Bear trouble leads to more hunting permits

Bear trouble leads to more hunting permits

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Andrew Adams, KSL NewsradioUtah is upping its number of permits to hunt bears after a bad year of close calls, and worse.

The state reports 202 cases this year in which a bear posed a potential danger to people. That's nearly twice the number of cases in the last three years combined. Plus, a black bear killed an 11-year-old boy in American Fork Canyon last summer.

Kevin Bunnell at the Division of Wildlife Resources says those are things you can't ignore.

"With the summer we had last year, we found out we had more bears in some places than we thought we did," he said.

So, the number of bear permits is going up 20 percent.

Officials say the state's bear population can easily handle it. Advocates aren't so sure killing bears solves the problem. The state says bear awareness needs to be taught, too.

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