The black bear is a symbol of Minnesota’s wilderness. Conflicts between people and bears have increased as more people build homes and cabins and recreate in northern Minnesota. Conflicts between people and bears arise when bears damage personal property, beehives, livestock and agricultural crops.
Bears are common throughout northern Minnesota. Although bears live primarily in forested areas they sometimes wander into cities and towns.
A bear will take advantage of any foods available and will attempt to eat anything that resembles food in look, smell or taste. When natural foods such as nuts, meat berries, insects and tender vegetation are scarce, bears search actively for anything to eat. This is when bears most often come in contact with people. When bears find a source of food they will usually return regularly.
Bears and People
Bears and people meet under a variety of circumstances. Most bears are wary of people and will usually leave when encountered. Although seeing a bear can be a memorable experience, some people are frightened when they encounter these animals.
Bears can become a nuisance when they visit homes, resorts, campgrounds and restaurants. Although some bears become used to people, they are still wild animals no matter how "tame" they may appear. People must always be cautious around bears since they may react unpredictably.