I was freaking out a little bit the other day when I heard that a bear was spotted on camera in Rochester, Minnesota. If you haven't had a chance to see the video of a bear walking casually down the street near Watson Field, you can see it here. What I learned today though is freaking me out a little bit more because we haven't had just one sighting. Oh no. There have been 13 sightings in Olmsted County and Winona County.
13 Bear Sightings Reported In and Around Rochester, Minnesota
I am a huge fan of the resources that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has available for us to use. It helps us know our state better, know what plants and animals we are seeing, what the invasive species are, as well as many other helpful things. I didn't realize until today though that it also has a place to report bear sightings.
I stumbled across this page today and I am pretty sure I let out a little gasp as I stared at all of the little pin drops of bear sightings in Olmsted County. We have bee hives at our house that are full of honey, which I know bears love. When I saw that a bear showed up near the Watson Fields I thought it was far enough. But according to the Minnesota DNR map, a bear was a lot closer to my house than I thought.
Every year, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources plots bear sightings that are spotted outside their primary range. This focus is helping their team better understand how bears are expanding in the great state of Minnesota.
In the last several weeks, multiple bear sightings have been reported, including the following 13 in Winona and Olmsted County.
Winona County Bear Sightings
- 4/26/23 - 1 bear near Minneiska
- 4/29/23 - 1 bear near Elba
- 5/11/23 - 1 bear near Minnesota City
- 5/13/23 - 1 bear near Winona
- 5/17/23 - 1 bear near Whitewater State Park
Olmsted County Bear Sightings
- 4/28/23 - 1 bear near Dodge County/Olmsted County line
- 5/13/23 - 1 bear near West River Road (North of 55th Street)
- 5/14/23 - 2 bears sighted near 92nd Street NE
- 5/14/23 - 1 bear near Watson Field in Rochester
- 5/15/23 - 1 bear near Viola Rd NE in Rochester
- 5/17/23 - 1 bear near Northern Valley Drive NE in Rochester
- 5/17/23 - 1 bear near Stewartville at 8:07 pm
- 5/17/23 - 1 additional bear sighting near Stewartville at 8:26 pm
In Steele County, there has only been one report but this is one that deserves some attention because...baby cups were spotted too! On March 7th, 2023, one bear was spotted with three cubs.
I'm not running out to buy bear spray but I am setting up cameras on my bee hives...just in case we have a furry friend that wants to have a taste of fresh honey.