Bear Hunting May Come to Connecticut

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In 1840 hunting for black bears ended in Connecticut. The habitat bears prefer was cleared in order to make way for farms and residences. Bears would not be seen in the state again until the 1980s when they ventured down from northern states into Connecticut. The rapidly expanding bear population, has caused an increase in complaints and damage to property and livestock. The growing population has wildlife officials considering a black bear hunt.

On Wednesday, state conservation police charged John G. Rocha, 82, of Poquonock Avenue in Windsor, after a 250-pound female black bear was shot and killed with a .30-caliber rifle near Rocha's house. The bear was 5 or 6 years old and was traveling with a year-old cub. Rocha is charged with fourth-degree negligent hunting. Rocha had shot the bear for destroying his bird feeders. Bird feeding is a popular pasttime in Connecticut. The DEEP recommends puting away bird feeders during the spring when bears come out of hibernation but there is no rule against it. Bears foraging often feed on bird feeders. Wednesday's case was not the first time a bear was killed after foraging from a bird feeder in someone's yard.

Bear sightings have grown substantially, and one way to help manage the population is to have a controlled bear hunt, along with educating the public. From