Chicago Sun-Times
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Wild Thursday: Southern Wisconsin bears

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Last week, the outdoor report from the Wisconsin DNR included a note about the rising number of reports of black bears in southern Wisconsin.


Yesterday, John Canning of Lombard forwarded some photos his wife's uncle took near Madison, Wis. last week of a bear. In a place where one had not been seen before (in memory).


Here are the key sentences from the Wisconsin DNR report last week:

There have been about a dozen reports of black bear sightings in southern Wisconsin in the last week, an indication that the black bear population in the state continues to expand forcing bears to move south in search of suitable habitat. Area residents should not be overly concerned as bears generally try to avoid contact with people; however pet food, garbage cans and bird feeders should be secured or removed if bears are present.

I did a quick scan of news stories and even more reports have shown up since then. I may have to update this report

BTW, the Illinois state line is not far south of the latest reports.


And I thank Canning for some cool photos.

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Put a goalpost up on the IL border so the bears will never be able to cross the line.

Haha, you crack me up Mr. Bucket Biologist.
Cool photos indeed. Bears are welcome in my backyard anytime, I will not feed them, I will not encourage them, I will be careful when there are children and pets around to be sure no one gets hurt, but bears have their rightful place in a healthy ecosystem as well. I'm more weary of my own species than I am of some wild animal. Wild animals have no hidden agenda and tend to be a lot more predictable than some folks. I don't envy the DNR on some tough decisions to be made, but hopefully the majority can be happy...including the bear.

Are you aware a Bureau County Sheriff confirmed a black bear sighting near Princeton? One of the Quad City TV stations reported it. It appeared to be a sow with a cub. A few years ago, a black bear was found near Geneseo IL, also.

The DNR discounts sightings of large predators in Illinois. A friend who bowhunts caught a cougar on a trail cam and reported it to the DNR which claimed it was a case of mistaken identity. And this was before the Chicago Police shot one in the city limits.

The advance is coming, whether it is being officially admitted by the IDNR or not. A decade ago I wasn't sure if I would live long enough to see cougars, black bears or wolves establish in Illinois. Now I think I will live long enough and the better question now is which will be first.

I was out last week near Rockford and saw one crossing the stateline into Illinois from Wisconsin. It was wearing a Green Bay Packer Jesery!

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on June 17, 2010 12:26 PM.

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