Vermont lawmakers are going to take testimony Wednesday on a bill that would allow landowners to kill black bears under some circumstances. The bill is before the House Fish and Wildlife Committee.
It would allow the killing of the bears if pets, livestock, beehives, vehicles, sheds or some crops were threatened. Last fall, many foods that make up the bears’ diets were in short supply – especially acorns and beech nuts. So many bears came out of their usual habitat in the mountains to look for food in cornfields, beehives and backyards.
The bill that allows the shooting of the bears would require landowners to report the killing to a game warden. It would prohibit landowners from shooting the bears if they had been lured with bait, and would impose a fine of $1,000 if that happened.