Officials Confirm Bear Was Taken Legally

Colorado Division Of Wildlife, Bear Hunting Magazine

The Colorado Division of Wildlife have confirmed that a black bear was legally taken by a hunter on United States Forest Service lands near Telluride, Colorado on Thursday, September 3, 2009.

"The licensed hunter was able to harvest a 577-pound male bruin on the USFS-owned Wedge adjacent to Tellurides Valley Floor," said CDOW District Wildlife Manager Mark Caddy.

The bear matched the description of one seen frequenting an apartment complex in the area in search of food discarded into lidless trash dumpsters. Describing the bear as a sitting duck, a Mountain Village resident contacted a local newspaper concerned that the hunter had studied and learned the bears habits and that the bear had been hunted in an unfair and unsportsmanlike manner.

"The hunter, it was learned, had spent three years learning the layout and boundaries of the Wedge while waiting to draw a bear tag," Caddy said.

"He had been working at this," said Caddy, who described the hunter as very diligent in ascertaining how to hunt on the Wedge both legally and safely. The bears age is estimated at 19-25 years; splits in the ears where tags once were attached suggest it had been previously trapped and relocated.

"The bigger concern now is the security of the garbage containers in this area. It certainly is an issue around here," said Mountain Village Town Manager Greg Sparks of bear activity in the town. "We have had a number of problems this summer."

The towns vehicle maintenance staff is in the process of replacing the wooden garbage-shed doors with metal doors employing bear-resistant closures.

"Additionally, the town will continue to apply bleach around certain trash containers, such as those located on trails, which Sparks said has proven helpful in deterring bears. Along with this, efforts will be made to step up public education and to enforce the towns bear-proof container law," he said.

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