The solution is hunting | AspenTimes.com

The solution is hunting

Dear Editor:Yes, we are in a dry year and bears are out of food in the high country. But we’ve had dry years before, why is the bear issue such a problem today?I have lived in Colorado all of my life and I’ve been around bears in the mountains, but I’ve never seen this many bears in town before; the real issue here is the Division of Wildlife bear management.The DOW needs to issue more bear tags and bring back the spring and baiting hunts to reduce the over all numbers. The number of bears continues to increase in the West. Because bears are very territorial combined with urban sprawl, we now have more bears in our backyards!With more bears that are desperate for food, they are losing their fear of humans to get something to eat. If the bears were managed properly, and not by public vote, there would be enough food for them to stay up high.A guy in Aspen gets arrested for baiting a bear. Bears are not stupid; it used to be legal only a few years ago to bait a bear in Colorado. That was about the only way you could get one close enough to shoot after he tore up your livestock camp for years on end.And so the guy does not have the meat from his bear processed. Have you ever tasted bear? It’s putrid. The only thing, in my opinion, that enjoys eating bear is another bear. The meat is considered inedible and will not be accepted by any charity. So you can’t even give it away. My question is this, what did the DOW do with the meat from the seven bears that they shot in Pitkin County alone? Did they have it processed? Or was it dumped in the nearest landfill? If so, why does the DOW get away with breaking their own laws and then arrest anyone else that does the same? And what about the hides? Where are they?My point here is, yes, we do have a bear problem, and the bears need to be managed just like any other wildlife. The numbers need to be taken down to fit the lands they roam in. We all want bears, but we don’t want them in our backyards.The DOW needs to stop pointing fingers at others and get busy and make a plan to manage the over population of bears; this problem is not going to go away even in a good year.Barb HillParachute

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