This spring many people have been seeing several bears in the wild. In last week’s Record there was a good story with photos of a mother bear nursing her twin cubs. This past week on the morning of June 7 I was getting ready to leave for ambulance duty in Winter. My wife and I saw a mother and her two cubs in our backyard. 

These may have been the same bears that were in last week’s paper. We live not too far from Bob Schmidt, the person who took the photos that were in last week’s paper. Our bear that morning was nursing her cubs while resting up against a large oak tree. Yes, we did get some photos of her nursing, but they didn’t turn out the best because we took them through a patio screen door. 

My wife, Barb, got the best photos about 15 minutes later. The cubs were lying on a large branch that extends over our backyard. The mother bear sent her cubs up the tree for safety and then she left our yard to find some food. We normally have bird feeders out all the time in the summer, but we started taking them in at night since June 2, when we had an experience that we will not forget. 

That Sunday evening about 11 p.m. a very large bear that roams our neighborhood (we call him Chester) came into our backyard. He probably weighs about 500 pounds. That evening my wife saw Chester eyeing up one of our bird feeders in the back of our house. She made some noise and he walked toward the woods and disappeared. 

Several minutes later I felt the coast was clear so I walked out to get the bird feeder so I could bring it into the garage. I removed the feeder from the hook that it was hanging on and looked up and I was eye-to-eye with Chester, who was only about 20 yards away. He stood on his hind legs and just stared at me, unafraid. I was a little intimidated by him, though. I think he wanted that bird block that I had just removed. I slowly moved backward toward the garage door and let him be alone. He walked around our backyard for about another five to 10 minutes and then wandered off. I stayed in the house the remainder of the evening. It was an experience I’ll never forget.

We will be sending out many reminders for the Moose Lake Festival in the weeks to come. We need lots of help. If could please ask you to go to, then hit the tab “HELP BEFORE FEST DAY” to volunteer I would appreciate it. You can sign up for setup on July 31, Aug. 1 and Aug. 2 and for takedown on Sunday, Aug. 4. To volunteer for the day of the fest, Aug. 3, hit the tab “HELP ON FEST DAY.” It’s easy to sign up. We encourage everyone to volunteer. 

If you live in the Town of Hunter, we can use your help, too. The Round Lake Fire Department contracts fire protection to the Town of Hunter. This means the Round Lake Fire Department is your fire department, too. We serve the towns of Hunter and Round Lake equally with the initial response. If you have any questions, please call Lou Grayson at (715) 462-9538. As always, we need lots of people to help in many areas in order to have a successful and fun Moose Lake Festival.

Donations for the Moose Lake Festival’s White Elephant Sale may be dropped off at the Town of Round Lake Recycling Center on County Road A on Wednesdays and Saturdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon, beginning on June 8. Please do not leave items when the facility is closed. See last week’s column for items that are accepted.

The fish are very active so try to get out and enjoy our wonderful weather. People have been catching walleyes and panfish and a few muskies here and there, but I have received no reports of any real large fish being caught.

Happy birthday to Bill Nielson on June 19 this week, and happy anniversary to Ed and Eileen McKinney on June 14.

Have a great week and stay safe.

Jim Onarheim can be reached at (715) 462-4448 or

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