City | 8:45 pm | January 10, 2012 | By Jack Linshi

Connecticut may allow bear hunting lottery

Black bears sightings have increased in central Connecticut.
Black bears sightings have increased in central Connecticut. Photo by Jack Linshi.

The state of Connecticut is not afraid to allow residents to go on a bear hunt.

With nearly 3,000 bear sightings in the past year, the state of Connecticut is deciding whether to implement a hunting lottery, used in states such as Maine, the Hartford Courant reported Tuesday. The proposal for the lottery, which is being reviewed this week, would allow hunters to pay a fee to enter a lottery for a permit to kill a bear. It aims to reduce the number of bears and profit the state.

The proposal faces opposition from animal rights activists. Its opponents claim a hunting lottery would make Connecticut devolve into a “wild west.”

“It’s definitely a bloody way to make money,” said Nancy Rice, the outreach coordinator for Darien-based Friends of Animals. A more effective route, activists say, would be to eliminate open food sources that attract bears.

Bears have spread south into Connecticut, leading to an increase in sightings. The current bear population, somewhere between 500 and 1000, is expected to double every five to seven years. We can only hope the bears don’t make it down to East Rock, for then where would we picnic?

Comments