Colorado Parks and Wildlife need help in reducing the number of bears on the Western Slope and, if you're a hunter, you can help.

Wildlife populations in the state are regulated by the number of permits allowed to hunt certain animals such as bears. But on the Western Slope, the number of bears exceeds that number, so CPW is making more permits available to hunt bears.

The number of issues residents have had this year with bears points out the need to "thin the herd". Bears breaking into homes, cars and stores looking for food points to the need to reduce the number of bears, making the food that is available in the wild a little more plentiful for the animals and, possible, keeping them from coming to town looking for food.

Hunters applying for bear permits this year will see an increase in the number of bears they can shoot. Currently, hunters in Colorado may get up to four bears.

When bears do break into homes and vehicles, it's CPW that has to pay the cost and with more bears, it's getting more expensive.

There are people who have issues with this practice. They feel the wrong bears are being targeted and that bears who come down to town looking for food arent the same bears who stay in the wild.

Whatever side of the discussion you fall on, the fact remains there are far too many bears and their numbers need to be reduced. At the same time, communities need to do a better job of securing trash so that bears aren't encouraged to come to town.

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