Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal & Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Minn.

July 17, 2000

Black bear sighted in area

According to several Winsted city residents and a few others from the Winsted area, there has been a black bear roaming the Winsted lakes area and within the city limits of Winsted.

Mabel Lacina reported that sometime between 6 and 7 a.m. Saturday, July 8 she saw a black bear roaming on the corner of Sherman Ave. and Barrett Ave. in the southeast part of Winsted.

She said the bear was on the yard of Donny Marshall and was heading toward downtown.

Another report came from Ruth Deidrick. Ruth reported she saw a black bear on her and her husband Calvin's farm a half-mile north of Lake Ida at 8 p.m. Friday, July 7.

Ruth recalled, "After standing on its hind legs and checking out the bird feeders, it ambled through the garden leaving five-inch foot prints and headed towards Dog Lake."

Ruth also noted, the bear looked healthy and in very good condition.

A second hand report come from a gentlemen living farther east of the Dog and Lake Ida area. In this report, a mother and cub were sighted a few weeks ago in an area east of Metro Dairy.

According to other area newspapers and a few law enforcement agencies, there have been several bear sightings in the area this summer.

Reported sightings have come from such areas as Lake Washington, Butternut Lake south of Dassel, Stockholm Town Hall near Cokato, and in the Delano and Watertown areas.

Regarding the black bear sightings, it seems to be following a trend. Several other areas of the state have reported sightings and the expanded range of timberwolves, coyotes, mountain lions or large cats, and black bears.

If this trend continues it may become more common to see a black bear in our area. Only time will tell, and we'll see if the bear or bears roaming the area right now pop their heads out any more.

According to Department of Natural Resource (DNR) officials, black bears usually feed and wander around during the night, unless driven from their daytime bedding spot.

A bear with cubs may attack, but black bears usually run from humans.

DNR advice is to is stay away from bears and take preventative measures to keep them away from yards by taking in sweet bird feeders overnight or hang them from a high pole.

Anyone who spots a black bear is asked to report it immediately to local officials.

Outdoor notes

  • Regarding wildlife, especially populations that are not common in our area, wild turkeys are doing well. Near a DNR transplant site south of Lester Prairie, the turkeys are doing extremely well, with sightings of some very large broods in the area.
  • The Waverly Gun Club will have a large shooting and historical event called "1st Waverly Volunteers" Saturday and Sunday, Aug 12 and 13. Black powder, musket, carbine along with full size cannons, and mortars will all be part of the event. On Saturday evening, there will be a hog roast for shooters and their families. For more information, contact Bonnie Driver at 763-675-3727 or Ed Marketon at 763-658-4231.
  • Be aware of ticks and other insects during this time of year. Check for ticks on yourself and pets on a regular basis. For dogs, there are some great, easy to use products on the market to protect them. Give your local vet a call for more info.
  • Now is a good time to take a look at all that outdoor equipment you have in storage. When the weather gets hot and humid, mildew and mold can do considerable damage to items like winter jackets, and other gear that are not stored in a climate controlled environment.
  • Take a good look at your firearms and ammunition. Make sure they are properly stored and locked in a safe location. It's a good idea to store and lock firearms and ammunition in separate locations.
  • Get outside and enjoy the summer weather that finally arrived.
  • Take a kid fishing - you will have fun and so will they.

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