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WOODS ‘N’ WATER: An increasingly unbearable situation

WOODS ‘N’ WATER: An increasingly unbearable situation


OK, Connecticut legislators, it’s time to stand up and be counted.

What are you waiting for? Someone to be killed by a black bear?

The time has come for action to be taken on the overpopulation of black bears in our state. Asking them to try animal birth control isn’t going to cut it.

Recently, someone’s pet dog was killed by a black bear and there have been confirmed cases of other animals being killed by black bears here in Connecticut. Yet animal activists urge legislators to vote against any type of bear hunting in Connecticut that will help the DEEP Wildlife Division control black bear numbers that are getting out of control.

Who will volunteer to be the first victim here in Connecticut killed by a black bear? I’ve asked this question a couple of times in earlier columns and have yet to hear from any takers.

Animal activists say that allowing a bear hunt to lessen their numbers would not be humane. I guess that some of those animated cartoons and phony movies regarding talking animals has really got to them. Do they think for one moment that it would be humane for a human life to be taken by a black bear?

I know that I don’t. Do you?

How about if we make everyone who lives in the suburbs move into the cities? Then we can leave the suburbs in which many of these activists live to the bears and any other overpopulation of wildlife that can happen without controlled hunting. 

Of course it is absurd, just like their anti-hunting chants!

And when the first human fatality does come — and if there are too many bears, it will happen — who is going to foot the bill for any lawsuits that might come from such an instance? Someone has to take responsibility for not allowing the DEEP Wildlife Division do its job, and that includes controlling Connecticut wildlife numbers.

Are any of those Connecticut legislators who listen to the animal activists willing to take the blame? Or should it fall on the activists themselves?

Believe it or not, we have some black bears right here in Meriden. Also in Southington, Cheshire, Middlefield and Wallingford. The DEEP lists hundreds of black bear sightings and the numbers increase every year. Yet when they try to get a bill passed in our Connecticut legislature, the debate goes on and on and on and then is not passed.

While I am not an animal activist, I think I can safely say that no one gets any more of a thrill out of a wildlife sighting, including black bear, more than I do. Yet I am also a hunter and understand the need for controlled hunts to keep the wildlife population in tune with the habitat as well as the human population.

It would be one thing if wild critters did stay in certain areas without moving into the suburbs and even the cities in their search for food and whatever. You can see them on TV trying to enter buildings, and this is unacceptable. One day the wrong adult or child is going to be in the way of the black bear and the end results are going to be tragic.

And legislators, for the record: Black bears DO attack, kill and even eat human beings. No, it is not an everyday occurrence, but it does happen. In a column last year, I mentioned that 25 fatal black bear attacks occurred in North America between 1997 and 2017.

The youngest was  5-month-old Ester Schwimerer, who was knocked from her stroller August 19, 2002 in Fallsburg, N.Y. The stroller was near the porch of the family’s vacation home. The bear carried the infant in its mouth to the woods. She died of neck and head injuries.

When a black bear goes bad, the age of the victim does not matter.

On June 27, 2007 in United National Forest, Utah, 11-year-old Evan Ives was grabbed from a family tent in American Canyon and mauled. State wildlife officials killed the bear, which had entered the campsite the night before.

The Ives family sued the U.S. Forest Service because there was no warning of the bear’s presence. A judge awarded the family $1.95 million.

Is our state legislature ready to award a bear/human tragedy because it listened to animal activists and their supporters and allowed the Connecticut black bear population to increase without any control? It sure looks that way.

In September 2014, 22-year old Darsh Patel was the first black bear fatality in New Jersey. He was hiking with four friends. They came upon a couple who warned them about a bear they had seen and suggested they turn away. He did not.

Lana Hollingworth, 61, was mauled by a 250-pound black bear in Pine-Top Lakeside, Ariz. while walking her dog at a country club. Nearly a month later, after 11 surgeries, she died from a massive brain hemorrhage, which doctors attributed to the attack.

Here in Connecticut, we have been very fortunate that we have not had a bear/human incident yet. We know that their numbers are increasing as are the sightings.

I watched one sighting on TV and was aghast that the news reporters asked for public opinion on the possibility of a bear hunting season. That would be the LAST thing we need in wildlife management in Connecticut. We have a very capable DEEP Wildlife Division. Legislators, help them do their job.

To let the bear numbers continue to increase without any kind of control will eventually lead to a tragedy that they will regret. Act now before it is to late!

St. Jude shoot

The New Haven Raccoon Club will host its annual 3-D Archery St. Jude Shoot this Sunday, June 9, from 6 a.m. to noon at its club on Route 17 in Durham. Food will be available and all proceeds will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

That’s it, gang, gotta run. See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops wherever they may be serving our great country.