GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The DNR is reminding Michiganders to look out for black bear dens this fall and winter. They are asking for residents to keep their eyes open for dens to help support bear management programs.

The DNR said that bears typically enter their dens in November and December, depending on their location in Michigan. Bear dens could look like brush piles covered in snow or dug-up holes in the ground with an opening to vent fresh air.

“Finding winter den locations is an important component to managing black bear populations, and we need hunter, trapper and landowner assistance to add new den sites to the program in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula,” Mark Boersen, wildlife biologist at the DNR Roscommon Customer Service Center, said in a press release.

The DNR checking out a black bear. (DNR courtesy photo)

If you find a den, the DNR says to stay far enough away to not bother it or the bears inside. They are asking the public to record the location using GPS coordinates if possible.

Bears that are picked for the program are sedated and given a collar and ear tags. After biologists collect a bear’s information and perform a short procedure it is returned to its den.

If you find a den in the northern lower peninsula contact Mark Boersen at 989.275.5151 or If you find a den in the upper peninsula contact Cody Norton at 906.202.3023 or