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Bear shooting breaks homeowners covenant

Cliff Thompson

BACHELOR GULCH – A man who shot a black bear that had been frequenting his home and yard in September has been fined $1,000 by a homeowners association for firing a gun at the animal.Homeowners covenants prohibit using firearms in the subdivision perched on a wooded bowl north of Beaver Creek. Homes in Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch were regularly visited by bears in search of food this year because a late summer frost nipped the berry and acorn crop, leaving them little food with which to fatten up for winter hibernation. State wildlife officers were forced to kill one bear that broke into a Fairway Drive home three times. Homeowner John Tietbohl shot the bear with a handgun after it approached him one night in his driveway a few days after a bear charged him outside his home. The bear was bleeding heavily after the shooting, and wildlife officials lost its trail when they searched for the animal the next morning.In an interview earlier this year, Tietbohl said the 175-pound bear frequented his home and was often looking in the windows. It also had entered the home by pushing a door handle lever, he said. Members of the homeowners association were tight-lipped over the incident, and refused to comment on the particulars of the actions against Tietbohl. Several officials close to the case confirmed the fine.”This is a private matter between resident and the board,” board member John Maher said. “We did act in a fashion that we thought was appropriate, and we felt we now should all move on.”Wildlife officials theorize the 2-year-old bear had been attracted to the area by food scraps construction crews left when Tietbohl’s home was under construction.Sheriff Joe Hoy said the sheriff’s office would file no charges, and wildlife officials said many bears have begun to hibernate and won’t emerge until April.Sheriff Joe Hoy said the sheriff’s office would file no charges, and wildlife officials said many bears have begun to hibernate and won’t emerge until April.


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