the world, that want to learn from these bears? They need to be protected,” said Rogers.

So far the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources won’t protect the radio-collared bears. That’s despite a week-long petition that gathered more than 28,000 signatures from around the world. The signatures came from as far away South Africa, France and England.

But some of the most important came from Andover, Minn.

Dana Coleman is a first grade teacher at Andover Elementary. Her classroom is one of more than 500 in the world that follows Rogers’ research online.

“A 6-year-old doesn’t have the life experiences that a 12th-grader has. So they need that visual aspect of it and it’s invaluable,” said Coleman.

Every day, Coleman’s first graders learn about what’s going on with Lily, Faith and the others. The information they gather turns into lessons about math, time and even life experiences.

A few weeks ago, Lily’s other cub Jason died and it hit this classroom pretty hard.

“When he did pass, I read it to them and we cried together,” said Coleman.

“I felt really bad, like we wanted to cry but I couldn’t cry because my eyes weren’t watery,” said first-grader David Gohman.

These lessons are the reason Coleman has written dozens of letters to lawmakers and the DNR, asking them to protect Rogers’ research.

“The bears are really special to us and they should be special to them too,” said first-grader Abby Lueck.

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said when researchers apply for permits it’s with the understanding that the bears won’t be protected.

“This is the same way we have been operating with Dr. Rogers since 1992,” said Landwehr.

The DNR has 40 of their own research bears and doesn’t protect them either because they feel hunting is a part of research.

“We’ve worked voluntarily with hunters and we will send a letter to hunters asking them to avoid shoot collared bears and Dr. Rogers has called that an effective approach,” Landwehr said.

But not all hunters comply. Last fall, someone shot Sarah, one of Rogers’ research bears, despite the bright pink ribbons on her collar.

In certain circles, these animals now carry a bull’s eye. One hunter created a Facebook page called “Lily, A bear with a bounty” and it talks about using GPS and a helicopter to try and find Lily.

Separate from that, another hunter created a petition simply asking that the bears remain unprotected. So far it has about 100 signatures compared to Rogers’ more than 28,000.

But the main point is clear for a number of Minnesota black bear hunters like Bob Ford, who signed the petition. Personally, he said, he wouldn’t shoot a collared bear but at the same time doesn’t feel they should be protected.

“Putting the collar on a wild animal does not change it. It still is a wild animal and that does not give them the right to claim that as their own,” said Ford. “If it became illegal to shoot them, they might start putting radio collars on all bears. Where will it stop? I wouldn’t shoot one myself, but I don’t think more restrictions should be put on hunters.”

Rogers believes there is more to be learned from a live bear than one that becomes a trophy. For him, a future with Lily, Faith and Hope is more valuable than a future without them.

“When I see these bears, I feel thankful to them for allowing me into their lives to this extent and I just feel privileged that after decades of studying bears in other ways and learning very little, that finally I can get the answers to the many questions that have built up over my lifetime,” said Rogers.

Rogers said he will be bringing the stack of signatures from the petition to the DNR and lawmakers this spring in hopes of changing their decision. He wants to make it clear that he supports black bear hunting, he simply wants an exception made for the bears he is researching.

The DNR said they already have their own research bears and they are leaving those unprotected as well.

More from John Lauritsen

One Comment

  1. BWAB says:

    Sure would have been nice if they asked me if the bear with a bounty page is real or not.

    The poor people who had their names on the site where shown and are now receiving threats gg cco’

      1. eastside_evil says:

        Dana, congratulations on being Teacher of the Week!! Way to go!

      2. Don- Minn- Jay says:

        If you want to know “”WHY”” these collared research bears need protection..please go to…and learn along with us…learning new bear facts every day.
        “”One who claims to know it all, is only fooling himself’..thats why we have these research bears..for more and more facts…GPS has opened the bears way of life to thousands of people throughout the word..lets save them !

        1. Don- Minn- Jay says:

          check out and see for yourself.. what the children in school are learning !
          dont listen to the negatives..falsehoods..this teaching is truth

    1. Megan says:

      GOOD. “poor people”. HA! Poor bears.

      1. Colleredbearsareopengame! says:

        So if someone threatened your child Over a bear you wouldn’t be upset? So now a bear is more important than a human? Interesting?

        1. Patrick Shull says:

          Until that bear attacks someone then its a vicious animal and people will be yelling for its head on a platter. Screw that this bear some how has the same celebrity status as Lindsay Lohan and both don’t deserve it.

          For the bounty who cares all bears, deer, pheasants, moose, fish, turkeys. amongst many other animals have bounties on their heads once the hunting season opens. So what are these idiots going to do when some one is hunting deer and this bear crosses paths with a hunter and the hunter has no choice but to shoot the bear in self defense and or its bear season and the bear ends up dead because a hunter is hunting by the rules??

          1. art w. says:

            Deer must have an antler of a certain size to be legal, only male pheasants can be shot, fish have size restrictions and limits, turkeys have a limit of one so they all have some restrictions and it is illegal to bait any of these animals whereas bears can be baited and shot like pig in a barrel.

          2. eastside_evil says:

            There are no bears with celebrity status, Patrick. That was your first lie.

            Why must you call people idiots? Is there a fragile ego behind your harsh words?

            Can you tell me how many tagged bears have attacked hunters in the woods that had to be killed in self-defense? I can tell you, since I’m confident you don’t know the answer. It’s ZERO. That was your little white lie number two, wasn’t it, Patrick.

            Now I’m ready for you to call me an idiot and say “who cares” and “screw that bear” for being more popular than you are.

            1. eastside_evil says:

              Thanks! And you’re very welcome! I thank you for your service to the community!

            2. Dennis says:

              “There are no bears with celebrity status, Patrick. That was your first lie.” Calling someone else’s “opinion” a “lie” is your first mistake.

              “Can you tell me how many tagged bears have attacked hunters in the woods that had to be killed in self-defense?” He didn’t say a hunter was ever killed by a tagged bear, so how can a statement that wasn’t made be a lie?

              Lastly for a supposed teacher to call this reasoning brilliant speaks volumes.

            3. Ryan B says:

              No collared bears have killed people in the wild because instead they are so tame that they will come up and lick you like a dog. Its disgusting how tame these animals are at this point. rogers has completely ruined them and even the DNR says they have no chance in the wild beyond their collared research life. Get your facts from someone less biased than Rogers!

              1. eastside_evil says:

                “No collared bears have killed people in the wild because instead they are so tame that they will come up and lick you like a dog.”

                Prove it.

                1. trillius says:

                  These bears DO live in the wild Sir, they are simply observed. They forage for their own food, make/pick their own dens, travel where and when they choose to, etc. They are far from tame, most remain very skittish and simply tolerate him checking their heart-rate and collaring them. Some of the bears do not get collared at all because their individual personality does not allow it and that in and of itself is useful knowledge. Whether or not you agree/disagree with the hunting issue, the bears are not tame.

            4. Tammy Beberg says:

              AMEN…Lets get some of the “Facts” straight before non-existant claims are made!! Patrick needs to do a little more research, but before that, he really should take some lessons in being a RESPECTFUL HUMAN BEING…if possible!! This running of the mouth, not making any real sense is simply a waste of time and space!!!! There are very respectful, educated hunters making comments that you should read!! God help anyone in the woods while you are hunting!! Funny, While reading your post, I was so lost, trying to see what point you were trying to make, I would not have been surprised to hear you defending aliens from outerspace from bears!! Sorry, petty I know…just tired of people that don’t have a clue as to what this is about!! Again, thank you to hunters for their honest opinions!!!

          3. Lawrence Witko says:

            Hunting by the rules? Are you an idiot? You obviously haven’t seen anything about the research being done. Low comprehension level I suppose. I don’t think you should be allowed to carry a weapon.

        2. eastside_evil says:

          Where are you reading that a bear is now officially more important than a human? Please be specific.

        3. Don- Minn- Jay says:

          We need education..alot of people think if a bear jumps in their direction…the bear is gonna hurt them..fact of the matter is…thats called a ”bluff charge’
          only the bear telling you that you are ‘too close’ menance is coming from the bear..Thanks to…we now know what a ‘bluff charge’ is…what a ‘bluster’ is… seen on video too.
          Thanks !

    2. Charlotte says:

      You sure didn’t act like it was a joke and not real and didn’t say a word untill the pressure was on Very immature and a sick thing to do. Now that you are getting the attention you wanted, you complain?

    3. Murphy says:

      Anyone who posts on FB and has an expectation of any kind of privacy is living in a dreamworld. That said, threatening or implying harm to an animal by putting a bounty on it’s head, ONLY because you don’t like the researcher, is kind of stupid, don’t you think?

    4. Don- Minn- Jay says:

      Dr Rogers is being asked to talk at 2 seminars in canada about his bear research..hmmm..why would other experts ask him to speak….if his research is so ”flawed” as a few think in comments her…just goes to show you..that this experts are just learning from this research too..NEW INFORMATIOn !
      With a web cam and GPS..and support and funding..we are only now open to the true lif of bears in the wilderness..please go to learn with the rest of us..even the researchers are learning new info daily!

