Bears

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New Hampshire is one of 13 states that allows baiting to hunt bears. But last fall four bears died suddenly in the town of Stark after eating chocolate at a bait site, and now the Fish and Game Commission is considering banning the use of chocolate as bear bait.

Michael Webber via Flickr CC

 

The public is getting a chance to weigh in on proposed charges to bear and moose hunting in New Hampshire, including banning the use of chocolate as bait for bears after four bears were found dead last fall due to a chocolate overdose.

The Fish and Game Department is holding a public hearing Wednesday night in Concord to discuss the proposals. Necropsy and toxicology reports confirmed the bears died of heart failure caused by theobromine, a toxic ingredient in chocolate.

Michael Webber via Flickr CC

  New Hampshire Fish and Game laid out a proposal Wednesday that would ban the use of chocolate to bait bears. This follows four confirmed bear deaths. Officials say the animals overdose on the theobromine in the sweets.

Those against the measure say limiting chocolate would be a better alternative to banning it.

The Fish and Game Commission voted to move the proposal forward. The public will have a chance to submit their concerns.

Here at Something Wild, we’ve been thinking a lot about winter and the different strategies animals use to get through these cold, harsh months. There are quite a few techniques to survive winter if you don’t live in a toasty house with central heating or a roaring wood stove.

The top 5 are:

Michael Webber via Flickr CC

Supporters of a referendum to ban the use of bait, hounds and traps in Maine's annual bear hunt began canvassing neighborhoods in Portland over the weekend. Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting say they don't oppose hunting in general, just the use of what they consider cruel and inhumane practices. They plan to contact tens of thousands of voters across the state over the next few weeks to make their case. Opponents are also gearing up.  And both sides are feeling confident as the election draws closer.

Michael Webber via Flickr CC

State Fish and Game officials say they’ve seen more bears put down this year than usual.

They’re asking homeowners to take precautions to avoid drawing them out.

New Hampshire Fish and Game Bear Biologist Andy Timmins says in a typical year, the department and homeowners combine to kill roughly 15 bears because of so-called nuisance conflicts.

He says this year, they’re already past that.

Michael Webber via Flickr CC

The number of encounters with bears in the White Mountain National Forest is on the rise early this season, prompting rangers to issue early warnings and step up enforcement of safety rules.

Colleen Mainville, a spokeswoman for the national forest, says the black bears are getting bold. One tried to enter a tent while another was searching the back of pickup trucks for food. There are an estimated 4,800 to 5,000 bears in the state.

Most people will never see a bear but when the critters find food, they learn that they can mooch a meal from the two-legged visitors.