The only thing I would take issue with this news piece is the suggestion that the sharp rise in bear/people encounters in the last few years is souly the fault of human encroachment.
Colorado has done away with baiting, leg holding traps, and the spring bear hunt over the last 10 years or so.
I have read that Colorado's black bear population has doubled since the early 90's to more than 15k bears in the state.
Encroachment by people may be an issue, but the dominating factor in the sharp rise in human/bear encounters is probably the sharp rise in the bear population. The mule deer population tanking in sync with the bear population rise could suggest bear predation as a factor in the mule deer herd decline.
I agree with bitmasher on the bears. Colorado hardly even has a bear season any more and with the drought and whatnot, makes for a lot of hungry, gutsy bears. There is about as many bears in the town that I live in as humans now.
Unfortunately game management by legislation or popular vote in Colorado is simply not fair. The urban, eastern slope gets to vote through game management policy that the rural, western slope has to live with.
I said it on another post, and I'll say it again. Colorado needs to implement a catch and release program. Catch the bears on the west slope and release them in Denver's residential areas. Before you know it the urbanites will be screaming for population control and the western slope will be arguing on behalf of the bear's right to scavenge.
Perhaps the argument the east slopers are using against bear control could be xpanded to other issues. After all, drug dealers have to support their families. Drive-by shootings are the natural result of too many people on the street getting in the way of recreational shooters. And shouldn't we all just be more tolerant of the child molester that just moved into the neighborhood? After all, he's just doing what's natural in his mind.
Drive-by shootings are the natural result of too many people on the street getting in the way of recreational shooters.
If your not a defense lawyer, you should have been one, your a natural!
When a confused bear does happen to wander into greater denver or a coyote gets uppity, its splattered all over the local media. TV, radio, websites, newspapers people can't get enough of the predators on the loose.
A couple years ago, I attend a public DOW meeting. The day before this regularly scheduled meeting a coyote had "menaced" a mother and her young son. The DOW had a public relations staff member on hand to answer questions about the erratic behavior of this single coyote. The general tone of the questioning about the coyote, was "what is the DOW going to do" about this threat. Coyotes meancing people is serious, but the hysteria generated by this one coyote was comical.
My point being that the general public in denver wants any predator "dealt with ASAP, lethal methods AOK" in the relatively rare cases where one just happens to be wandering around, but yet turns around and tells the western slope "no trapping, no spring bear hunt, no baiting", even though human/predator encounters are far more frequent.
Most of the time we are preaching to the choir on this site. Most all of us would like to see spring seasons and baiting restored to states that have had it taken away. I'm fortunate to live in Idaho where we are still allowed to do both. I'm wondering what efforts if any have gone in to getting these seasons restored in Colorado and other states that have problems with bears and other predators.
I can attest personally to the power of a bear as a predator. This last spring while watching by bait, I saw and filmed a bear trotting through the brush with a fresh hind quarter of a mule deer (full grown). Bears, like coyotes and lions and wolves don't neccessarily prey only on the young and weak.
Out here in Colorado, and in the units that I haunt, it is a tricky game to figure out how far to pack in on a rifle hunt. You want to get away from the masses that have moved game away from the roads but might want to stay close enough that you are taking advantage of the animals forced movements. There is no universal distance but I like the 1.5 to 4 mile range for day hunts where I am not planning on bivying out. This keeps you in that productive buffer zone where the animals are really...