As of Saturday July 25, 2020, the state of Minnesota requires all guests in both indoor and outdoor public spaces, where social distancing is not possible, to wear facial coverings.

 You must have your face covered for the entirety of your visit to the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary and our Visitor Center. If you are not wearing a mask, you will be asked to put one on or else be asked to leave the premises.

Disposable masks will be on sale at our admissions booth, gift shop, and Visitor Center for $2. Reusable cloth masks will be on sale at the gift shop and Visitor Center for $8 (+tax).

We thank you for your cooperation!

***Starting Tuesday June 9th: We will be expanding our capacity to allow for more guests and can now have 65 people on deck at a time. Reservations will not be required, although space will be on a first-come-first-served basis. If you would like to purchase tickets in advance, visit our Visitor Center to do so. We will be open normal hours from 5pm-8pm, viewing continues until dusk*** 


Black Bear Viewing at the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Many years ago, a humble Minnesota logger made a decision that would greatly affect black bears and the attitudes people have towards this often-misunderstood animal. It was then that Vince Shute chose to stop shooting the bears that broke into his cabins. He tried a more peaceful approach and the strategy worked – no more break-ins. Vince claimed, “the bears aren’t mean, just hungry!” Thus, began Vince’s long and celebrated life with 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 American Bear Association, a non-profit organization, was formed to manage the sanctuary in order to promote a better understanding of the black bear through education, observation and experience. Vince Shute’s final wish has become a reality – peaceful coexistence between humans and bears. All of the bears are free-roaming; they come and go at will through clover meadows, cool cedar swamps and pine forest.