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Recent Minnesota bear sightings increase - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Recent Minnesota bear sightings increase

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 The Minnesota DNR says they've seen an increase in the number of bear reports coming from north west Minnesota.

Don and Julaine Nettum of Ponsford, Minnesota had some visitors drop in when they were vacationing a few weeks ago.

"She was looking for food for her little ones, I'm sure," says Julaine Nettum.

The couple checked their backyard camera after a grandson mentioned seeing a female bear with her cubs in the area. Sure enough, they were caught on camera.

"He came down from up the hill there and walked on through, stopping behind the cabin here for the meal on our birdseed," Nettum says.

If you're encountering bears at your home or cabin and you have bird feeders, experts say it's a good idea to bring them inside at night or bring them inside even for a few weeks, so the bears forget about the tasty treat.

"As long as it's being rewarded by having that seed available to it, it probably will continue coming back," says Tamarac Wildlife Refuge Biologist Lowell Deede.

He says bear sightings around the refuge have been at normal levels, but there are reasons why bears and humans could be running into each other more right now.

"June is the breeding period and males are out moving around, so their travels are more during this time frame," he says.

If you have bee hives or berries growing in the coming weeks, you can also keep a look out.

"Don't be surprised if you have a visit from a bear. It's a food source that they're very much attracted to," Deede says.

As for the Nettums, Julaine says she was surprised at their find, but knows it won't be the last time.

"I didn't think she'd bring her little ones that close to us, you know, because they're kind of timid and afraid for their little ones," she says.

Deede says if a bear crosses your path, try to make it back to your home or vehicle or make as much noise as possible. He says to make sure to keep your dogs on a leash because they can present a challenge in a bear encounter.

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