Patch’s Poll: Are There More Bears In CT These Days?

The bear shooting incident in West Hartford is just the latest in a string of sighting this year.


Bear sightings are common in places like Litchfield County, which is one of the more rural areas in Connecticut.

But, so far, 2012 has had a few notable sightings in the more populated, suburban areas of this state.

Just last week, encountered a bear that reportedly attacked his dog, prompting the man to pull a gun out and fire at the bear.

A black bear earlier this month, last month, , and there were more sightings in Avon, , and so on.

The Department of Environmental and Energy Protection has the full list of reported sightings this year.

Do you think there are more bears now in Connecticut than there has been before? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

Howard July 19, 2012 at 09:53 PM
To the best of my knowledge, it is illegal to hunt bear in our lovely state. It also appears that it is highly frowned upon, if not downright illegal, to defend your life against a bear attack. Since there has not been a bear hunt in Connecticut, to my knowledge, in the last century or so, it is understandable that the population has grown unchecked as bears have no predators in this state. Add to that the encroachment on habitat by commercial and residential development and one can comprehend why there have been more sightings and interactions. My guess is that nothing will be done about the bear population until someone, a child most likely, is killed by a bear. Even then, I suspect that DEEP will do nothing unless the media attention becomes too much to endure. I am sure that, as the tree huggers scream loudly in protest, DEEP will authorize a hunt although not in a timely manner. You can rest assured that DEEP will enact a hunt meaningless in quantity, fraught with bureaucracy, and laden with excessive fees.
FDNL July 19, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Take a look http://articles.courant.com/2012-01-10/business/hc-bear-hunt-lottery-deep-20120110_1_hunting-season-hunting-license-hunters
Howard July 20, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Thank you, FDNL. My timing is off and, fortunately, nobody has died (yet). As to the rest it, I was correct. I just didn’t know it had started already (two and a half years ago). However, now the effort appears have been stalled if not terminated. http://articles.courant.com/2012-03-20/business/hc-bear-hunt-lottery--20120320_1_bears-hunt-state-wildlife-officials
Brett Vondeck July 20, 2012 at 10:55 AM
I kid you not. I saw a mountain lion crossing rt 11.I was going north near the L.Hayward exit. I knew it was a mountain lion the first second I saw it. This happened May 11 2012. I know the date because I got my CDL licence renewed.Also my brother in law lives near W Hartford center and a bear has been coming on his back deck for the last 3 yrs. Bears love birdfood.
Barbara Metzler July 21, 2012 at 04:46 PM
People need to become educated about bear proofing their property by securing their trash and about aversive conditioning to scare away any visiting bears. That will stop conflicts. A trophy hunt won’t. It is important for people to understand that the bears in this area are black bears, not grizzly bears, and 40 years of research have proven that black bears can be added to the list of animals that were once feared but are now known to be gentle and timid. Although there are no reports of a treed bear coming down and hurting anyone, such bears are often shot in the name of public safety rather than waiting for the neighborhood to calm down at night so the bear can come down and head for solitude. People are 247 times more likely to be killed by lightning and 60,000 times more likely to be murdered by another human being than to be killed by a black bear. Upon occasion, a black bear may feel threatened and begin a blustery bluff charge. However, rest assured that the bear will stop short. If people yell, stomp on the ground, wave their arms and back away slowly, the bear will make a fast retreat. Air horns, supersoaker water guns, rocks and pepper spray are also very effective tools for chasing away bears. So are pop-open umbrellas. Taking action to reinstill the bears’ natural fear of humans is called “aversive conditioning.”
Bina Robinson July 21, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I wonder if any problems that have arisen are due more to too many resource consumptive people than to too many less consumptive bears.
Barbara Metzler July 23, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Bears are not a problem. The problem is that residents don't follow guidelines designed to keep bears away. Improperly stored garbage causes increased bear sightings, increased nuisance complaints, and increased bear reproduction. Bears will eat almost anything including human food, garbage, pet food and birdseed. Bears are a self-regulating species if all the human-provided food is removed. No food ~~ No cubs. It is important for people to understand that the bears in Connecticut are black bears, not grizzly bears, and 40 years of research have proven that black bears can be added to the list of animals that were once feared but are now known to be gentle and timid. Some residents may observe black bears using yards as part of their natural travel corridors. The mere presence of a black bear should not be considered a problem. I am far more afraid of being hurt by a human than by a bear. But I would never suggest that we kill humans just to prevent them from possibly hurting someone, and we should not kill bears either.
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