It has just been one of those summers in which the black bears of Minnesota have visited a lot of campsites in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Visitors to the wilderness must continue to be ever vigilant and keep the campsite clean to remove any and all temptations for curious and hungry bears.
Here is the latest I have on our furry friends in the north woods:
There is a bear or bears making the rounds on Bonnie Lake and most likely venturing into the Knife Lake area as well. Reports tell us that a large, persistent bear has been coming into camp on Bonnie Lake during daylight hours looking for a snack. This bear was so unnerving to a group that they moved camp up to Knife.
Another report from Knife Lake, involving possibly the same bear, states that a food pack was damaged and another one was taken. Advice is to keep those campsites clean, and hang those packs when possible.
Back to the west on Basswood Lake there are several reports of a bear or bears with their hungry eyes on food packs. Bears on and around Pipestone Bay have made themselves known through visible activity and raids on some campsites.
On Basswood’s Washington Island a bear tore a screen tent and stole a food pack while the group was out fishing. The report doesn’t state whether the pack was in the screen tent at the time of the pilfering. Doesn’t matter anyway because my advice is always the same: keep any and all food out of the tents. A thin layer of nylon will not stop a hungry bear.
The above report also reminds me to offer this advice: please take your food barrel or pack with you when you leave camp on a day trip. We all love our ursine friends, but let’s remove as much temptation as possible when traveling in areas known for bears with a penchant for thievery.
Still lots of summer left out there, get on the water and enjoy it!