ASPEN, Colo. -- A resident in a Pitkin County neighborhood who shot a black bear dead did so within legal bounds, local and state officials said.
The bear, described as "a mature, big sow" frequented the Meadowood subdivision near the Aspen Chapel, according to neighbors. He was killed by the homeowner with a single shot from a rifle, and some questioned whether the killing was even legal.
“There are restrictions, but I looked at the general direction in which he fired his weapon and it was safe,” Pitkin County Sheriff's deputy Anthony Todaro told the Aspen Times. “Other than the noise, ... she was never in danger. We take these calls very seriously, of course, but I didn’t believe anybody was at risk of being injured while this happened.”
It is illegal to shoot a firearm across a road or highway or in the direction of a residence, Sheriff Joe DiSalvo told the newspaper. But neither of those actions took place, according to Todaro.
The hunter not only reportedly presented the bear’s hide to a Parks and Wildlife Office within 48 hours of the shooting and as required by state law, according to the newspaper, but is also required to prepare the bruin for consumption. It is a felony to dispose of a big-game animal that is legally or illegally killed, said Mike Porras, a spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The newspaper also reported the hunter had two licenses to shoot bears. One for private land and the other for public land.