FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) – It’s the time of year when bears come out of hibernation and there have already been many encounters across the state. So, should people in Connecticut be allowed to hunt and kill these animals?
There’s a controversial proposal that’s come up before. There have been more bear sightings across Connecticut, including in Farmington. There is a bill being discussed in the House that would allow farmers to acquire a permit to shoot nuisance bears.
March is bringing out bears in Connecticut, as they emerge from hibernation, hungrier. A New Milford farm owner shared a Ring video of his two pigs fighting off a bear after it jumped into the pen.
Bears have also been a problem for beekeepers. Ted Jones, owner of Jones Apiaries in Farmington, has seen the destruction bears have caused.
When asked if Jones would shoot a bear, he said, “If I was having a problem, yeah. If they were to crash the fences, I’d have to do something,” he said.
Jones is in support of Senate Bill 244, which would allow gun permits to be issued for the purpose of removing wildlife on land where farmers have crops, livestock, poultry, or bees. Wildlife advocates worry this is a backdoor way of allowing bear hunting in the state.
“There are ways to minimize conflict. Nowhere in the bill does the state ask farmers, livestock producers, and beekeepers to do anything to prevent unwanted interactions,” said Scott Smith, Communications DIrector for Friends of Animals.