  2. Jackie DuCharme says:

    Dr Rogers said it on tv. There are over 20,000 black bears here in Mn and that is alot to hunt for.
    Why some person wants to act narcisstic enough to shoot the collared bears is to get attention. Big Bad Hunter. Whats recognition. Sad. Pitiful people.
    And whats the matter with the DNR. Don’t they listen to the public? Who in the world pays for their wages? Tax Payers probably.
    Now the DNR and the legislature can vote for protection of these collared bears.
    I hope this gets all over the news. stations to show what our politicians cannot decide on whats right and wrong. And moral.

  3. Don- Minn- Jay says:

    Thanks for GREAT story..and why these bears need to be protected..

    Sad that a few hunters..can ruin it for all hunters and give good hunters a bad saying they would shoot these research bears..
    (but then again ..they arent ”true’ sporstmen””)
    These bears are worth so much in educational value..

    A few say that a few bears out of over 20,000 cant be protected..says alot about some human nature…selfish…

    1. Hunter1 says:

      Most of us hunters would not knowingly shoot a collared research bear but these are also wild animals, protect the collared ones and they are now domesticated pets.

      1. Whimzy Linda Ziobro says:

        How does protecting a collared bear make them a domesticated pet? Bald eagles are protected; do you consider them domesticated pets as well?
        If you were in the midst of a research project, say on farm crops in a specific farm field, and there was a fire that destroyed the whole crop; would your research not be ruined? Would you not have to start all over again? A new crop can be planted and grown quickly, relatively speaking. This is not so when it comes to a research bear. It takes many years of building a trust with each bear before you can put a collar on them. The researchers are not able to just go out, find and uncollared bear, and collar it; it simply doesn’t work that way.
        And before you say it, NO, building trust with a bear does not domesticate them. If you were to walk up to a collared bear today, it would not treat you as it would treat the researchers. It would treat you the same as any wild bear would. That’s because they are a wild bear!
        The research they are doing could help to better educate yours and every child; help them better learn about bears and how to coexist with them. It will also help the hunter to better understand bears as well.
        There are over 20,000 bears in the state of MN. Why are these very few bears so important to the hunters? It’s not like the researchers want ALL bears to be protected. It’s just the opposite. Should hunting of black bears be banned, there would be a huge over population. No one wants to see the bears in our cities walking down the streets. Hunting keeps the population in check. The researchers are simply asking you to spare their collared bears so that their research can go on without any unnecessary interruptions.

      2. Joyce says:

        I cannot understand the phrase “most of us hunters would not KNOWINGLY shoot a collared research bear”. A bear with a collar or a collar with bright ribbons should eliminate the possibility of NOT KNOWINGLY. The DNR’s collared bears do not provide the same research that Dr. Roger’s research provides. And how does a collar domesticate a bear? The DNR is wrong not to allow education and research to contiune by permitting the loss of the bears in Dr. Roger’s reasearch.

      3. grmomof2 says:

        Where do you get the idea these bears have become “domesticated pets”?!? That couldn’t be farther from the truth!! After years and years of dedicated research, Dr Rogers and Sue are the only ones who can “walk” with them. You or I?!? No way!! These bears trust them – it’s as simple as that. These wonderful, gorgeous creatures deserve a chance – we all will benefit from continued research!

      4. Lawrence Witko says:

        Yup..another one with a low comprehension level.

  4. Don- Minn- Jay says:

    How about the link to sign for protection…after this story..bear support should really increase

  5. Bill says:

    Any hunter that shoots a collared bear is an a hole. There are 20,000 other ones out there. I agree that the dnr should listen to the puic but they are lazy. Who cares if they’ve done it that way since ’92? That doesn’t mean that it’s right or that it can’t be changed. Just think of all of the good things that Lily has done for bears and the awareness of this research. If more people cared like Dr Rogers the world would be a better place for wild animals and the people that really care about everyone and everything.

    1. Bill says:

      *public* not puic sorry

  6. Suzanne P. Claude says:

    These are not pets, they are simply black bears that live in the wild. They are being studied for their life, not for their death. Dr. Rogers and his team have managed to educate people, and school children, that by finding out about wild animals, you can get a sense of what they bring to this world. School children have to learn about life, even wild life. Dr. Rogers, through cams, and observations, has made the black bear part of the curriculum now. How difficult is it to protect about a dozen bears, when more than 20,000 are available to those who hunt? When you have a love for life, all lives, and you learn about life in the wild with such detail and information that was never available before, it must be protected. A wild animal is not always an aggressive animal. Dr. Rogers is showing us that. And teaching our children that life can be observed. Knowledge is the key to their future. Doesn’t this count? To some I guess it doesn’t. It should.

    1. Christine W says:

      Well said Suzanne!!…The research bears and especially Lily Bear and family are teaching the researchers, and us, so much!!….Please just leave them alone to lve their lives.

  7. Maureen Kintyer says:

    Protect ribbon-collared, research bears. There is so much to learn about these magnificent creatures. Now we have web cams and daily research logs. The internet has opened our eyes onto global viewing. Children can learn about cultures, geography, animals first hand…. not just from books or videotapes. This is a new era of understanding and involvement. With thousands of people across this planet I support Dr. Lynn Rogers research and educational resources. Protect the ribbon-collared research bears. Let this project go forward without harm or compromise. Thank you.

  8. Jill Wheaton Lindsey says:

    If these are wild animals and belong to “everyone” why should even one become the trophy of ONE person who gives no credence to their life or to the invaluable information that can be learned from them. These bears give so much more to millions of people than they will ever give to that ONE so called hunter!

    1. Hunter1 says:

      But the fact of the matter is, most of us hunters would not shoot a collared bear, protected or not.

      1. eastside_evil says:

        The fact of the matter is, you don’t know what “most of us hunters” would do.

        And whoever said “Bears are a species often hunted for food” just doesn’t get out much I’m thinking. Who do you see filling their freezer with bear meat? Really. I’ve never heard of anybody going bear hunting for food.

  9. L says:

    The title of this story is deceiving… the people that don’t feel they need to be protected aren’t forming hunting parties just to go out and shoot all his bears and like others have said if they see one with a collar they won’t shoot it. One person did, totally legal mind you, and look what happened….they can’t be “pets” and wild animals…

    1. Mary Rogers says:

      actually, L, there have been other less-ehtical hunters who have publically made the same proclamations as this fb fiasco and anyone else observing from the background can only take a person at face value by the words and presence they put forward for public face.

      1. Ryan B says:

        Its only our 1st amendment right, Freedom of Speech. “Dont tread on ME”

  10. Aloha Montgomery says:

    Why in the world is there such adversity to protecting a small number of clearly identified research bears? Many hunters support the protection of these bears. For some people to intentionally set out to kill them? What does that say except for something ugly about ‘human’ nature? The children in the classroom are learning about the life cycle. No one is claiming that bears aren’t ‘wild’ animals; at the same time, through this research, we learn how to safely co-exist with them and appreciate their place in nature. (On a side note, I believe the statistics show that each year, across the country, many more people are killed in hunting accidents than by black bears.)

  11. A. Frankel says:

    I certainly hope that our MN legislators and the DNR do the right thing and protect this small group of research bears. Learning about their daily lives, even live via a camera in their den giving birth are opportunities derived from years of walking with them, much like Jane Goodall and Diane Fossey.
    The data and information gained is never before gathered in the science world.
    The shooting of even one of these study subjects affects the continuity of following individual bears over their lifetime. PROTECT RADIO COLLARED BEAR, please!

  12. Michele Chartier says:

    Laws are made to be changed,and the time for CHANGE in NOW more than ever..Why isn’t the DNR listening to the People of MN,and around the world! The Research bears are so important to science,education,and the future of Black bears. Protection is a MUST for these few bears that offer the world so much~There are so many mis conceptions,and I see them in comments here,the research bears are NOT pets,and you would know that it you got your facts right first..visit and educate yourself about why these bears deserve protection!

    1. Ryan B says:

      They’re not listening to the people of MN because the majority of the people of MN are ill-educated by biased stations like WCCO. They only show half the story here and give mere tidbits of information from real hunters and conservation officers. The people who are doing the bear hunting and regulating. Instead they bash the people who disagree with protecting research bears and give Lynn Rodgers 4 minutes of talking time.

  13. Hunter1 says:

    Good to know, but please dont assume that I was suuming, maybe my child is a student of yours and I have been painted a different view point?

