Black bears are one of Minnesota iconic species. They're the only bear species that inhabits the state today.
Bears live in forests, swamps and other areas with dense cover but will wander into clearings to feed. They are found mainly in the northern third of Minnesota, but range as far south as the interface between the forest and agricultural zones, where they utilize corn and other crops for subsistence.
DNR manages Minnesota's black bear population by providing quality bear habitat, conducting research to increase knowledge of bear biology, educating the public on how to live with bears, assisting people with bear problems and controlling the bear population with hunting seasons.
Comment on proposed bear hunting zone changes that would make the Leech Lake Reservation its own bear hunting zone. Click on the map at right to enlarge it.
On Sept. 23, 2014, the DNR issued a final decision regarding the bear research permit issued to Dr. Lynn Rogers. The decision was consistent with the agency’s original decision in July 2013 to not renew his permit and with the recommendations of an administrative law judge, who issued her findings last May. This decision means the agency will no longer provide a research permit to Dr. Rogers to collar bears or to place den cameras in bear dens.
This decision also concludes a legal process stipulated by Ramsey County District Court Judge John H. Guthmann on July 29, 2013.