Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Bear (viewing) season opens May 26 at sanctuary

Vince Shute center has a summer of activities on tap

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 5/16/18

ORR— One of the world’s best places to view black bears in the wild opens for the season next Saturday, May 26. The Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary is the legacy of former logger Vince Shute, who …

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Bear (viewing) season opens May 26 at sanctuary

Vince Shute center has a summer of activities on tap

Posted

ORR— One of the world’s best places to view black bears in the wild opens for the season next Saturday, May 26. The Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary is the legacy of former logger Vince Shute, who befriended animals of all kinds that lived in or near his remote residence west of Orr. While Vince cared for all his fellow creatures (he even put out food and water for the mice that inhabited his trailer house), he was best known for his real friendships with the wild black bears that lived in the surrounding forest.

He eventually began feeding them, and over the decades, the small forest opening surrounding his house became a regular stop for hundreds of bears. Shortly before he died, Vince transferred his property to the non-profit American Bear Association in order to carry on his legacy and to serve as an educational facility to teach the public about the true nature of the bears that Vince loved.

The center is open to the public in the evenings, from 5-8 p.m., which coincides with a busy feeding period for bears. In addition to regular daily viewing sessions, the center hosts special events, such as “Breakfast with the Bears,” which will be held July 7 and Aug. 7, and three weekend photography workshops in June and August.

The center is located about 14 miles west of Orr on County Road 23. From Hwy. 53, turn left at the Dam Supper Club and continue 14 miles to the entrance sign for the sanctuary.

For details on these programs, contact the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary at 218-757-0172, email bears@americanbear.org, or visit http://www.americanbear.org.

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