DENVER (AP) – Colorado lawmakers have rejected a proposal to expand the black bear hunting season – but they’re moving ahead with a measure asking state wildlife authorities to study the matter.

A House committee voted unanimously Wednesday to order Colorado Parks and Wildlife to study Colorado’s exploding black bear population.

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The agency says Colorado has about 19,000 black bears, up from about 12,000 in the early 2000s.

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Republican Rep. Yeulin Willett of Delta originally proposed expanding the bear hunt into August to reduce the population. But he withdrew the suggestion after opposition and later suggested the mandatory study so that wildlife managers could examine the problem of increasing human-bear conflicts.

LINK: House Bill 1304

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