State

May 4, 2011 7:42 PM by John Romero

Bear hunting bill moves ahead

DENVER (AP) - The Colorado House has given initial approval to a proposal to potentially expand the bear hunting season to manage the animals' population. Lawmakers advanced the measure Wednesday but it passed by only one vote.

The bill seeks to repeal a voter-approved initiative that prohibits hunting bears from March 1 to Sept. 1. It was approved over concern that female bears were being hunted in the spring when they're taking care of their cubs.

Republicans sponsoring the measure modified it to ensure a spring bear hunt never happens. But they say they want the Division of Wildlife to have the ability to expand bear hunting in other months if necessary.

Democrats opposing the bill worried bears would still be hunted when they're most vulnerable. The bill needs one more vote before it heads to the Senate.

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