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Colorado bears emerging from hibernation

Bears that become habituated to food from human sources can be a problem, and it's a situation that usually doesn't end well for the bear. PHOTO COURTESY COLORADO PARKS AND WILDLIFE.

Wildlife experts focus on educating residents on living with wildlife

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — With early bear sightings reported along the Front Range and in the high country, state wildlife managers are once encouraging residents to take steps to avoid unwanted close encounters with the wild animals.

“So far the reports that we’ve received have been mostly just sightings – people seeing bears,” said Cory Chick, Area Wildlife Manager for Colorado Springs. “But it’s a very good time to remind people that trash is the number one bear attractant and people can do their part by following some simple rules at home.”

The unseasonably warm weather of the past few weeks is luring the omnivores out of their dens. Bear sightings have been reported in Colorado Springs, Aspen, Durango and Summit County. Continue reading

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Colorado: Wildlife officers kill problem bear near Aspen

Wildlife officers have tracked and killed a bear that attacked two campers in the Aspen area.

Two backcountry campers injured in bear attack

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Wildlife officials successfully tracked and killed a bear in the Aspen area that had attacked and injured two campers at separate campsites this past weekend.

The bear was killed about 7 a.m. Sunday morning by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers, with the assistance of a specialist with the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program and employees of the U. S. Forest Service.

Based the location, behavior and description of the black bear given by campers involved in the incidents, wildlife officers are confident that they tracked down the bear responsible for attacking two campers while they slept in their tents at the Maroon Bells – Snowmass wilderness area. The bear bit both victims, causing minor injuries to the leg of one camper at Crater Lakes and substantial injuries to the leg of another camper in the nearby Minnehaha Gulch area. Continue reading

Colorado: Camper mauled by bear near Aspen

The U.S. Forest Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials have reported an upswing in human-bear encounters in the past few weeks.

Attack in wilderness area requires rescue response; injured camper may need surgery

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A 20-year-old camper in the Minnehaha Gulch area of the Maroon Bells –Snowmass Wilderness Area was seriously injured by a bear early Saturday morning, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
The camper was evacuated by Aspen Mountain Rescue and hospitalized. He is expected to require surgery.

The Forest Service said the exact nature of the attack is unknown at this time, but that the camper, along with his companions, had stored their food safely. Officials suspect that an empty food container may have been left in the tent and attracted the bear.

The injury was the second incident in the past 24 hours in the same general area. At 5:30 a.m. Friday, a black bear entered a campsite near Crater Lake, damaging a tent and making contact with a camper, who later reported minor injuries to the Forest Service. Continue reading

Colorado finalizes ban on hunting bears in dens

Wildlife agency also up bear licenses by 17 percent

Colorado adopts a ban on hunting bears in dens, but ups bear licenses by 17 percent. PHOTO COURTESY MICHAEL SERAPHIN, CDOW.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Colorado Wildlife Commission last week finalized regulations that ban hunting or harassment of black bears in their dens. The new regulation was prompted by an incident last year, when a hunter near Craig tracked a a large black bear to a cave, entered the cave and killed the bear.

The Craig bear killing elicited a critical public reaction, spurring wildlife managers to consider the change. The ban was first discussed at meeting in January 2011, when the commission directed staff to draft a new regulation. The regulation was reviewed in March and approved the commission last week in Salida. Continue reading

CDOW seeks input on bear management plan

 

A black bear photo from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Landowners, hunters, ranchers and hikers can help guide long-term management on the Uncompahgre Plateau

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Colorado Division of Wildlife wants input from the public to help guide long-term management of the black bear population on and around the Uncompahgre Plateau in western Colorado.

Two public meetings are scheduled: 6:30 p.m., Oct. 12, Mesa County Fairgrounds in Grand Junction; and 6:30 p.m., Oct. 13 at the Delta-Montrose Electric Association, 11925 6300 Road, in Montrose.

At the meetings, Brad Banulis, terrestrial biologist in the Montrose area for the division of wildlife, will explain how the Uncompahgre Bear Data Analysis Unit  is currently being managed. The agency wants to hear from landowners, livestock operators, hunters, homeowners and recreationists to assist in formulating a new, long-term management plan for the DAU.

If you cannot attend the meeting, but would like to provide input for the development of the new bear management plan, please send comments to Banulis at brad.banulis@state.co.us, or call him at (970) 252-6051.

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