25 “problem” bears have been killed this year, but to little apparent effect-

Colorado wildlife experts get aggressive going after smart bears
Aggressive tactics weighed to control nuisance bruins
By Bruce Finley
The Denver Post

Bear tags have also been increased by 75%. This, however, seems to target bears that are not nuisances. Time to try something new.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

9 Responses to Colorado wildlife experts get aggressive going after smart bears

  1. JW says:

    Shoot first, ask questions later. What a good lesson to teach our children….

  2. Jason Rasco says:

    I agree, why is killing animals always seem to be the answer?

  3. chris says:

    Problem bears are created by problem people. Both state biologists quoted in the article refreshingly stressed that hunting doesn’t target the problem bears and the real solution is requiring people to lock up their garbage.

  4. Save bears says:

    If they would get out of this “Slap on the Hand” mentality and take a serious approach to people who feed bears on purpose or by negligence and ticket/fine them, they won’t be able to improve the situation, until such time as they do, the act of allowing wildlife to get food is going to continue to happen, there is not going to be an improvement and they will continue to use the “Scorched Earth” policies on wildlife!

  5. Towns in Canadian Parks like Waterton require everyone to use the community bear-proof dumpsters. The dumpsters are distibuted in many locations so that everyone has access to one them within a short walk from their homes. Using similar bear-proof dumpsters in all areas where there are bears would solve a lot of these problems.

  6. jimbob says:

    I find it hard to believe that wildlife professionals would think an increase in bear tags would reduce conflicts with people. Holy crap! I’d say that is an unscientific Knee-jerk political response by bureaucrats.

  7. Emily says:

    It seems like there are some common sense, pro-active solutions to keep bears from becoming habituated in the first place. Like Larry says, How about some bear-proof dumpsters? Or putting other deterrent methods in place to make eating garbage an unpleasant experience for bears (ie. hazing them with Karelian bear dogs and rubber bullets)? Killing them is neither a humane nor sustainable solution. We need to learn how to coexist!

  8. dave smith says:

    Let bears get into garbage and other food sources, and you’ve got a situation similar the Yellowstone Park’s garbage fed bears of the 50s and 60s. Take away the garbage at dump A/home A, and the bears will look for garbage in dump B/home B.

    You need to be pro-active and make sure you’ve never got problem people feeding bears to begin with. Once bears are addicted to garbage and human food, it’s incredibly expensive and often impossible to break them of the habit.

  9. Sabrina says:

    Emily, it isn’t that easy. Money, money, money. It all cost so much money, there are people who run all of the decisions and they all want exorbitant amounts of money in return, there are tests, there are garbage trucks that have to be refitted with mechanisms to these special dumpsters, there’s the fact that you have to friggen jump through hoops and spend a ton of money in order to buy one 50 gallon curbside garbage can that you have to buy special order! No home depot. As a matter of fact, I called a Home Depot in Montana and asked them what they tell a customer when they come in looking for bear proof cans. You know what she said? She said, “you can come in and buy our Rubbermaid 55 gallon, drill some holes in it, buy a lock and just lock it up.” I said, “really, and that will deter the bears?” She said, “that’s right ma’am, that’ll keep em outta yer garbage.” She was dead serious. This is a city that is surrounded by bear habitat. I don’t even want to KNOW how many homes have rigged garbage cans like that. That’s what they are being told to do, you can’t really blame them. Lowes and Home Depot should be educated about “bear matters”.
    Hazing every problem bear and chasing them around with dogs isn’t necessarily the answer either. That costs a lot of money. Dogs, people with the dogs etc…
    I agree, we need to LEARN to co-exist. People ARE working on that, it’s slow and …
    it costs money.
    Unfortunately, I could be wrong, but for some reason, it seems when it comes to educating the public all of the funding seems to disappear in midair halfway through. So the next year you have to start ALL over and then again, it disappears. Over and over.
    Money. Where is ALL the money? Where does it go?



‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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