Comments from Recent Participants
"The field courses have changed my life. It will change yours too on how you see bears. Bears are one of the most amazing, and misunderstood animals in the animal world. Knowing the true meaning of their body language can help save bears. This course helps you to learn the truth about black bears."
Kristina - Michigan 2023
"After many years of admiring Dr. Lynn Rogers and the NABC from my computer in Ohio. I was finally able to attend the July 3rd, 2023, Bear Study Course at the WRI. It was a remarkable experience. Well worth the cost and effort to get there.
On arrival at the WRI I was thrilled to meet Dr. Rogers. For me it was like being in the presence of Royalty. I recognized his voice at once from hearing him on the NABC activities cam. Each day of the course was a new learning experience. There seemed no end to the wildlife knowledge shared by Dr. Rogers and the staff. I especially liked the mealtime and evening gatherings. Of course, the ultimate thrill for me was hand feeding a 325-pound wild black bear. Visiting the dens in the woods and along the shoreline from the pontoon boat was great. Seeing the area wildlife was also exciting. I saw many bears, deer, raccoon, eagles, ducks, loons, chipmunks, squirrels, grouse, and even a large grey wolf."
Howard - Ohio 2023
"Such a life-changing experience to learn firsthand from expert bear biologist Dr. Rogers, and closely coexist with and observe wild black bears. I have never felt such peace - like I was coming home to Nature’s truth! This extraordinary experience has changed me at such a deep level. Bears are such gentle, sentient beings. It was refreshing to let go of words and learn how to communicate from a much deeper place - observing, reading body language, and responding from an intuitive perspective. I hope more people will come to realize how precious black bears are. I can't wait to return next year!"
Elaine - North Carolina 2023
"Our experience was simply fantastic. As a naturalist/botanist by training, Laura enjoyed the wild setting of the Wildlife Research Institute cabin near a small lake with many birds and other wildlife.
It was eye opening to learn that wild black bears prefer their natural foods over diversionary feeding stations. Not only that, but the black bears in the WRI territory are still very shy and timid, even though they are “used to” people. The thrill of getting close to a wild black bear is unsurpassed!
The experts at the WRI are attuned to individual bear behaviors and it was fascinating to hear details about bears’ lives. Dr. Rogers is a wealth of knowledge, and he is a warm, caring person who I am honored to have spent time with. All the staff are wonderful, too, and Andrea’s home-cooked meals were yummy! We made some wonderful friends."
Laura and Steve - North Carolina 2023
"Wow, wow, wow, what a great time we had again in Ely MN with Dr. Rogers and the bears. This is such a unique adventure we feel very lucky to have been able to attend the Bear Course for the third year in a row. Being among wild bears in their natural environment, watching and studying their behavior is an educational experience not to be missed. My husband and I have also found some fun hiking in this area, and we went over to the North American Bear Center founded by Dr. Rogers, which is so interesting I could have stayed there all day. The staff, volunteers, and other participants were so friendly I feel that I have made some lifelong friends. If you are thinking of going, go, this is a vacation you will remember all your life!"
Marianna - Georgia 2023
"Last year I enjoyed my first Bear field study course. The experience was unbeatable, or so I thought until I did it again this year. The first time is unique by chronology. This time to my surprise it was much better. I knew approximately what I would find, what I didn't expect is that everything I learned and enjoyed last year; This was implemented by observing new behaviors among bears that I did not have the opportunity to observe last year. Unexpectedly I met many more different bears than I had met last year. Of course, the WRI team had them properly identified and they were from the vast Shadow clan.
That alternation between the bears visiting the research center caught my attention and fascinated me at the same time. It made me aware of the magnitude of the work of PHD L. Rogers along with the entire WRI team over so many years; as well as how lucky I was to be able to enjoy this unique forest area, unique in the entire world, where bears and humans simply respect each other and there is a harmonious coexistence."
Iñigo - Spain 2023
"Attending the black bear field study classes at the Wildlife Research Institute is life changing. Surreal. Mesmerizing. I have attended for seven years, and each time I go, I learn something new from observing bear behavior that at times is so comical. Bears wander into the research yard, and one has a favorite place to sit on the outside deck - his own private corner seat! It is not unusual to observe a bear late in August who is full and fat and just appears to fall asleep on the spot. Another time a mother bear brought her cubs, two of which were recklessly playing on the steps. Mom bear hauled off and swatted them as if to say "Stop!" The days spent there are full of activities including educational lectures, hikes to observe bear sign and dens in the woods, a ride on a pontoon boat, and perhaps a stop at a neighbor's yard to see if a bear is passing through. It is fun to gather around the table and share delicious meals with like-minded people - some even come from foreign countries. I hope I can attend again."
Carol - Florida 2023
"The black bear field course was better than I imagined. Learning about black bears from renowned bear expert Dr Rogers was truly a wonderful experience. Everyone was welcoming and went above & beyond to give us the very best experience (thank you Lorie, Judy, and our fantastic chef). I will never forget this experience & hope to return in the future!"
Betty Jo - North Hampshire 2023
"I've encountered black bears before in the wild, and though I had heard and then quickly confirmed for myself that Black Bears are not these ferocious beasts (rather, giant chipmunks), it was an entirely different "aha" moment to hear how Dr. Rogers discovered the language of Black Bears and fell in love with them. It was such a pleasure to spend so much time hearing his amazing stories (I feel like we must have barely scratched the surface) and enjoying his lectures in the WRI living room (with approaching bears occasionally interrupting the lectures). Also, such a treat to be surrounded by bear-loving people. It's rare to find such a loving group of humans in the outside world where outdated notions and phrases make fear the mainstream feeling towards bears. I hope more people can experience this transformative course... it is perhaps the only one that really fosters an immediate love and empathy between humans and bears, and opens your eyes to the life and plight of bears and the world they live in."
Paulina - Brazil 2023
"Being amongst bears who trust humans was a mind-blowing experience and I will never be the same. My irrational fear of bears lifelong based in misinformation of who they are; timid, fearful, private, shy and intelligent foragers has been a most enlightening experience. I have lived in Tanzania for a year as a student and always thought I would spend time with the Goodall institute. Now I will stay closer to home and get to know black bears!
Lynn Rogers & his assistants are true academics and brave explorers helping to protect a misunderstood and essential large mammal contributing to protecting our ecosystems."
Susan - Minnesota 2023