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The Timberjay's Marshall Helmberger on Explosive Ely School Board Meeting on COVID, Grouse and Bear Hunting Season and Fall Colors

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K. Vanderwort Timberjay Newspaper

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.

Grouse season beginstomorrow and Marshall thinks it'll be a good one, at least in their part of the world and Bear Season is underway.

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.

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Heidi Holtan is KAXE's Director of Content and Public Affairs where she manages producers and is the local host of Morning Edition from NPR. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North.
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