CASTLE PINES, Colo. (CBS4) – A Castles Pines resident who shot and killed a bear last week now faces a misdemeanor charge for feeding and attracting wildlife, Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced on Wednesday. The sow died on June 27 leaving three cubs behind.
The charge comes after the homeowner failed to remove attractants like bird feeders after being told by CPW to do so in 2016 and 2017. At that time, the residents reported bear activity to CPW, thus officers telling the residents to taken the bird feeders down.
“People refuse to take down their bird feeders, and find it more convenient to place their trash out the night before rather than wait and place it on the curb only on the morning of pick-up,” said Northeast Region Manager Mark Leslie. “If there is any good that can come out of this case, it would be that maybe behaviors will change.”
CPW investigators say the man shot the bear because he feared the sow was trying to get inside his home at around 1 a.m. They say the homeowner left the kitchen window open during the night and then heard a noise.
He walked to the kitchen and saw the sow standing on the other side of the window with her paws on the sill as if she was about to come inside. The homeowner got a handgun and shot at the bear from inside the kitchen in hopes of scaring it off.
The sow ended up running away, but the cubs stayed behind. That’s when investigators say the homeowner reloaded with rubber buckshot and fired two rounds at the cubs.
Officers found the cubs in a tree near where their mother’s body was found.
Two of those cubs were recovered by CPW; the third is presumed dead.
The next day, the homeowner learned the sow died from the gunshot. He told investigators that wasn’t his intention, but he felt justified in shooting the bear.
The shooter has cooperated with investigators, and CPW says he paid the citation and sent a donation to the Frisco Creek wildlife facility where the two cubs were taken.
State law allows a homeowner to shoot and kill a bear if they feel their personal safety is at risk. Such a shooting needs to be reported to CPW within five days.