    1. Mary Rogers says:

      Love it Dana – spot on!!!
      Hunter 1 – clearly in the wrong. If you had paid closer attention, Dana Coleman’s class is not only learning about the hard aspects of the circle of life through the bear education efforts, they have now taken up the gauntlet to learn about our legislative processes by championing a bill to make the black bear Minnesota’s state mammal. Exposure to Lily and the research bears has had a positive trickle-down affect for these kids towards becoming politically educated, engaged adults.
      The information sharing and educational value that has stemmed from Dr. Rogers’ research has enabled a more thorough understanding of how to better manage co-existence; maintaining the ecological system so that as human encrouch upon bear territory and vice versa, we can move forward with intelligence rather than fear-based reaction. People fear what they do not understand. Take some time to understand that this planet and everything on it is a gift to us all and is only a borrowed experience while we are here to enjoy it. Understanding bear behavior ultimately enhances the hunting experience by preserving the species in it’s natural environment when we understand the indicators that drive them from that environment. And Hunter1 – by the way, Dr. Rogers firmly believes and partners with ethical hunters – he is NOT anti-hunting.l

  14. Karen Anderson says:

    BWAB: Of course the page is real…like any other Facebook page. Who can believe a person like you when you now claim it’s a rib and might not be “real”? You give ALL hunters a bad name because you are incredibly LAME. You dragged these “poor people” onto your page so it’s also your fault that they are now receiving threats “gg cco’.

    1. BWAB says:

      No one was dragged to the page and no one was forced to join in conversation.

      Also i have a free i-pad for you

      1. Karen Anderson says:

        In order to make a comment in opposition to/about you, people have to “like” your ugly page. That’s how a REAL Facebook page works. You have NO credibility because your “lameness” becomes more evident with every comment you make, whether there or here. Go Away!

  15. Adam says:

    LEAVE The Bears Alone!!!! We Should Learn From the,

  16. Don- Minn- Jay says:

    ***the DNR sets bag limits..on ducks..geese..etc..
    sets slot limits on fish…
    sets ”special” size and amount of fish on’ ”certain lakes”…
    sets special size reglations on Mississippi on smallmouth bass wher i live,,,
    sets seasons on fishing..hunting…trapping..

    but then says they cant get involved in protection for collared black bears..
    wont open up dialogue…..
    hmmmmmmmmmmm something not right here..

    Thank you first graders ! You warm my heart with your joy of learning about black bears..and understand the ”value” of these bears…when a few dont..
    You are our future…and are smarter than your age..and have more wisdom than some adults.

    1. Ryan B says:

      Do tagged ducks, geese, fish or deer have a law that says you cant shoot or kill them? No, so why should bears. Seasons are in place for all the things you listed AND black bears.

      1. eastside_evil says:

        Tagged ducks and geese? That’s your comparison? Do you know why ducks and geese are tagged? You don’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about, kiddo.

      2. Mary Rogers says:

        Ryan – you have to identify a 3-inch antler on a deer before shooting…you have to identify the gender of the duck before taking a shot….the DNR uses blaze ORANGE collars on their research bears…and other game assosciations use ear tags. Yes…there are markings that are expected to be identified before it is considered “legal” to take the kill!

        1. Ryan B says:

          Geese, ducks and fish are all tagged to provide research when a hunter or fisherman, shoots or catches the bird or fish. They are then to report the number on the tag to the DNR with the sizes weights etc. So yes I do know what it is for. However, with bears apparently death by hunters is not included in the research. Although that is a huge part of their life cycle here in Minnesota.
          You seem to be mistaken because it is not the law that we have to identify a bear as tagged before shooting it. No law exists that says this. Identifying if the bear is collared is much different than decisioning gender or antler sizes. Any size or hender bear is legal game in MN and has been since the beginning of time. Seems to be working if it has worked for all these years am I right?

          1. Mary Rogers says:

            Ryan – it is UNlawful to shoot a collared bear if it is in the presence of a researcher who is accompanying it and identifies it to the hunter as a research animal. What this does is places the researchers in harms way.
            It is excused if a collared bear is taken by mistake as long as the hunter turns in the collar. Proponents for this particular study are asking for the protection of up to 12 bears out of 20,000.
            And actually, last year 2 of the study bears were shot – one by a hunter who stepped forward the right way to indetify the collar – one who anonymously turned in the collar on which they had removed the ribbons. The DNR also lost study bears last year to hunters….so I don’t necessarily agree that it works.
            Respect to you Ryan

            1. Ryan B says:

              If the researcher is out in the woods during hunting season and is within that kind of proximity to the bear where he or she could be shot that should be their fault. It kind of like saying If i am in the presence of your car you cant drive your car because you could hit me. I understand they only want to protect 12 bears but this is just a step in the direction of tagging more bears in the future and eventually Mr. Rogers simply wants to make all the bears “his bears”

              1. naturelover says:

                There is no reason to worry that the WRI would tag “all the bears.” Studying bears is time and labor-intensive, and would not be possible to do with scores of bears. The request to protect the clan of bears in the study would not involve more than about 20 bears. That is not very many out of to 20,000 black bears in the state. To fear that protecting them “is just a step in the direction of tagging more bears in the future” indicates a lack of understanding of the study’s goals and methods. There is a lot of fascinating information at that you should read to allay your fears.

  17. Naturelover says:

    I am appalled that the DNR can ignore so much outcry from the public, which wants the research bears to be protected. Their excuse that “this is how we have done it” is lame, bureaucratic drivel. The public deserves a more intelligent response from the DNR than we have seen so far on this issue. How about some creativity? Potential bear hunters should have to pass a test to prove that they have read “the letter” containing nformation about not shooting the collared research bears, and sign an agreement not to shoot them before they are issued a permit. And the areas where the research bears are known to live should simply be off limits for bear hunting. That would protect the Wildlife Research Institute research bears, and “the letter” and “agreement” would protect the DNR’s own research bears, which they have been otherwise incapable of doing.
    As far as some guys putting a bounty on the research bears, if I were a bear hunter, I’d worry about being in the woods at the same time as these rifle-carrying idiots.

    1. Bob says:

      I do hunt, but I have never hunted bear, but I would like to.

      The problem with having off-limit areas is that many bears travel great distances. The one collared bear that was shot near McGregor had also been in Canada. That is a 200 mile straight line distance. I would not shoot a collared bear, but what is to prevent all the anti-hunters from tagging as many animals as possible in the future. It would open a big can of worms, and I would guess that the DNR knows this.

      I think that the research gained from this project is great, but hunting is part of wildlife population management whether you like it or not.

      1. eastside_evil says:

        Why would you like to? I’m curious.

        I hunt deer, coyote, turkey, pheasant, squirrels and other things, but would never feel the urge to tree a bear and blast it from the ground.

        So which part of the hunt is the part you’d look forward to the most, Bob? Spreading the garbage, or avoiding the dead bear as it falls from the tree?

        1. Hunter1 says:

          You sir are truly a moron. This isnt WI, we dont chase them around with dogs and tree them, We hunt them from stands like you probably do dee. Plus I dont actually believe you really hunt…..

          1. eastside_evil says:

            Whether you believe it or not is of very little consequence to me. I don’t just hunt. I’m a hunter. It’s not what I do, it’s who I am.

        2. Ryan B says:

          Wow, is that you in there Lynn Rodgers??

      2. Whimzy Linda Ziobro says:

        The bears that travel great distances are males; females have their own territories, which they “mark”, to call it their own. Dr. Rogers had one male bear in his research bears so he could learn a little about the male bears as well. The rest of his bears are females that stay in a much smaller radius.
        No one can just go out and tag or collar a bear without the proper permits; and the DNR wouldn’t just issue them to anyone either. They won’t pass this bill in question, I am sure they wouldn’t pass letting anyone tag a bear either. Nor would I want them to either.
        If more people would read a bit about Dr. Rogers Research, I think we would have more understanding on why he wants these bears protected. And by reading, I don’t mean finding quotes he has said in a newspaper, etc, that has been slaughtered to fit their own benefits. What he is doing is good for all bears, as well as bear hunters. He is finding out things that will help the future of all bears. Without his research we could one day see bears on the extinct list.

      3. Mary Rogers says:

        Bob – greatlly appreciate and respect your view point here. The research also enables us to ensure a healthier population management in the bear’s natural environment – maintaining a healthy ecosystem that supports the species needs. Understanding the life cycles, reproduction, territory, impacts to terriitory and food supply (natural and human-driven) enables us to better manage the habitat as well as co-exist as we encrouch on each other’s territories. As a follower of this research, I respect ethical hunting and only ask that hunters use ethical practices in the case of these now 9 bears out of 20,000. It is not being asked to protect the area – just less than a dozen who don flourescent duct taped ribbons during hunting season.
        Best of luck to you =-)

  18. Suzanne P. Claude says:

    Don, it’s people like you that make us proud to follow black bears and all of Dr. Rogers’ research. The more I read, the more I find out that education is key here. These precious first graders have taught us the word respect. I just hope that the people who speak without facts realize that knowledge is something they need to get. Ms Coleman and her class deserve respect and many thanks for doing what they are doing.
    Some people will not even take the time to read about this research… Maybe one day, they will learn something from these precious kids!

