Say What?!? A Bear Just Stole a Gun in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters
This is one of those 'Only in Minnesota'-type stories, but it's true-- a bear made off with a firearm in the Boundary Waters last week.
Normally, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) weekly reports make for some pretty bland reading. But not when the phrase, "Reports of an armed bear..." shows up in the report, right?
But sure enough, there it is, in the July 12th Weekly Conservation Officer's report for District 6, which is based in Two Harbors. DNR officer Mary Manning of Hovland took the report, along with U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Belmore, which included a "possible armed bear in the BWCA." (That's the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, which is usually referred to as the BWCAW-- Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness-- in the Superior National Forest and is, according to Google Maps, about five hours northeast of Rochester.) Say what?!? Well, check it out:
A camper reported a bear stole a backpack containing his handgun (and several delicious-smelling snacks) from a portage landing and ran off into the woods. They were unable to track and locate the bear or the pack.
Now here's where I am completely the opposite of these two Minnesota conservation officers. If I hear a report of a bear, I'm thinking about how I can most quickly get out of the area, right? And a bear now roaming around with some sort of firearm, most likely just stolen from a fellow camper? Well, no, sorry, I'm not sticking around to see how that turns out.
But our two brave conservation officers DID indeed stick around, and went on to complete a search of the area... which finally put an end to the mystery of the armed bear, who wasn't really armed at all:
After searching the area, located and recovered the partially shredded pack, numerous empty snack wrappers and the undamaged firearm.
Whew! That's a relief. So, in his (or her) search for food, seeing as it was in the backpack, the bear did, technically 'steal' the firearm. But it's good to know that bears, even in the untamed northern Minnesota forest that makes up the BWCAW, haven't yet taken up arms to defend their territory. And in case you think this kind of thing is just another day at the office, the DNR also noted that the report of an armed bear, was in fact, a first for both officers. Ya think!??
Now if the thought of a bear with some sort of firearm is a bit unsettling to you too, perhaps you'd like to spend your vacation NOT in the wilderness, but in a nice, developed metropolitan area. Keep scrolling to check out Minnesota's 21 Safest Cities in 2021!