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Bear Hunting Lottery Bill Moves Forward

by Christine Stuart | Mar 27, 2013 5:01pm
(9) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Environment

The last time black bears were legally hunted in Connecticut was 1840, when the species was hunted so extensively that they nearly disappeared from southern New England. But a lot has changed over the last 173 years and the bears are back. The Environment Committee on Wednesday approved legislation that requires the state to investigate whether it’s a good idea to offer limited black bear hunting through a lottery.

Opinions on the issue were mixed. Some lawmakers on the Environment Committee felt it was just another way to raise money for state parks at the expense of black bears.

“We annihilated the bear population awhile back and now they’re showing up here and there,” Rep. Diana Urban, D-North Stonington, said.

But she said if you ask the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection how many bears there are in the state, they will tell you there are between 500 and 1,000.

“Now, for a data person that’s just not a good enough number,” Urban said.

Rep. Craig Miner, R-Litchfield, said the bill is meant to help the agency through some tough budget cycles.

“Requiring the agency to establish a lottery is not in my view an effort to begin a bear hunting season. It’s an attempt to put in place all the logical processes that would permit the state to generate revenue from what is a state asset,” Miner said.

He said the plan is not unusual. He recalled that the lottery for moose hunting in Maine generates almost $1 million a year before they even sell a license.

Rep. Robert Megna, D-New Haven, said he believes the DEEP has the ability to establish a hunting season already. It’s his belief that the DEEP is just looking for political cover so when the public learns about the lottery, the DEEP can blame the legislature.

Miner said the legislation is necessary because it gives the agency permission to charge a fee for a lottery. Currently, no such lottery provision exists.

The bill passed the committee 16-8.

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(9) Comments

posted by: OutBackJack312 | March 27, 2013  9:42pm

How about allowing hunting on Sunday first?  I share the woods Mon-Sat.  What is one more day?

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | March 28, 2013  7:35am

“An act to authorize an open season of Removal of politicians without the fortitude to stop the silliness and get on with the job of improving the economy and balancing the budget.”

Bag limit: 2 per day, special permit required for 3 additional windbags on committee days.


posted by: BrianO | March 28, 2013  9:51am

Bring the bears to the LOB and let them loose.

posted by: Fedretiree | March 28, 2013  12:10pm

Bears should only be shot for dangerous behavior. Too many alcohol enabled hunters shoot too close to homes.

posted by: Fedretiree | March 28, 2013  12:15pm

This proposal is a threat to black labrador retrievers. English black labs are husky. We had nicknamed ours “bear” since she was husky and her face looked so much like a bear - unlike the American Labs

posted by: ASTANVET | March 28, 2013  12:41pm

FedRetiree - I am a hunter, and know MANY hunters… and no, none of them drink prior to hunting, or when using a firearm.  They only hunt in permitted areas - so please stop spreading inflamatory statements that are not factual.  This isn’t duck dynasty, or a movie.

posted by: Fedretiree | March 28, 2013  3:26pm

A state trooper in MA while hunting shot a woman walking 2 dogs. Also in MA someone discharged at a deer in a cul-de-sac between 2 houses. And upstate NY has problems with drunk hunters too- should be a law against drinking ANY amount of alcohol while hunting. Besides when I took a CT hunting course years ago, you are supposed to positively ID your target.

posted by: Salmo | April 4, 2013  5:51pm

What are you going to hunt them with? Slingshots? Thanks to the Legislature that is about all you can legally use.

posted by: Salmo | April 4, 2013  5:53pm

Hey, Fedretiree. Keep your dog at home and leashed and you won’t have to worry about it.