  19. Ryan B says:

    Anyone care to share some of Dr Rodgers “research”? Every references how important it is but what has he really learned? Ive never heard any answer to that. If you watch the video its quite obviously these poor bears have become tamed pets. You can see the people going up right next to the bears. Id pay to see Mr. Rodgers do that by any bear he isnt researching, the result would be much different. If you listen to the DNR officer he clearly states Rodgers agrees that the current laws are effective. Main point is these are still wild animals and shouldn’t get special rights over others. Death by hunting is a natural part of a bears life and has been since the beginning of time.

    1. Richard in Minneapolis says:

      “Death by hunting is a natural part of a bears life and has been since the beginning of time.” ??

      And just what hunted adult bears before humans came along about two million years ago? And even if there was such animal it had to go head to head with the bear, which gave the bear a sporting chance.

      Maybe that’s the solution. Allow hunting of all bears, but only by means of hand to hand, (excuse me, hand to paw) combat.

      1. Ryan B says:

        Excuse me, since the first people to walk this earth. Which has still been a loooonnnngggg time.. These people made bows and spears to hunt for bears. Not hand to hand combat. I dont think anyone is that dumb, except maybe yourself. Basically your saying that all hunting of bears should be outlawed then? Doesnt get much more radical than that.

    2. Charlotte says:

      Ryan B If YOU did YOUR research you’d know the answer to your question about what Dr. Rogers has learned and taught and know that these bears are not tame If they are tame as you claim let’s see if you can walk up to any of his research bears. No you could not. Just what is the problem with protecting a dozon bears that a man has spent his entire life researching Instead of asking others to share his research, do it yourself , You might learn something and not talk like you know what you are talking about. People that have opinions without knowledge of the subject don’t have the desire to learn about anything which is sad and stay in their own little bubble. Maybe when you mature you will learn to think

      1. Ryan B says:

        Guarantee you I could walk up to one of them, The cameraman did it so why would I not be able to?? Did you watch the same video I did?

        1. Diane Harlow says:

          Ryan B said “Guarantee you I could walk up to one of them.” That is something I would love to see! Obviously, the cameraman was not by himself. If you noticed, Dr. Rogers had to track Lily. I’m not sure why you feel the need to post so much about this story. Even LABWAB isn’t posting much. Hope he’s happy one of his supporters is fighting his battles. Seriously, as you’ve said, you’re young and certainly entitled to your opinion, but please keep an open mind to what Dr. Rogers goal is…education.

    3. Don- Minn- Jay says:
      you will have alot of reading to catch up on🙂

      1. Ryan B says:

        And I know what a bear is and how they work but thanks for trying to be captain obvious. In case you didn’t know the sky is blue as well.

    4. Lisa says:

      I have learned a lot from these bears…..I have learned that Bears don’t sleep during hibernation…That they have a family separation after about a year and a half,,,with the exception of Lily and Hope…I’ve learned that they have a bad rep for being dangerous and human eating beast! I’ve learned that they are very loving and gentle mammals to each other…I’ve learned that they are teaching a lot of the things that we never knew about them and so much more…The research bears are very important to a lot of us, and if destroyed…that would be years of research from this one bear gone….Please….learn and educate yourself on these beautiful creatures…It’s very interesting! Protect our Collared Bears, Please! Thanks…..

      1. Jill Wheaton Lindsey says:

        Great idea Mary but I don’t think the people that support this FB Bounty page have a brain. They could not possibly “GET IT”. Too Stupid!!

    5. Don- Minn- Jay says:

      All you have to do is go to to learn what is being learned..
      1 )travel of bears..with GPS…we never knew their movements every 15 minutes.
      2) what he bears eat..and watching them in pictures and videos doing so.
      Alot of new info.
      3) wathcing family break-up….the ins and outs of it…never before were we able to personally watch this so many bears.
      4) Den cam..watching alive birth..(some peopl still thoink bears just hibernate and sleep tru it…and wake up in spring to cubs )
      5) play in the den..nursing in the den of wild bears
      Dr Rogers says “CURRENT Laws are effective..if hunters get the info..and hunters follow the asking of not shooting of research bears…but this wasnt done last year and research bears were lost.
      NOT WILD go out in the wild and try and sit down by them..GOOD LUCK! Sometimes it takes hours to get close to them..and only after building trust with the researchers do….saying they are ”tame””, shows you arent follwing/reding the updates…bear info.

  20. Ryan B says:

    Lynn Rodgers and the camera man are practically touching the bears in a lot of the footage throughout the clip. This shows these animals sadly are not even wild anymore. They have become so tame that research must be flawed and shouldn’t be used to reference wild specimens. I would hope you would be teaching your class this as well. Shows how one teacher can convince young minds and sway them to their beliefs. I feel sorry for all the kids in this class who receive biased information. I would hope they’d never have a run in one day with a REAL WILD bear.

    1. eastside_evil says:

      “Shows how one teacher can convince young minds and sway them to their beliefs. I feel sorry for all the kids in this class who receive biased information.”

      There is no call for these statements against the teacher, Ryan. What biased information?

      Were you having a bad day and feeling snarky or were you up in the middle of the night drinking and reading news story comments?

      1. eastside_evil says:

        I have 5 children in school. One in HS, two in middle school, and two in elementary school.

        This is exactly the type of learning I want my kids to have, and the type of curriculum to which I want my children exposed.

        What a fantastic learning experience this is. I commend your efforts with our children, Miss or Mrs. Coleman!

      2. Ryan B says:

        Considering I’m 19 years old drinking would be illegal and I do not partake in those activities. And I was actually being quite serious because it is sad that our future is being taught things like this as opposed to things that may actually be important down the road and help them succeed in life. Asking what I have been doing is a violation of my privacy and I dont appreciate that. It is not relevant to the story whatsoever.

        1. Don- Minn- Jay says:

          There might be future researchers in these school classrooms..

          What a GREAT thought!
          Kids really learnig the truth about black bears and not the falsehoods seen on tv.

        2. eastside_evil says:

          “Considering I’m 19 years old”

          Your brain is not fully formed yet. Your opinions are therefore less valuable to the discussion. No offense.

      3. Don- Minn- Jay says:

        We all back you Dana !
        What a class act you are !
        Wish we had teachers like you when i was a would have been more enjoyable and we would have learned the truth about black bears.

        Gotta love those black misunderstood and so meek and smart and given such a bad rap by a few people.

        Thank goodness i found and the den cam and updates and
        Lily the black bear face book site..

        It really changed my life for the better ..

    2. Don- Minn- Jay says:

      Ive had contact with ”your so called wild bear”
      in Ely, Mn on Knife Lake…twice..
      and even here in Monticello
      The bears were more scared of me..than I was of them..

      Most black bears are non agressive..unless you threaten them… are agressive to them….unexpetedly drop in on them…or food sources are really limited and they need food…

      i would take a”black bear in the woods” any day ….than the threats and actions of some humans…WOULD BE ALOT SAFER !

    3. Ryan B says:

      It is different than teaching out of a textbook because the textbooks arent biased! They show a moderate point of view that can be looked at from either side. This is why are school systems are so f***ed up, people like you. BTW shouldn’t you be “teaching” your kids at 10:56 AM on a Tuesday? No instead your using it as your free time and us taxpayers are paying you to sit on a site like

    4. Don- Minn- Jay says:

      Dr Rogers is invited to 2 bear seminars in Canada..
      if his research is so ”flawed” you keep stating.. why would these animal experts invite him..and want to learn of his research ?

  21. jason says:

    Nice biased one sided story, wcco. Nothing new there. Typical media for you.

    Interesting to see people are so blind to see his research is biased and unethical.

    Why should the MN DNR listen to people from other states and countries? They don’t pay taxes here.

    Hopefully no person gets hurt by one of these “tame” bears.

    1. protection says:

      The DNR should listen to other states and countries as DR Rogers work is putting ELy ,Minnesota on the map and is bringing tourism to the area at a time when the world is in a recession !
      Dr Rogers work is being taught in schools all over the world !

      1. Ryan B says:

        Unfortunately! Since all the research is severely flawed.. That is still not a good answer for why the law in MN should be changed about protecting collared bears. Half of these people in Africa have probably never even seen a black bear.

        1. eastside_evil says:

          Funny that the researchers don’t think the research is “severely flawed.”

          But I’m sure that you, Ryan B, are a PhD scientist with degrees in Biology, Botany, Anthropology, and a host of other disciplines that inherently qualify you to make such a determination and then share it with us with such unabashed confidence.

    2. Mary Rogers says:

      Jason – actually the people who follow this research have boosted the local economy – especially in Ely, MN through donations for Ely schools, Ely tourism and business – almost 34,000 people attending the NABC picnic last year alone due to the coverage….68 out of 70 Ely business, Ely Chamber of Commerce and city councils ALL support protection of these bears for their local economy.
      People from all over the world have contributed hundereds of thousands of dollars towards progress because of this effort – do your research before spouting half truths

  22. protection says:

    An excellent news item.
    Why is the DNR ignoring the public outcry for protection of these study bears ?
    Dr Rogers work means so much to the world and especially to the hundreds of schools teaching about the black bear.
    What will a letter achieve when there are people out there wanting to harm these wonderful animals ?
    Surely even just making this a no go area would help get these bears protected and hunters would still have lots of other areas to hunt ?
    The DNR has to listen ,it cant bury its head in the sand any longer ,this is worldwide ,Protection is needed !

