Short minnesota road trip.

The plan was to go to The Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary near Orr Minnesota for black bears, drive around looking for Moose and then stop near Calm Lake Wisconsin to try to spot Elk.
The Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary is a place that feeds bears which many photographers and wildlife viewers and against. It is a wonderful place with caring volunteers teaching people about black bears. No cages and the wild bears come and go. The have a deck open from 5-8 PM. For people who want to photograph the bears you can do a half day or full day session which I did. You get to walk around where the bears can go, not getting within 10 feet of the bears but they don’t always listen sometimes walk too close for comfort(not for someone who gets nervous around big animals) . So I saw bears, chipmunks, white tail deer, squirrels, eagles, loons, woodpeckers, pelicans and a long tail weasel. No Moose or elk but had a great time just getting away.


  • Alex

    For someone from Europe this sounds like a kind of zoo….. Are the bears in a fenced area or free to go? Normally feeding wild animals is out of the question because the animals will loose their fear of homo sapiens…. For me, this is not a useful report and I doubt if feeding bears is the right thing to do…..

  • wildlifeship

    I respect your opinion. These black bears are wild, no fence come and go. Similar to the wolverines and bears in Finland except they are fed nuts and seeds. The history is that a cook from a mining company would threw out some food and the bears would come around so before he died he set the area up to help the bears. One bear has been coming for 30 years and there is a hunting season.

  • wildlifeship

    Want to add not nowhere like a zoo.

  • Alex Schouten

    Ok, thanks for the information. But….. as far as I know you watch the wolverines and bears in Finland from a hide. A big difference from the situation in the sanctary you visited. I think it is irresponsible to get so close to ‘wild’ aninals. All the bears probably have to be shot if the sanctuary stops feeding them as the bears will associate food with humans and will come to people to look for food. My opinion is that this website is meant for travel reports of spotting wild animals, but that’s up to Jon 😉

  • wildlifeship

    I have gotten just as close to brown bears at McNeil river in Alaska and they are not feed. The bears do not spend the whole year at the sanctuary. Some stay away for years. I do have a mix opinion about feeding bears. But in the Orr area the bears stay away from people. These animals are just as wild as the Lions in Africa. Most people do see the bears from the deck. No difference then Finland.

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