Don't panic...seriously...but fyi, we've had quite the burst of bear sightings in the last few days.  In fact, the total for Olmsted County, Wabasha County, and Winona County in Minnesota is currently at 24+.


24+ Bear Sightings Reported In and Around Rochester, Minnesota Including Two Cubs

My neighborhood is buzzing a little bit because this week, there were some obvious signs that a bear visited a house just a few doors down from mine.  As you've heard in some of the previous stories, black bears are looking for food and bird feeders are a favorite.

The bear that came in my neighborhood might be the same that many others have actually spotted recently in NE and NW Rochester.  Obviously, the black bears roaming around aren't tagged so we aren't tracking them individually, but roaming around is something they do and according to, adult black bears have a core home range diameter of 8 to 15 miles.

However, if you look below, you will see that we have some bears spotted with cubs and other sightings without, and happening about the same time.

Credit: Erin Young
Credit: Erin Young

Here are a few of the latest sightings in NE and NW Rochester, Minnesota:

  • It was reported that a bear most likely bent a birdfeeder in Haverhill Township in NE Rochester south of 75th Street.
  • Heather Hilton Merren said on the Spotted in Rochester Facebook page that a black bear was caught on her Ring camera around 8:40pm on Thursday, June 8th.  She was located near 18th Ave. NW and 75th Street by Sargent's North.
  • Katie King indicated on the same site that a bear was spotted near 11th Ave. and 85th Street earlier this week.
  • Erin Young indicated it went right past her studio, Erin Young Portrait Design, which is located at 7805 11th Ave. NW, Rochester.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources posts bear sightings that are spotted outside their primary range in Minnesota.  This focus is helping their team better understand how bears are expanding in the Land of 10,000 lakes.  In the last several weeks, multiple reports have been filed including the following in Winona, Wabasha, 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 7:00 pm and at 8:26 pm
  • 5/19/23 - 1 bear spotted around 19th Street NW and Cty Rd 22 in Rochester
  • 5/25/23 - 1 bear near County 24 Rd NE
  • 6/1/23 - 1 bear near 90th Street NE and 11th Ave. NE
  • 6/2/23 - 1 bear near Hadley Valley Rd NE
  • 6/3/23 - 1 bear near 81st St. NE and 11th Ave. NE
  • 6/4/23 - 1 bear near 81st St. NE and 11th Ave. NE
  • 6/5/23 - 1 bear near 81st St. NE and Hwy 63
  • 6/8/23 - 1 bear near 18th Ave. and 75th Street NW
  • 6/8/23 - 2 bears spotted with 2 cubs by East White Bridge Road north or Oronoco
  • 6/8/23 - 1 bear spotted near Timberline Dr. SE in Oronoco at 6:50 pm and another at 6:52 pm
  • 6/9/23 - 1 bear was spotted near Siems Ln NE

Wabasha County Bear Sightings

In Steele County, there has only been one report but this is one that deserves some attention because, on March 7th, 2023, one bear was spotted with three cubs.

How to Report a Bear Sighting in Southeast Minnesota

If you see a bear, you are encouraged to fill out the form on the Minnesota DNR website.

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