  23. Jane Facey says:

    Sorry, post above went too early. I am in the UK and have been following Lily and her cubs on Facebook since a three part documentary about them aired on the BBC over Christmas. I have learnt a lot about black bears and a lot about Minnesota – what a beatiful part of the world you live in. I have made a financial contribution to the work of the NABC and hope, together with three like minded friends, to visit Ely.
    I find it simply astonishing that someone thinks it clever and acceptable to create a facebook page putting a bounty on Lily’s head – shame on them.
    There will be a huge, international outcry if this were to happen which will not reflect well on Minnesota, and I hope that sanity prevails – please keep pressing for protection for the radio collared bears.

  24. Pat says:

    Bear “hunters” are jokers with guns. All these fools do is ride their 4 wheelers out to a stand; climb 16-18 feet up in a tree, placed conveniently over a pile of rotting “bear bait” (anything a pig woiuld eat a bear would eat)…where they sit on their butts and wait for a bear to shoot. Any idiot with enough money to hire a local “guide” (someone to place the bait piles for them), and get to the stand without getting lost in the forest can kill a bear.

    There is no outdoor adventure or challenge to it. No sport. This is not hunting; this is killing for fun. It is a stupid behavior of brutish people who think that killing a wild animal is an accomplishment.

    But I guess if the Minnesota DNR wants to cull the bear population and make some money on it, these fools are one way to do it. But, please. don’t call it hunting, and don’t call it sport.

    1. Preservationist says:

      Right on, Pat! Good post. This is killing by ambush just like most of the rest of hunting with high-powered scoped rifles that don’t give the game any chance. When people needed these animals for food, maybe this was fair. But, to call gratuitous killing a sport—NO!

      1. Nancy says:

        Yay Pat!!
        Nice Expose’…..
        To ‘hunt’ by baiting is not real ‘hunting’.
        By hunting that way it should be no problem for a hunter to fill his tag…their should be no problem to simply wait for an uncollared bear (there are about 19,988 of them out there)
        I don’t agree that to hunt a bear a person needs to go ‘hand to paw’, but to bait with jimmy jingle garbage is pretty lame.
        The word ‘SPORT’ implies competition, where is the SPORT/COMPETITION in an AMBUSH?
        (BTW–I believe that it is illegal to ‘bait’ deer with feed or salt…why is it okay to bait bears…)

      2. eastside_evil says:

        I disagree with bear hunting in general, mostly because of the common methodology for hunting them. Bait piles to sit over, and dogs to tree them. Nothing like tracking them in their home habitat and taking them out during their daily lives, eh?

        But as far as giving the game any chance? It’s hunting, not man vs animal gladiator wars. You know that, right? The human isn’t supposed to be killed in the hunt. That’s part of the deal.

        If there was no legal deer hunting, half the people you know would be dead or maimed from car/deer collisions, and nobody you know would have a garden.

        1. Ryan B says:

          Why dont you educate yourself on MN bear hunting laws and practices before posting your anti hunting jibberish again.

          1. eastside_evil says:

            I’ve never posted anything anti hunting, and I’ve never posted any jibberish.

            If you read my comment about deer hunting, I specifically stated that without it being legal there would be huge reprocussions.

            It appears you are selectively slicing my comment up and critiquing it without understanding the point behind it.

  25. Lynn B. says:

    Jason ~ The Mn DNR SHOULD listen to people from other states and countries because they are putting a lot of tourism $$$ into Minnesota’s economy through supporting the NABC and visiting the area. The local council voted unanimously in support of protection for these research bears and almost all the local businesses. Commissioner Landwehr needs to get up to Ely, see what’s going on and THEN reconsidor his decision. The call for protection isn’t going to disappear.

  26. grace says:

    People are so disappointing, no limits to bad behavior anymore. If you want to call yourself a hunter why is the only bear you can find to shoot is the one with all the fluorescent tape around its neck. There are days I really hate stupid people.

  27. Michele Chartier says:

    @Ryan B,it’s obvious that you have not read any facts about Dr. Lynn Rogers,or youu would know how to spell his name!! Educate yourself before making false

    1. Ryan B says:

      could really care less if I spell the radical bear protectors name right or not! You all still know who I’m talking about!

  28. Carol Rizzuto says:

    The den cam and Dr. Rogers have given me a greater understanding of bears. We are going to Minnesota in June for a family vacation to visit the North American Bear Center, the Wolf Center and the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary. The information these few bears offer is valuable to all, since bear habitats are shrinking every year. The more that is learned and shared, the better we can live with these animals peacefully, not in fear of them.

  29. MB says:

    Ms Coleman has found her children’s passion and through this she has taught all aspects of her state curriculum. This is every educator’s dream and a year her children will never forget. They are even going beyond the curriculum to become activists in their home state! They will be greater MN citizens because of this.

    The great state of MN has a unique research occurring in the state and it makes sense for the government to do everything possible to support it. I don’t think we learn anything from a dead bear! The WRI research wants to teach the truth about black bears and to learn how we can coexist better with these wild animals. This is valuable information if we want to protect our natural resources while moving in on it.

    We now live in a global community and can no longer continue to think that what we do in our state doesn’t impact others. It is true that I am not citizen of MN but I am a federal taxpayer and I assume the MN DNR receives money from the federal government as well as state money. I also don’t think in these economic times any state would not covet tourism money.

    Finally, I had the opportunity to visit the MN state capital and hand-deliver my requests for protection of this research. I was only able to speak to a few of the legislative assistants and a representative from the Governor’s office however, I received mixed messages on whether the protection of this research must be presented as a bill or if the DNR could make this happen. It seems one process would be more costly than the other.

    1. Citizen says:

      MB. The Minnesota legislature is all wrapped up with banning gay marriage, banning abortion, cutting off MinnesotaCare funding, in short, social engineering projects. The legislators could care less about bears and natural resources. Thanks for your efforts, though.

  30. dorothy bialek says:

    The research data acquired by Dr. Lynn Rogers is on par with that of Jane Goodall about great apes, teaching about the daily life and family structure of the mammals to which they have dedicated their life’s work. In each case, much has been learned that benefits the human mammal as well. While it is absolutely true that ethical hunters would not shoot a be-ribboned, collared bear ~ there are some who would indeed target such a bear just to bring destruction to the research, researchers, and the cadre of ‘fans’ who have been educated about black bears by this research. Legal protection would not necessarily stop that so-called “bounty” hunter … but it certainly would provide a measure and method of dealing with such a blatant act.

  31. NYbearlover says:

    RYAN B.You claim you have found no answers to what Dr. Lynn Rogers has learned from his research. WELL HERE YOU GO: http://www.bearstudy. org. Now do your research and learn !! This is a live speciman study. I ask you and people of your mindset to logically explain why you are so against this research. Especially since you have not taken the time to understand what this research is about. Your coments clearly show you haven’t a clue. If this reseach was not valuable then why is it so regonized and repected thru the scientific community? Why is there a thirst for more knowledge? WHY did teachers from around the US feel this research was of great value and incorperated into their daily teachings? There are so many bears in MN to hunt. So why the objection to sparring a small amount out of thousands? Making it a law to PROTECT these research bears only became an issue because SOME HUNTERS publicly stated they will continue to KILL them until the law changed. I want to hear realistic reasoning why, if you have so many bears to hunt you and others support the killing of the research bears? Why is it you and others are so headstrong on destroying this research. You don’t understand the research, you won’t even try. All I hear is, this is just a game to to you. A game of KILLING and DISTUCTION!!!!!!!!! Why is it that so many hunters donot agree with you? Because they folllowed the research and inteliently saw the value in PROTECTING these few bears.

    1. Ryan B says:

      I read over a few of the archived sections of research within the site and found very little new knowledge. They seem to be more focused on their new fancy GPS trackers they have on the bears and how well they work. Saw they did record the number of cubs and age but that was about the most extensive research I could find. Maybe you could enlighten me with something I do not already know is common knowledge? You guys keep posting this link but no specific links to any groundbreaking research..

  32. Lilylover says:

    First and foremost, have the killer watch a few Youtube videos of Lily and her cubs for the last year. Also, when isn’t hunting “killing” supposed to be a challenge? What kind of challenge would be to hunt an animal that is comfortable with people? So, you go up to Lily and shoot her. What have you have accomplished? To be famous? Whoa! I think it is despicable that you feel you have to hunt that are for research!!!! Please see it that way. Remember you are not hunting….You are killing this animal….Please protect our research and let Lily…Hope and Faith’s mom live!

  33. NYbearlover says:

    What Hope’s name means
    Hope for the future of all bears,
    Opportunity to better understand bears,
    Progress correcting misconceptions and changing attitudes, and
    Educating the public on hibernation and bear life.

