Hunters and Animal Rights Activists Square off Over Connecticut Bear Hunt Lottery

Connecticut wildlife officials are developing plans for a bear hunt lottery that would decide who gets to kill a limited number of bears. With nearly 3,000 bear sightings in the past year, the proposal would allow hunters to pay a fee to enter a lottery for a permit to kill a bear.

Hunters say a lottery would raise money for the state and keep bears from rooting through trash cans, bird feeders and other food sources.

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Animal rights activists say hunts are not necessary if discarded food is secured by bear-proofing trash cans, installing electrical fencing around beehives and making sure bird feeders are out of reach.

According to the Hartford Courant, Connecticut officials say bear hunting and a lottery are not imminent. Bill Hyatt, chief of the wildlife division of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, says a lottery could be useful if officials eventually approve bear hunts.

The new plan comes just days after a Poquonock man was charged with negligent hunting the illegal killing of a black bear at his residence.

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