Proposed increase to bear hunting limits draws fire

Nice morning flight through the canyon looking at the Sandias. Sei/Canyon/February 13, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico officials want to increase the number of Sandias bears that can be killed by hunters, but the plan is drawing fire from critics.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that officials want to raise the limit from five to 11 after a new study put the bear population of the Sandias at 132, nearly double previous estimates.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish biologists say the number comes from a three-year study used genetic testing of bear hairs.

Sandia Mountain BearWatch founder Jan Hayes says the estimates are meaningless because a large number of the region’s bears have been relocated or killed over the past few years.

She is concerned that the changes will threaten the bear population in the Sandias.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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