  34. Rita Clark says:

    I visited the FB page about a bounty on Lily. I didn’t comment on that page because to do that I’d have *like* the page. I can’t bring myself to do that. The creator of the page says it is a joke. Well, jokes are supposed to be funny. This is NOT funny. He had to know the chaos it would cause. Passions run deep when it comes to the Research bears. If I were a responsible, ethical hunter, this page would enrage me. This is great piece from WCCO. I don’t see where anyone can call the truth biased. The value of these bears, to me, is obvious. It has brought the Black Bear into my house in area that doesn’t see many black bears. I have learned more than I thought I ever wanted to know, leaving a thirst for more. It has been a fascinating journey & I wouldn’t trade it for anything. One thing I have learned is that not just anyone can walk up to a bear. These bears are accustomed to Doc & Sue’s voices. Ethical hunters all over the state of Minnesota are in support of protecting the Research bears. It’s such a shame that the DNR can’t support them. I’m sorry, but I can’t help but see this as a pi**ing contest. Egos can be a very damaging personality trait. Please don’t let personal feelings for the Researcher kill the Research bears.

  35. susan scarantino says:

    The collared bears aren’t “pets” perts are animals that live at your house ..these bears aer bears that trust Dr. Rogers enough to allow or better said ignore him as he walks with them . They go about their daily business of being wild bears. this trust was earned . these bears are smart enough to recognize Dr. Rogers, and run from strangers, they are not nuisance bears and forage and live in the wild ,as wild bears. Hence the reason for their protection . If doubters would take a day and go to you would learn the purpose of there irreplaceable study bears. trust with these animals don’t happen over night, they aer worked with in the wild as they should be.. When you have learned then come back here and comment all you want!

    Ms. Coleman is one or several dozen teachers that have taught the facts about wild bears first hand . the children see with their own eyes what bears do in the wild, and are supported by facts, from a bear expert. No hunter is a bear expert, are you???

    Collared study bears don’t keep a hunter from hunting , but a hunter that shoots a collared bear takes important education away from a child that want to learn! This could be your child “Mr. Hunter” do you really want that or are you selfish enough to take instead of give to the children . We are just asking that with 20 thousand bears out there why shoot a brightly colored ribboned study bear??? what is the real reason that you would want to do this??? ask yourself this if it applies, if you shoot this bear , you will be taking from a kid that wants to learn… It’s as simple as that…Kids get enough taken away from them these days. Thanks Ms. Colman for sticking up for your kids and thanks Dr Lynn for providing education to the people that want to learn . and Last Thanks to the ethical hunters that care.

  36. Hunter's Rights says:

    I’m not going to let a bunch of pin-headed professors tell me what to do. All this so-called research is nothing but a waste of the tax payer’s money. You can bet that I’ll shoot a collared bear and I hope that all other hunters will, too. This is just another example of the ways that the DFL tries to erode our rights.

    1. eastside_evil says:

      Of course you will. Guzzle down your domestic light beer while driving (weaving) your unlicensed pickup truck down someone else’s private road and shoot animals leaning out your passenger window.

      Why let anybody tell you what to do when you aren’t going to listen to anybody or do what anybody says anyway, right tough guy?

      What part about this article mentions the “DFL eroding our rights?”

    2. Adele McCarthy says:

      Wow, you’re so eloguent, educated and intelligent. You don’t need anyone telling you what to do, no siree. People like you used to make me angry, now you make me laugh. You’re absolutely pathetic. Such a sad sad excuse for a human being.

  37. Diane Harlow says:

    BWAB…Why isn’t it LABWAB?? Or are you now wanting to distance yourself from Lily? I find it interesting that you post a link to your site, yet have removed, or maybe the poster removed, the comment by EK: “maybe after we get a net cutting party together this spring we can get together in the fall and hunt down collared bears…..New traditions maybe?” This kind of thinking is nothing new. Last September, after the contest for America’s Favorite Park, someone claiming to be a Minnesota bear hunter, posted: “If you have a bear tag, go out and hunt these bears; I will offer a bounty of $500 for Lily or Hope.” There also have been postings on hunting sites about going out in groups and forming a circle around the bears, for a sure kill. The DNR needs to wake up! They also have lost many bears to hunters, and for the last few years have tried to protect the few collared bears they have. They have asked hunters not to shoot bears with collars or eartags. According to their website, their focus is now on reproduction and use of habitat, and not mortality. Yet, the mortality rate is still high, even though some hunters have seen the collars and not shot. “Asking” just does not work…especially when you have people with the mind-set of LABWAB and followers.

    1. EK says:

      I removed that post myself ,But only after receiving a message threatening my family…..Apparently some Of you guys for the research take it a little too far, But my opinion still stands, these bears are not wild anymore they are tame enough that a human can walk right up to them and stand there, was shown in the video. I also Agree that Lynn has made them that way, He walks through the woods, saying “dont run bear, Its me” and interacts with them giving them treats. Also on the subject of the den cam, You can place a camera in the den of a mother bear at a zoo and see the same thing.

      1. Mary Rogers says:

        EK – not just ANY human could walk up to these bears. It has taken Dr. Rogers over 20+ years to build up trust with a familial clan of bears and at that…less than a handfull will allow themselves to be collared and followed. Dr. Rogers observes from a distance in the bears natural habitat and monitors the activiy & movement using the gps. The den cam in a wild den is completely different that putting one in an enclosure.

      2. Diane Harlow says:

        EK, it’s disturbing to think that someone would threaten your family, but also very disturbing to realize you didn’t have a problem suggesting starting a “tradition” to hunt down collared bears, when the DNR has ASKED you NOT to. Dr. Rogers research, of this family of wild black bears, has spanned years and one, purposely placed, bullet can set his research back tremendously. If you think you can just walk up to Lily, or the others, without baiting, you are mistaken. I would be curious why you would even want to hunt a bear that is “tame”…doesn’t seem much like sport to me. Hopefully, you will join in with the kids, and become educated. Dr. Rogers believes education is the key and I appreciate his sharing his research with us.

        1. EK says:

          do you really think I am gonna go on a net cutting spree, or shoot a bear if i see it has flashy pink ribbons hanging from it? the date on that post was from the same day they netted cedar lake in Minneapolis, it was sarcasm……and you can clearly see that he is within 5-10 feet of the bears and at one point he is almost stumbling over the cub in the video. Diane to answer you question, I have no desire to hunt a tame bear, my objection is that Lynn has crossed the line of being a researcher, the constants for his experiments are all over the place and I just think that he is insulting our dnr in the fact that he claims there provisions on collared bears is good enough but at the same time he asking for special privilege, my view is my own and i am entitled to it….

  38. Myra Fournier says:

    I am from Massachusetts and am a huge supporter of Dr. Lynn Rogers and his research, which, by the way, is completely privately-funded. No tax-payer dollars. I encourage Minnesota to step up and seize the opportunity to become the world capital of black bear research and education. What a boon to your prestige and economy.

    For all the naysayers, I encourage you to visit the North American Bear Center (or and to learn about the research and the true nature of the black bear.

    It is disingenuous of Commissioner Landwehr to say that death is part of research. He knows that Dr. Rogers is studying the behavior and ecology of a particular clan of bears, not population control. And, if my understanding is correct, the entire area was once off-limits during bear hunting season. So, asking for government protection of these bears is not so unusual.

    Hunters have 20,000 black bears to hunt. For what possible reason would they need these dozen or so research bears?

  39. Whimzy Linda Ziobro says:

    Do you realize you just contradicted yourself? In your first reply to Don you said collared bears are domesticated pets. And in this post you say that they are wild animals, and children shouldn’t be crying over them.
    They are wild animals, but children are very emotional. If you showed a child a wild deer that was just hit by a vehicle on a road, I have no doubt in my mind that they would cry over that as well. Children have not yet been callused to the world; they are the pure hearts. If only people as adults could find that in themselves, this would be a much better world; no, not just for hunting, for all things.
    Further, these children are being taught all aspects of bears; they are not simply being taught that they are cute and cuddly.

  40. susan scarantino says:

    Wrong again “Hunter’s Rights” NABC is a non profit group, so no tax payers are paying for the research ! They operate on donations only!… if only you would get your facts straight before commenting , your comments wouldn’t be so… uneducated.

    1. lilly1376 says:

      good for you, and thanks mn bear lover

    2. Hunters Rights says:

      You Twin City tree-huggers think that you can run every one’s lives. Keep your rich noses out of our business.

      1. eastside_evil says:

        It isn’t YOUR business. It’s everybody’s. And you can’t bully other people out of the discussion just because you want to.

  41. Lilly1376 says:

    what a sad sad world we live in when the hunters cannot even leave some collared bears alone at hunting time. are you just trying to make your point that you can do as you want? sure seems like it, would not want you on our land, you would shot the bear that comes around here, we enjoy it so much, and no were not trying to make it a pet. we know our bounds with a wild bear. God heip some of you hunters.

