Not a Treasure Hunt: Michigan Stashes 900 Pounds of Bacon in the Woods

When paired with doughnuts, it makes a tasty snack for black bears.

By Ethan L. Johns
May 15, 2018

Image: RobertoDavid/Getty Images

If you were to give 900 pounds of bacon to the Genius Kitchen team, we would put that bacon to very good use (hey butchers, please send us bacon). If you give the Michigan Department of Natural Resources 900 pounds of bacon, they will take that bacon and leave it in the woods.

Not only is the Michigan DNR actually leaving 900 pounds of bacon in the woods, as Munchies pointed out, the agency is throwing doughnuts into the mix. Why? Well, for the bears, of course!

In an effort to track the black bear population in the northern Lower Peninsula, the DNR is conducting a salty-sweet survey. Using doughnuts and 900 pounds of bacon as lures, it is setting up barbed snares in the woods, which catch the furry coats of hungry black bears. The agency will then perform DNA analysis on the left-behind hairs to track the individual mammals, and get a rough count of the total number living in Northern Michigan.

Of course, that near-half-ton of bacon is not all piled up into one big treasure trove of cured pork. It will be divided up into 257 snare-equipped locations.

The 900 pounds of bacon were sold to the DNR for “a great price” by Ebel’s General Store in Falmouth, and the doughnuts were furnished by the Cops & Doughnuts chain of coffee shops, according to the MLive Media Group.

Black bears normally live on a diet of grasses, berries and insects, but will also chow down on fish and smaller mammals. National Geographic describes them as “opportunistic eaters,” so when faced with a half-ton of free bacon, a black bear would undoubtedly go ham.

So if you are a Michigan black bear, there’s a salty-sweet treat coming your way (we’re not sure how you got your paws on a computer, but OK, we guess). If you are not a Michigan black bear, your best course of action is to not eat any mystery bacon and doughnuts found in the forest. As tempted as you may be.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns