One of the reasons (I for one) have put forth, for protection of Dr. Rogers research bears (and te reseach bears f the state of Minnesota),is because of what we can learn through research. For example: Female bears normaly give birth to cubs every two years. However, in my own bear research in Arkansas,I've found that the sows (female bears) may synchronize the years when they do not give birth to cubs - because of poor mast crop (hickory nuts, hazel nuts, acorns, chestnuts) production, two years before they were due to give birth.

If there is not enough mast crop for the sows to forage on, which allows then to put on the fat they need to survive through winter, and provide milk for their cubs, the fetus will re-sorb back into the sow, so that she does not give birth, even though she was successfully bred and conceived a cub. If bear managers know this they can regulate the bear harvest numbers by increasing the availability of bear permits during years coinciding with abundant births, and decreasing them during years with poor birth rates. This helps to keep the bear population stable from year to year. In fact, bear managers in Minnesota have found that the bears in one area of the state sychronize birthing, but they do not in other areas.

My personal bear research in Arkansas has also revealed some interesting bears facts. In spite of a growing layer of thick fat, and wearing a heavy black coat of fur, black bears appear not to be bothered by heat. I’ve seen 400-pound males moving about during broad daylight, when the heat index was over 90 degrees. And instead of being nocturnal, meaning they are primarily active at night, my research shows that they are just about equally active during the day and night. Dr. Rogers tells me that in his latest research he has learned more about the diet or bears, their habitat use, travel, daily activity patterns, den construction, behavior in dens, labor and birth, care of cubs, cub development, natural causes of cub deaths, relations between Lily and her mother June - after family break-up, establishment of territory, vocalizations, body language, memory, reactions to predators and other stimuli. Plus, with Lily ,Hope and Faith - what leads to rare mixed-age litters, and social relations in a mixed-age litter.

Bear research is important to help us understand bear biology and  behavior, and managing bear populations. In a small research study, such as this one, every bear is important - to the study.The loss of one of the research bears (to an uncaring, ill-infomed hunter) means that you have lost all of the data that could have been gained from that bear in the upcomng years, and how it would have interacted with the other bears in the study. 

In a recent statement DNR commissioner Tom Landwehr stated that "wildlife belongs to all Minnesotans" when he declared that radio-collared bears will continue to be fair game for hunters. If the Commissioner truly believes that, then he should listen to the wishes of all Minnesotans, many who would like to see the bears protected against hunting, including many of the State’s hunters, and hunting organizations.

I have to wonder why the Commissioner declines to make it illegal to kill radio collared research bears, when a few years ago the DNR made it illegal to kill a white colored black bear. A white colored black bear is only a curiosity and a rarity. These research bears on the other hand, are responsible for educating thousands of people world wide, including hundreds school children, who are concerned not only for the bears, but for nature and the environment. They also provide information that can be used by wildlife personnel to better manage bear populations, around the world.

Please e-mail the Commissioner,and ask him to make it illegal to kill radio collared research bears, because - I believe he can do it without legislative directive or law. Why should he do this? In this year, with more important things for the legislature to consider, it would take this one issue out of the mix, making it easier to concentrate on the budget. Make it clear to the Commissioner, that he will have to make it illegal to kill research bears sooner or later, because we intend to keep the pressure on, until it is illegal. So, why not just do it now?

E-mail the below legislators, and then find out who your state representative and senator are, and e-mail them the same message. You can send it to all of them at the same time. , , , , , , , , , , , .

If the list of legislators does not appear here, log on to the "Protect Minnesota’s Research Bears" on Facebook:!/pages/Protect-Minnesotas-Research-Bears/160331730697185 


God bless you and yours,





T.R. Michels

Trinity Mountain Outdoors


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E-mail Your Legislator -in order to Protect Minnesota's Research Bears

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