Report bear den sightings in northern Lower Peninsula

While out in the field, hunters and trappers could come upon a denned black bear. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is looking for locations of denned bears in the northern Lower Peninsula, in order to fit the bears with radio collars for an ongoing bear management program.

“Information gathered from bears assists in managing the black bear population,” said Mark Boersen, wildlife biologist at the DNR Roscommon Customer Service Center. “Currently, we have six female bears being monitored from both air and ground using radio tracking equipment.”

After locating a denned bear, DNR biologists will determine if the animal is a good candidate for a radio collar. Bears that are selected will be sedated by a wildlife biologist and fitted with collars and ear tags. A small nonfunctional tooth will be collected to determine each bear’s age and to provide a DNA sample. Upon completion of the short procedure, biologists will carefully return the bear to its den, where it will sleep through the remainder of the winter months.

Those who encounter bear dens in the northern Lower Peninsula are asked to record the location, with a GPS unit if possible, and contact Mark Boersen at 989-275-5151 or with specific location information.

As a reminder, it is illegal to disturb a bear den or disturb, harm or molest a bear in its den.