    1. Ryan B says:

      No actually you guys are trying to make the point that you can do as you want. We dont want any laws changed or to do anything we havent been able to do for the past centuries. You are the people that want to change thins by making a new law to protect them!
      Think before you type.

  42. Lois Tomlinson says:

    My father was an ethical hunter. He taught my brother never to shoot anything unless you could see it clearly and you needed the meat. He never shot anything without a bit of sadness at that creature losing its life, but we had venison, which to our family meant a meal without having to scrimp and save for. My father would be ashamed of the hunters who say that all bears should be legal to shoot. If he had been here to tell you, he would say, does it really make such a big difference that you have to look for colored ribbons before you shoot? Shouldn’t you be looking ALL THE TIME at what you are shooting at? He would have been ashamed of you hunters who say they belong to you to shoot at. And so am I.

  43. Cynthia says:

    I bet you beat your wife and kids and kick your dog and feel it is your right!

    1. Cynthia says:

      My above comment was for “Hunters Rights”.

      1. Nancy says:

        I bet he does, too.

  44. Lisa Tohey says:


  45. Don- Minn- Jay says:

    Lets ”THANK”” true humters..people who we can call and are called ”SPORTSMEN””. They would never shoot a collared research bear.
    THANK YOU !!!!! Hats off to TRUE SPORTSMEN! !

    1. Mary Rogers says:

      Well Said Don-Minn-Jay! Cheers to ethical hunters

  46. Jolene Nelson says:

    Dr. Roger’s study of bears is based on their social behaviors. The DNR collared bear study is not. I don’t think asking to leave a few bears alone is asking too much considering all we are learning from them. For now, researchers risk their lives to walk with and protect the research bears during hunting season.

    1. Nancy says:

      Their lives are at risk from the hunters, not the bears that they walk with.

  47. BearLover In Minnesota says:

    Lily, Hope and Faith are Bears that we have come to know, because of the den cam….there are lots of other Wild Bears out there….Lily has become a very popular bear for her recognition on the news and media…..This is the reason you have to threaten her?..I think you just want the attention right now. You will never have the stardom that Lily has! PROTECT RESEARCH BEARS and make it LEGAL PS~maybe you will accidentally shoot yourself in the foot while you’re out in the woods…that could be your 15 minutes of fame!

  48. get real says:

    Hunters Rights…..I’m a republican, a hunter, a conceal and carry guy and you are a disgrace to all hunters. We call your type “scab hunters” No one is taking any rights away from you. Only asking that you be ethical and leave a few collared bears alone. Thats it. This should have no negative impact on you whatsoever. The DNR’s research is different than Rogers research. Educate yourself before you comment. Your not helping the rest of the hunters out there by talking so stupid. That goes for the other scabs that posted as well. Lighten up people! Its a few sows with cubs or yearling females! Come on! And DNR

    1. Mary Rogers says:

      Cheers to you Get Real….and thank you for being ethical – happy hunting for true sportsmanship!

    2. Tou says:

      I certainly agree with you as a fellow hunter.

    3. Ryan B says:

      They actually are taking rights from us. Taking the right to shoot a wild animal (or what should be a wild animal) They have asked to leave them alone and I think we all agree with that we just dont want it made illegal to shoot them. Maybe you should re-read the article or re-watch the clip.

  49. susan scarantino says:

    I’m with you Don Minn-Jay.& Cynthia! the difference between an Ethical Hunter and a Jerk Hunter … both are here commenting in black & white!.

  50. susan scarantino says:

    ooops I meant “Scab Hunter” thanks “get real”

  51. Gloria says:

    Some of the comments here make me ill. These so-called “hunters” often like to kill just for the sport and to have a trophy to brag about. I certainly pray the DNR listens to what the majority of people world wide want, and protect the collared bears.

    1. eastside_evil says:

      I would like the collared bears to be off-limits to hunters as well, but have an issue with this statement of yours, Gloria:

      “These so-called “hunters” often like to kill just for the sport and to have a trophy to brag about.”

      1. What are you basing this on exactly?

      2. That is why a LOT of hunting is done. I don’t think that makes it unethical. Unappealing to YOU, yes. But “unethical” seems a bit of a projection of your personal feelings.

  52. Gail Wanner says:

    Thank you, WCCO, for an excellent report on the challenges faced by researchers who are doing ground-breaking work on ways in which humans and black bears can co-exist. This is important, not only in Minnesota and not only because of the thousands of “fans” who view the NABC den cams and follow the daily updates. It is important worldwide because humans are encroaching on natural habitat and if we want future generations to experience wild bears and other iconic animals, we must learn how to live with them while preserving their wildness. The research Dr. Rogers, Sue Mansfield and others at the North American Bear Center and Wildlife Research Institute are doing is critical and the fact that it engages school children makes me hopeful for the future! The DNR’s unwillingness to change from the way they’ve always done things shows they are not paying attention to the majority of Minnesota citizens who support protection for research bears (yes, I am one and a resort owner in the Chippewa National Forest) and to those from outside MN who will contribute to our economy through tourism and donations to NABC.

  53. Murphy says:

    @Hunter1-Children handle issues with death differently than adults, so why would you begrudge them an environment & learning process where they can grow to understand that animals in the wild have very different lives than those of their pets at home? Nature is not always kind and the survival rate for cubs is based on a multitude of factors. This is part of the learning process for children, so get a grip. It can teach them how to deal with loss, appreciate the beauty of the wilderness & it’s inhabitants & encourage behaviors that protect the populations of wild species, which includes hunting. Rogers has said repeatedly that without culling through hunting, some members of the black bear population would be starving to death, which is a much more cruel way to die. I can’t imagine any adult begrudging the opportunity for children to learn about MN wilderness & the animals that populate the area.

  54. Don- Minn- Jay says:

    its bear week

    Reading some of these statements…from just a ”few” hunters..not sportsmen…shows that we need to get more education funds to these bear groups….will make a donation today🙂

    1. Don- Minn- Jay says:

      only one this link..
      ‘a fed bear is a dead bear’
      Residents around Ely,Mn have been feeding bears for decades..even before these famous research bears…
      and area has LOWEST bear problems anywhere….

      Its where people are afraid of bears and dont understand them…that a bear around installs fear… education is a must !

  55. PS says:

    The comments of the unethical hunters here are proof positive that EDUCATION is the key to protection. Dr. Rogers and Sue Mansfield have been strong myth-busters with their research on the black bear. I will repeat what others have said here—-go to or to educate yourselves on the facts of the bears and what has been learned about their behavior. They are NOT pets, or TAME, and will run from “strangers”. Yes, the current policy has been in effect since 1992, but in 1991 the MN Fish and Wildlife Dept. made the study area off limits to bear hunters. I am curious as to why this was discontinued. Such a small area. The letters to hunters MAY be effective, but last year, when they were not sent out, 2 ribbon-collared bears and some DNR bears were killed. The year before when the letters were sent out, there were no ribbon-collared bears killed. If the DNR approves of and has sent out letters to the hunters in the past, I do not understand why they did not back the bill in the MN legislature this year to mandate that the letters be sent out resulting in a failed bill—-very confusing. If there are requirements to meet when shooting bucks—counting the antler points before shooting—it certainly is easier to see brightly colored neon ribbons on the bears ( Neon pink is the best as they do NOT blend in with any foliage ) —-especially if they come to a bait station. If the hunters cannot see those ribbons, then they should not be shooting. I applaud WCCO, Dana Coleman and her class, and Dr. Rogers and Sue Mansfield for their continued valiant efforts in protecting these magnificent creatures. 12 of 20,000 bears is such an infinitesimal number —It is very puzzling and disturbing to me that the DNR will not protect them. I am not against hunting ALL bears, just these valuable few. PLEASE PROTECT THE BEARS AND EDUCATE YOURSELF AND OTHER HUNTERS.

  56. Phyllis Kester says:

    The way I see it is the people of Minnesota needs to get the ones that are not willing to listen to the majority of signatures on a petition to safe these few collard bears, then they do not have the peoples interest at heart. Any hunter that says these collared bears are fair game are not hunters but murders that have no interest in preserving game in order to learn knowledge of the animal.They only damage the reputation of the real hunter that has compassion for the other human beings and the true meaning of being a honorable hunter.So please save these few bears.

  57. Maria MNbears says:

    Since I know for a fact that there are lies on your page, I highly doubt that truth to your statement about threats being received by people there. You like to turn around what people say to suit yourself and back up your lies.

    Thank you for a great story! Very well done!!!

    And To all the “ethical hunters” out there (aka the real hunters) who wouldn’t shoot a radio collared bear with ribbons…
    Thank you – I am so glad that you see the importance of these few bears. And I’m so sorry that people like BWAB try to ruin it for you.

  58. bear lover119 says:

    why do you need to protect them there are thousands of bears in MN, if they die they die. Thats nature go find another one to study and stop crying. I wont help your research if you have to dumb down the world for these bears.

  59. Hayley says:

    God Bless Lily!

