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Man kills black bear with combine in S.E. Minnesota

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region Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Enterprise
(218) 732-8757 customer support
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

When Tom Wightman felt a bump while harvesting corn Saturday afternoon, he knew he had hit something big.

He just didn't expect to find what he did: a 320-pound black bear.

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"That's the first time that's happened. I can tell you that," he said.

Wightman drove a combine over and killed the black bear Saturday afternoon in Hay Creek Township, south of Red Wing in Minnesota's southeast corner.

The Hader Farms employee reported driving the bear off a neighboring field earlier in the day.

"I think he was hunkering down," Wightman said.

Bear-related incidents are uncommon in an area of the state with a low bear population, according to Tyler Quandt, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer who responded to the scene on Saturday.

"To have one hit by a combine is especially unusual," he said.

Quandt said bears have been known to hibernate in cornfields and that similar incidents have occurred in other areas of the state.

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