Legislators Have Several Approaches to Uptick in Connecticut Bear Population

A number of legislators have decided to take aim at bills connected to our state's rising bear population.

NBC Connecticut Investigates explored the idea of bringing back a bear hunt in a piece that aired last November.

Legislators have scheduled a hearing for one of the proposed bills, which calls for a black bear hunt in Litchfield County only, an area with one of the state’s greatest concentrations of bears.

Bear Sightings in Connecticut (Nov. 2017-Sept. 2018)


The bill would allow no more than five percent of the black bear population to be taken in a hunt.

Senator Craig Miner, (R –Litchfield), one of the bill's sponsors said, “No one wants them eliminated. We want them controlled. Right now they are out of control.”

Another bill suggests setting up a bear sanctuary. And another would empower the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to manage our state's bear population.

The Connecticut Director of the Humane Society of the United States told NBC Connecticut Investigates, “Trophy hunting of bears is not appropriate in Connecticut.

University of Connecticut researcher Dr. Tracy Rittenhouse explains what her study revealed about where bears live in Connecticut. 

The HSUS says the public needs to be better educated about removing things that attract bears, like bird feeders and garbage, and keeping dogs on a leash.

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