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World’s oldest-known wild black bear dies at 39


Tue, Aug 27th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

The world’s oldest-known wild bear has died of old age in northern Minnesota at the age of 39½, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).



Known to DNR researchers as Bear No. 56, the female American black bear was first captured and radio-collared in July 1981 by DNR scientists during the first summer of a long-term research project on bear population ecology. The bear was 7 years old at the time and was accompanied by three female cubs.



Bear No. 56 became a significant animal in the DNR research project. During a 32-year study period, she and her many offspring provided an almost uninterrupted record of reproduction, survival, movements and, eventually, senescence (aging), within a single matriarchal lineage. Data from this bear and her offspring have contributed significantly to the scientific literature on black bear biology.



From 1981-1995, Bear No. 56 produced eight litters of cubs and successfully reared a remarkable 21 of the 22 cubs to 1½ years of age. In 1997, at age 23, she uncharacteristically lost two of her three cubs before weaning. In 1999, at age 25, she bore and raised her last cub. In 2001, when she was next expected to give birth, researchers found her healthy in her den and producing milk but without cubs.



Bear No. 56 outlived by 19 years all of the 360 other radio-collared black bears that DNR researchers have followed since 1981. She also outlived any radio-collared bear of any species in the world. Only a very few individual study bears have been reported to reach age 30. The second-oldest was a brown bear that lived to 34.



Researchers suspect Bear No. 56’s longevity probably is best attributed to a combination of factors, including the location of her home range in a forested area with few people or major roads; a more reticent nature than that of many bears, in terms of her avoidance of people; and luck.



“Getting this information about this bear has taken a lot of effort. This really attests to the value of a long-term study with a large sample of bears,” said Dave Garshelis, DNR bear project leader. “Had we not studied so many bears, we likely would not have encountered this intriguing outlier. It was not just documenting that she lived to be so old, but understanding how she was able to live to be so much older than other bears that .....
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Autumn Tractor Ride

Fri, Aug 23rd, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Take a two-day autumn Tractor Ride through beautiful Bluff Country. The ride will be held on Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15. The round-about ride will start and end each day at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds, Preston, Minn. The ..... 
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Deer Antler Scoring Demonstration

Fri, Aug 16th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

7 p.m. Saturday, August 24 Houston Nature Center Have you shot a nice buck but don’t know how it compares to the record books? Join official measurer Craig Pierce from Lewiston, Minn. to see how a rack is properly scored. This program is a demo ..... 
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Star Party August 17

Fri, Aug 9th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

A good look at the night sky above you can be a humbling yet exciting experience when you realize just how much more is out there beyond our own little planet. Join the good folks of the La Crosse Area Astronomical Society with their BIG telescopes ..... 
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Spin Fishing for Trout with John Eggers - “The Spin Doctor”

Fri, Aug 9th, 2013
Posted in Preston The Great Outdoors

Join us at the National Trout Center on Saturday, August 17 for a free spin fishing workshop with fishing guide & maker of the “Bow Spinner”, John Eggers, also known as “The Spin Doctor”. Eggers has been featured on Dave Carlson’s Sunday m ..... 
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Falconry Program August 10

Fri, Aug 2nd, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Falconry...the taking of wild quarry with a trained raptor. That is the definition of the Sport of Kings, but you don’t have to be a king to practice it. Have you ever been curious about falconry? Do you enjoy watching raptors such as hawks, f ..... 
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Bike Trail Update

Tue, Jul 30th, 2013
Posted in Whalan The Great Outdoors

Here is the latest Trail Report: The contractor has two more expansion joints to install on the first bridge west of Whalan and one on the confluence bridge. He is doing the confluence bridge today, July 26, and the bridge near Whalan on Monday, Ju ..... 
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Visit the HOUSTON Overlook Sign

Tue, Jul 23rd, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Saturday, July 27, 7:00 PM Meet at the Houston Nature Center Ever want to go up to see the huge stone “HOUSTON” sign on the hill north of Houston but didn’t know who to call or how to get there? Here’s your chance! All landowners and r ..... 
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Attention Veterans, Widows and Widowers of Veterans:

Fri, Jul 5th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

If your home sustained damage from the flooding events over the weekend of June 21, you may be able to get some assistance from the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs.  Some of the items that you may be able to be reimbursed back for are: ..... 
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