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Bear bales for the holiday

By Staff | Dec 20, 2018

The smiling, drum-playing straw-bale bear created by Mike Will and his girlfriend,Shawna Sorenson, of Paton, greets motorists traveling north on U.S. Highway 169 just south of Boxholm.



BOXHOLM – There’s a bear in a field along the highway just south of Boxholm.

No. Really.

It’s a big bear. It’s smiling and playing a drum.

Mike Will and his girlfriend, Shawna Sorenson, of Paton, created the bear that greets motorists and wishes them a Merry Christmas when they travel north on U.S. Highway 169 just south of Boxholm

Located in a field along U.S. Highway 169 and 130th Street, the round bale bear creation is the work of Mike Will and his girlfriend, Shawna Sorenson, both of Paton.

Will said he’s had the inspiration for awhile.

“I saw it in a magazine three or four years ago,” he said. “I thought it looked neat. I have all these bales I haven’t picked up yet. It might be a good time to do it.”

Round hay bales can weigh anywhere from 800 to 1,200 pounds, depending on how tightly they’re rolled and other factors. Will used a skid loader to stack up the bales for the body, feet and arms.

The head required help.

“My skid loader wouldn’t reach high enough,” he said. “Had to have a neighbor put the head up.”

Sorenson helped him guide the bales into the correct position as he was working. He said he could not have done it without her.

He’s happy with how it turned out, mostly. He said the “W” on the drum is a little crooked.

“He turned out better than I thought he would,” he said. “I’m not an artist.”

Will used some addition materials to finish the bear sculpture. Spray paint was used to decorate the bales and several large fence posts serve as drum sticks. There are also three bales set on end next to it with Merry, X and Mas written on them. He added a solar-powered light too.

The ears are smaller bales.

“Each ear is half of a bale of straw I cut in half.”

He’s up to giving it a try next year.

“I’ll think about it,” he said. “If anybody has any ideas. Maybe two baby bears. It’s been fun.”

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