Not Putting out Feed 7/26/2017
We have stopped feeding for a couple of reasons. The first is because in the spring of 2016 a female bear came through with 4 cubs, that's 6 bear, when the male is included. An occasional bear passing through is one thing, but the bear population is growing in our area and are now being seen in town, so there are more than just a few out there. We don't want any bear visiting on a regular basis. The best way to not attract bear is to not feed, so we stopped feeding.
The second was because we decided to allow the animals that have been visiting to disperse while it is summer with plenty of fruits and nuts ripening and a variety of food can be found. We don't want for an example, 13 raccoon, 35 turkey, 20 deer, 50 pigeons out there this fall.
We could add one more reason that we have considered, but didn't really realize until we did stop feeding. For the last 9 or so years we have planed our day around the 2:00-3:00 pm feeding time, so we took down the feed bucket at the website. We understand that people enjoy watching, this is why we have decided to continue streaming the cams live even though we are not feeding, so that we & others can watch if they wish to see what may wander through.
Update: 8/29/2017 We will continue with our plan to not feed the animals as there is now a ban on feeding deer. We also removed the water pond. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/cwd/feedban.html