  60. Gloria says:

    Dear eastside_evil,

    Nowhere in my comments did I use the term “unethical” as you termed it in your response to my post. I truly believe that some hunters are strictly “trophy hunters”, and yes, perhaps in my word view that makes them unethical in that sense. However, please don’t put words into my mouth which I didn’t say. Other folks in these posts have used that word, however.

    1. eastside_evil says:

      Gloria, thanks for taking the time to respond.

      No you didn’t specifically use that term, but let me ask you…

      What exactly were you insinuating in staking the claim that some hunters are strictly trophy hunters?

      You were making some point about them, so if it wasn’t that they were acting unethically, what exactly were you insinuating, Gloria? It wasn’t that you agreed with it and found it moral and correct, so…

  61. Gloria says:

    I meant to say in my “world view”.


  62. Kathy Mahaney says:

    The DNR is the problem. Remember that when you vote for programs and more money for them. They aren’t providing anything that educates children like this. It wouldn’t even cost them anything. Minnesota needs a DNR that is willing to listen to what people want, not good ol boys.

  63. Maureen Kintyer says:

    The argument about people going out and ribbon collaring many bears to protect them ~ Who is going to spend 3 to 5k+ on a one Gps collar/batteries/telemetry equipment? Who is going to run out into the woods and try to get a collar on a wild black bear? Not me. And no one that I know. Just Dr. Rogers, biologist and researcher. And only on a selected group of study bears.

    The argument that Research Bear Advocates will be out ribbon-collaring Bears just to protect them is a sensational, irrational response. This is not about interfering with hunters/hunting season. This is about carving a niche in the wilderness that allows research study and hunting to co-exist with one another. Dr. Rogers indicates that the hunters he knows… understand and respect this. But yanno how it is, all it takes is a small-group of mean-spirted people to bring the house down.

    BTW, thank you to the hunters who support this. Thank you for posting here.

  64. km says:

    Textbooks are completely biased. They totally rewrite history. Ryan are you like 15? You pay taxes? Doubtful.

  65. PJ says:

    Rogers began his research with the understanding that his bears would not be protected. Now that he has become attached to them and made them vulnerable through excessive interaction, he suddenly believes that these bears warrant protection because they have become “special” to people around the world. It is unfortunate that WCCO has chosen to make this a pet cause to the point that they would use a Facebook page to keep it going. The banner line is also very misleading. All they have done is stir up controversy over a done deal. Rogers agreed that when he began his research his bears would not be protected. The celebrity status of his bears does not change that. I felt for the DNR commissioner watching that interview. Everyone wants something different and extraordinary from the DNR, but no one wants to pay for it. One of Rogers bears has been shot. How many have been reprieved by hunters who spotted the collars? Now the controversy generated by WCCO is beginning to create resentment amongst some hunters who dislike being trashed by anti-hunters and ignorant Lily lovers. If these bears are purposely targeted WCCO is partially responsible. Find a different dead horse to beat to get the ratings before you get these bears killed.

  66. PJ says:

    Geez Ryan, you were doing a fairly good job of it. Don’t flame on her. Denigrating her as a teacher and slamming the schools won’t help. Just keep repeating the salient points:
    1.Rogers entered into this project with the agreement that his bears would not be protected.
    2. There are valid criticisms of Rogers research (actually referenced in previous WCCO articles), especially his excessive interaction and interference in their lives and habitat. This makes them far less valuable as research subjects.
    3. The main argument thus being forwarded for their protection is their celebrity status, which is also being exploited by Rogers to protect his bears.
    4. Rogers originally felt that hunter cooperation was sufficient protection, and he himself states that all hunters he has spoken with would not shoot a collared animal.
    5.WCCO has decided to soak this story for ratings which in the end will only generate controversy and get these animals killed.

  67. PJ says:

    Interesting. WCCO will bury your comment by placing it out of order if it is critical of their “journalism.”

    1. Ryan B says:

      I noticed that as well, and im not just going to sit here and take sh!t but not throw any!

  68. Ryan B says:

    For all you who say Rogers doesnt change the bears in any way and they are still wild you should read this.

    1. JamesB says:

      With a resume like this…

      Jerry Ferkingstad of Cotton is publisher of the Canyon Times and a refrigeration technician who has been hunting for more than 30 years. During his 15 years of bear hunting, he has mentored fellow hunters, teaching them how to bait bears, read the signs of bear activity, estimate a bear’s size by claw marks left on trees, measure paw print sizes and more.’

      while entitled to his OPINION just like you are and just like I am (and the hundreds of thousands who support Lynn Rogers and his research) I wouldn’t exactly say that he is qualified to comment on research methodologies. He certainly has no expertise in the field or specific information about what Dr. Rogers research is or is not accomplishing. But the next time I need to bait a bear so that they will come to dinner while I sit in a tree to shoot them, I’ll give him a call.

    2. Don- Minn- Jay says:

      Since that person doesnt see the bear making the tracks..or the tree bear rubs..then by your thinking..all his thinking is “”FLAWED”…who knows what made those marks..
      Its only his opinion..with no research or facts to back them up.

  69. Carol C. says:

    I don’t know why people are wasting their time arguing with teenagers whose frontal cortexes are as yet undeveloped. The people who are saying that protection of radio-collared bears is taking away their rights and who are criticizing Dr. Lynn’s research are very angry people who need to fight about something – anything – to act out their anger. In other words, they have a problem with authority figures and Dr. Lynn, being an educator of sorts, is an authority figure. Arguing with them is just feeding them energy to be more angry. I suggest not engaging them further.

  70. Bill says:

    @Ryan you just got schooled. I think you could benefit by attending Miss Coleman’s class.

  71. Ashamed human says:

    I don’t really understand hunting. People say it’s method of animal numbers control but the way I see it is that if we are controlling animal numbers, who is controlling human numbers? We as humans are breeding at a large rate and are building in what is supposed to be animal territory, and then we moan when see a bear walking down our street. As far as I see it that is that bears territory and it’s us that shouldn’t be there… not the bear. We are supposed to be more evolved but what happened to controlling Cheetah or Panda, Tiger population?… We ended up nearly wiping them out! Soon the only place to see these animals will be behind bars or glass in a zoo. I know these bears are far from being endangered, but at one time the cheetah and tiger population was the same and look at what we have done! And soon once we have built on every last piece of green and shot every wild animal in apparently self defence what then will hunters shoot? These bears should be protected before it’s too late. You talk about domesticated pets but what are they supposed to be? Wild hungry revenging bears the hunters seem to think they are, or these gentle creatures who want nothing more than to co exist along side our ever expanding species. They are not domesticated, they are having to adapt to humans cause we are in there face and building houses and towns where they den. Animals can not hold a gun and shoot back at you… They can only run at you as a last survival instinct or in most cases run away! I am sure if someone was trying to shoot me… I would either run or try and kill them before they kill me… Guns can shoot from a distance… An animal can only kill if they are close enough. It’s like bringing a gun to knife fight… Protect the collared bears!

    1. eastside_evil says:

      “I don’t really understand hunting.”

      The truest statement in your comment.

  72. NYbearlover says:

    Ryan B Here is a start basic bear info.

    First, what is the common knowledge you already know? Second, this is on going research to aquire new data. Why using the same bears are important. Third, The mere fact that you state the only info. you found was about fancy GPS and Cam technology. Well that technology is what allowed further research that other wise would not be possible. Reason why Biologists around the world use them to study live specimans. You claim this is all you found in updates. The fancy equipment. Here you became transparent. That info. was only in a few updates durring the time that equipment was installed. Many people were interested in that technology and asked to be informed. They were. Fourth Scientific research is ongoing. If something is ground breaking you would not even notice, because you donot want to. Period!! You simply skimed through some info. and commented on what you felt would discredit this research. A great many of us have been thankfully following this research for over a year. That time spand gave us much to learn. Ryan you are not interested in this learning why you are not finding info. you claim does not exsist. You are very against PROTECTIN for these bears, and is impossible for you to absorb and understand any info. put infront of you. You simply donot care about this research and have no intention of changing your views. So don’t blame it on a lack of scienticfic evidence available, when scientist accross the world who do understand its value and hold Dr. Lynn Rogers and Biolgist Sue Manfield as leading in this feild of study. So Ryan do you claim to know more than the scientists? The ones who have studied this research!!!

  73. Jill Wheaton Lindsey says:

    If I remember correctly, when Governor Dayton appointed Tom Landwehr to the position of Commissioner of the DNR, he stated that he wanted to rid the DNR of the arrogance that had existed for years within the Department. In the recent CBS newscast Tom Landwehr made the comment that they are treating Dr. Rogers the same as they have for the past twelve years. So, there you have it. New day, same old……

  74. Don- Minn- Jay says:

    check out for yourself..what the school children are learning >>
    its awesome !

    proof is in the pudding🙂

  75. bilige reisen says:

    Woah this blog is magnificent i really like reading your posts. Keep up the good work! You realize, a lot of people are looking around for this info, you could help them greatly.

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