The Timberjay's Marshall Helmberger on Explosive Ely School Board Meeting on COVID, Grouse and Bear Hunting Season and Fall Colors
This week Marshall told us about their coverage of an issue that's happening throughout our region - conflict at school board meetings due to the Delta Variant of COVID-19 and the rising numbers.
REGIONAL— Despite an intense drought that sharply limited natural bear
foods this year, bear registrations are running below last year’s pace
through the first two weeks of the season. Poor food years traditionally
give the advantage to hunters, since bears tend to be more responsive
to baiting, but that hasn’t translated into the kind of success that
hunters experienced last year, which was another poor year for most bear
Through the first two weeks of the 2021 season, hunters have
registered 2,299 bears, compared to 2,630 bears at this same point last
year. That’s a drop of 13 percent.
While hunters still have nearly a
month to catch up, about 80 percent of the bear harvest typically takes
place in the first two weeks of the season, according to the DNR. Based
on that, the final harvest tally should finish up around 2,900
registrations, according to the DNR’s Lisa Sanderson. That would be down
slightly from the 3,203 bears registered in 2020.
While down over
last year, the 2021 harvest is still likely to end up higher than in
most recent years. Last year saw the highest number of bear
registrations in more than a decade and this year, if the trend holds,
will likely tip the scales at the second highest in more than a decade.