Lack Of Spring Bear Hunt Not A Factor In Invasions

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Wildlife officials say the lack of a spring bear hunt is not a factor in the seeming invasion of every nook and cranny of the state by bears.

They say it is a shortage of natural food, caused by drought and late frost killing berry crops.

Bears need 20,000 calories daily at this time of year to prepare for hibernation and a shortage of berries caused by drought and late frosts is sending them into urban areas in larger than normal numbers.

Total bear deaths in Colorado were virtually the same in the five years (1988-1992) that preceded the elimination of the spring bear hunt and the first five years without a spring hunt (1993-1997).

Bears are put down if they are caught in urban areas twice.

Jerry Apker of the Colorado Division Wildlife says bears can handle catastrophic years like this one once or twice each decade.

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