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jaybe's picture
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Black Bear Problems in Vermont

It seems that there are a lot of black bears in Vermont - maybe too many - and they are beginning to cause problems.

There are an estimated 3,800 to 4,500 black bears in theGreen Mountain State.

For more information, see  http://www.scenesofvermont.com/blackbears.html

 

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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I can't think it's that much

I can't think it's that much of an issue yet.

I have hunted for 25 years in Vermont, and never seen a bear.  I have hunted all over, and done other outdoor activities that take me into the woods, and have yet to see them.

I can see where they may be a problem in certain areas, maybe around orchards or other readily available food sources, but that would only be in lean years.

Other than that, Vrmont has great natural food sources for bears.

As for sighting and hunting them, a majority of the bears taken are incidental to deer hunting.  The season overlaps a bit, and everyone who buys a hunting license gets one deer and one bear tag.  Therefore, if you happen to be sitting in a deer stand, and a bear walks by, you shoot it.  That's how most are harvested.

Good website though.

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Washington State

If I remember correctly, Washington state has the second largest black bear population in the US, second only to Alaska.  Our bear population is estimated between 25,000 and 30,000.  They roam throughout the entire state, both on the wet western side and the dry eastern side.  I have spent thousands of hours in the field hunting and have bumbled into about a dozen.  Unfortunately, only a couple of them were when I was bear hunting.

Most damage caused by bear in this state is on the west side and is done to trees.  Weyerhauser Timber Corporation actually hires "professional killers" to go out and thin the bear population in some of their new-growth areas.  They do this with the blessing of the fish and wildlife department.  I have often wondered how I could become one of those "professionals".  Other than this tree damage, I have heard of very little damage caused by our large bear population.

With that said, I was on an archery elk hunt one day and as I was sneaking up this trail, I came face to face with a pair of twin cubs.  I looked for Mama and didn't see her..... I quietly said, "Oh Sh.."!  I began backing up slowly and quietly with an arrow nocked.  Here she came!  I was between her and her cubs and she was not too fond of that idea.  She charged to within 20 yards and stopped.  She reared up on her hind legs, grunted and came back down.  I kept walking backwards, holding my bow at ready.  (a lot of good that was going to do)  She charged again and came to within 20 feet before stopping.  Meanwhile, her cubs were up a tree.  She grunted, I held my breath, she turned and went to her cubs and with legs trembling, I retreated.  I don't know if it was the fact that she felt safe with her cubs up a tree or if she didn't like the "all-of-a-sudden nasty smell from my britches", but she left me alone.  It took me a couple of hours to calm down.

With the number of hours that humans put into the field and the number of bears in the woods, it's amazing we don't have more conflict between the two.  The number of deaths caused by black bears in the US is incredibly low. 

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I myself in my travels have

I myself in my travels have seen 5 bears crossing the roads and while deer hunting in Vermont. I hear all the time of peoples garbage having been gotten into by a bear, I even seen a bear taken where they've never been before here in Orwell, Vt while feeding off someones bird feeder. I guess it could become a bear problem if not held in check. I wont take another bear myself as I dont care for the meat but all bear hunters are welcomet to thin em out a little

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