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New Milford lawmaker introduces bill to authorize bear hunt license lottery

New Milford state Representative Bill Buckbee is reintroducing his bill from previous years which would create a lottery for black bear hunting licenses until the black bear population in Litchfield County is reduced by 5 percent. He says support for such a measure has increased with the increase in bear sightings.  According to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection there were 311 reported sightings in New Milford last year.  The figure is the number of sightings, not necessarily the number of bears.  Statewide, there were nearly 9-thousand sightings reported to DEEP.  The measure was rejected last year by opponents who said state wildlife officials should be able to control the population without a hunt.