Here we go again. What are we going to do with the increasing number of black bears in Connecticut?
It all depends on who you talk to: those against black bear control or those for some kind of population control, such as a limited black bear hunting season.
Make no mistake about it, we do have an overpopulation of black bears here in Connecticut and it is growing on a yearly basis.
And for those who oppose any kind of population control for black bears, let’s not forget the incident involving a black bear attacking a child in the Morris area and trying to drag the child into the woods.
Yes, I do know that one such incident does not mean that all black bears will act like that. But as the black bear population increases — and you know it will — will it also up the odds for more human/black bear conflicts?
So far, there have been a number of reports of black bears breaking into homes and going after any kind of food that might be available.
And in this day and age, with just about everyone having some kind of cell phone that also takes photos and videos, many of the videos are being sent into TV newscasters to show the public how “cute and harmless” they are while being filmed.
There are some animal activists who claim that hunting them is barbaric and not a proper solution to the black bear problem here in Connecticut.
There are some animal activists who feel that making it against the law to feed wild critters like black bears should be against the law.
They seem to think that the bear population can be regulated by the availability of food, that the bears are “self-regulating” and will not populate more than their food source allows.
If only this were true.
Does this mean that the Connecticut black bear population will practice birth control? If you believe that one, I have some oceanside property in Arizona I’d like to sell you.
The biggest problem with the black bear population is that the bears have been made to look like man’s best friend through cartoons and various movies.
I hate to be repetitious, but do those responsible (our legislators) realize that up to 2017 there had been 25 fatal black bear attacks during the previous 20 years in North America? We are talking about human beings dying and some of them even being consumed after an attack.
We are told that the best defense is to make black bears scared of us. The best way to accomplish that is to have a hunting season for them.
Of course, here in Connecticut, that is easier said than done. For a number of years now, both hunters, farmers and livestock owners have been after the state to come up with some kind of hunting season that will reduce the black bear numbers and also make them more wary of any kind of human contact.
One has to wonder what effect limiting the black bear food supply will have besides the theory of the animal rightists that it will help keep their numbers down. Are they talking starvation? How silly of me. Of course, they aren’t.
But then this brings up the question: If there is no natural food for them to eat, will they then turn to other sources. like breaking into more homes and maybe even putting family pets and even humans on their menu?
Yes, I know that hunting is not for everyone, but if this is the most viable means of controlling a burgeoning black bear population, then why not use it? I’m not talking about a full-fledged black bear season, but allowing hunting black bears in areas where they are becoming a threat to the human population.
As for the nay-sayers out there who are totally against any type of animal control and “letting nature take its course,” please keep in mind the fact that under the wrong circumstances the black bear can be a deadly threat to the human population, and age or gender will have no bearing on the deadly results.
Yes, I do know that there are a limited number of black bear/human incidents, but there should not be any! The following are a couple of morbid incidents that have been recorded.
In 2009, in Ouray, Colorado, 74-year-old Donna Munson had been feeding bears for a decade and was repeatedly warned by wildlife officials. After a bear was injured in a fight with an older and bigger bear, Munson left food out to help the injured bear. The older bear came back to Munson’s property, forced its way past a wire fence and mauled Munson.
Later, wildlife officials killed two bears on Munson’s property. One of the bears had a necropsy which revealed evidence that it consumed Munson — and, YES, that means eaten!
Regarding the age of the victims, 5-month-old Ester Schwimmer was killed in 2002 in Fallsburg, N.Y. when a black bear knocked her from her stroller, which was near the porch of her family’s vacation home. The bear carried the infant in its mouth to the woods. The child died of neck and head injuries.
Of the list of the 26 fatalities from black bear attacks, some were consumed, while others were simply killed. One of them broke into an elderly lady’s home and killed her.
Our legislators should know that even one fatality from a black bear attack here in Connecticut would be one too many. And if they do not give the DEEP Wildlife Division the proper authority to take whatever measures they deem necessary to keep the black bear population here in Connecticut in check, then they should share the responsibility of any black bear/human incident that takes place.
The Meriden Lions Club’s annual Palm Sunday Brunch is this Sunday, April 2 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Platt High School cafeteria.
The 14th annual Hunter’s Game Dinner is next Saturday, April 8. Contact LMcLeish@huntersamb.com (203-514-5107) or email@example.com (203-514-5115).
See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops, police, firefighters and first responders wherever they may be serving this great country of ours.