Black Bear Viewing at the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Many years ago a humble Minnesota logger made a decision that would ultimately affect the black bear and the attitudes that people have of this often misunderstood animal. It was then that Vince Shute chose to stop shooting the bears that broke into his cabins and found a way to peacefully coexist with them. In his own words he claimed, “The bears weren’t mean, just hungry!”. So he tried a more peaceful approach and the strategy worked – no more break-ins. Thus began Vince’s long and celebrated life with the black bears in a tiny corner of the north woods near Orr, Minnesota.

Generations of black bears still visit his former homestead, now designated as The Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary. The non-profit organization, The American Bear Association, was formed to manage the Sanctuary and to promote a better understanding of the black bear through education, observation, and experience. The organizations ultimate goal and Vince Shute’s final wish has become a reality – peaceful coexistence between humans and bears. All of the sanctuary bears are free-roaming. They come and go at will through clover meadows, cool cedar swamps and pine forest.